Author Topic: SEO trouble shooting  (Read 63 times)

  • Offline zpyder

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SEO trouble shooting
on: October 13, 2018, 06:37:49 AM
A few months ago I redesigned my website from a Wordpress installation on a hostgator shared server, to a smugmug hosted website.

It seems that, despite the new website having much more information and tags (pages and galleries and photos themselves have descriptions and keywords), it's next to impossible to find pages on google. In fact, it's probably a bit easier to find a google result for one of the old, now non-existent pages from the previous version of the website.

I suspect I'm being penalised by google in some way in terms of how the move happened. Looking in search console I've got a bunch of "Indexed, blocked by robots.txt" results that started when I moved to SmugMug. I'm wondering if perhaps smugmugs robots.txt is blocking google from accessing the old wordpress pages.

This is just scratching the surface, but I was wondering if anyone is savvy with this stuff who could give me some pointers. I've tried doing search result removal requests for the pages that are blocked by robots.txt. SmugMug seem pretty pants when I have emailed them and asked why their SEO friendly platform is performing so poorly.

Website in question is www.muddyboots.xyz

  • Offline zpyder

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Re: SEO trouble shooting
Reply #1 on: October 13, 2018, 06:57:11 AM


Spot the point I remade my website heh.

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  • Offline Clock'd 0Ne

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Re: SEO trouble shooting
Reply #2 on: October 14, 2018, 20:35:53 PM
Use Google Webmaster tools to check your robots.txt configuration, it will tell you what is accessible or not.

The other issue is, you've moved your site but Google doesn't know this, and will still have all the original pages indexed. What you needed to do was setup 301 redirects for all the old site URLs, in Wordpress you would do this with a plugin, now you would have to edit the .htaccess file on the server and add the redirections manually - you can Google how to do that its very simple really - but obviously you will need to know what all of the old URLs were to redirect to for the new pages. At this stage of the game its probably not worth the effort if you don't know the existing URLs now and I would simply fix the robots.txt, then use a sitemap generator site to index your website pages and submit that sitemap URL to Google and the other big search engines.

I don't know what SmugMug qualify as an 'SEO friendly' platform but that sounds like snakeoil bullsh*t to me. SEO is completely irrespective of platform unless you're doing something really wrong - like blocking pages in robots.txt files and not redirecting expired URLs. ;D
Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 20:38:07 PM by Clock'd 0Ne #187;

  • Offline neXus

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Re: SEO trouble shooting
Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 01:47:31 AM
- You do not need Keywords, not used by the search engines. Just tells everyone what the keywords you trying to get.
- Get yourself setup with google analytics and either install its default code or through google tag manager
- As Nige said, if you not done so yet setup your webmaster tools
- Your home page is pretty void of content
- On your inner pages your Header 1's are OK but could be stronger
- Your inner content page content needs sorting: https://www.muddyboots.xyz/New-Zealand/NZ-Nature You have paragraph per line so the strength and depth of the content and keywords is pretty weak in terms of SEO.
- Your sitemap is not really generating anything: https://www.muddyboots.xyz/sitemap-index.xml


  • Offline zpyder

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Re: SEO trouble shooting
Reply #4 on: October 16, 2018, 07:59:28 AM
Thanks guys. Gives me a place to start!

I suspect one issue is that smugmugs robots.txt by default is blocking all pages other than the ones that have been created through smugmug. So google can't access the old content to see it's not there. It's just blocked. I'll contact smugmug to see if they can do anything about customising the robots.txt to allow the old content...I remember I looked into it a while back and there was a lot of discussion on the net that SmugMugs approach wasn't the best/most efficient use of Robots.txt

I've been set up with GA and WMT for yonks, but have always found analytics to be just a bit of a monster in terms of usage. So many different reports, it's not entirely clear what most of them are saying. Typically I've used it just to see how many people have visited, and from what source.

Home page is tricky to put content on in terms of I've never known what would be useful. I guess blog posts...but again SmugMug is pretty poor in terms of blog support. I kind of regret moving from Hostgator, but the hosting was just too slow for such a media rich site. I'll look into blog integration though, I know it's possible, but just not sure how easy...

And regarding the sitemap...is that true? In Search console in the sitemap area I think the sitemap is a zip containing sub-sitemaps, and there's a few hundred pages and images that have been indexed etc.

  • Offline zpyder

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Re: SEO trouble shooting
Reply #5 on: October 16, 2018, 08:05:32 AM


Not correct?

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  • Offline Clock'd 0Ne

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Re: SEO trouble shooting
Reply #6 on: October 16, 2018, 19:07:31 PM
Yeah your sitemap does have the indexed content in sub-sitemap files, that's okay, however none of that is any use if they can't be reached because of the robots.txt restrictions and no other means of discovering them through the new website URLs.

If you decide to switch back to an alternative provider using Wordpress I'd recommend SiteGround as not only are they highly optimised and very fast servers, they have standard cPanel hosting, excellent support, free SSLs, even a site migrator. You should be able to have a much more full featured and SEO rich site on WP than their platform from the sounds of it.

  • Offline zpyder

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Re: SEO trouble shooting
Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 19:30:51 PM
I would hope the content in the sub site map files is reachable if it's been created on the same platform as the robots.txt file? I did a site:..... Search on google and it does look like most of the pages are on google now, but as you guys have said the actual content is pretty sure sparse. This is a product of the migration where I had hundreds of pages to move and was more fussed with getting the photos across than writing info for each gallery.

Maybe phase 2 needs to be sitting down and writing some blurb for each thing in turn.

The whole move was prompted by smugmug buying flickr. I realised that I paid for flickr but didn't really use it, paid for sub-standard hosting that was crippling user experience. I'd hoped to be able to move across to just one thing that worked!

After this year's subscription is over if the website is still performing poorly on google I'll look into that hosting site Nige!

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  • Offline Clock'd 0Ne

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Re: SEO trouble shooting
Reply #8 on: October 16, 2018, 21:22:40 PM
Seems like that is the best you can do now, as long as you're sure the sitemap is current. Content is king for Google, both in richness and frequency of updates. Everything else in SEO tends to be snakeoil these days!

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