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Why have I disappeared from Google Search results?


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#1 britechguy

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 08:45 PM

Hello All,

 

       Before I even start this question does have underlying potential for commercial gain for me, personally, so if this is forbidden then please just nuke the thread.

 

       I've been running my own one-man tech support business for home users and small businesses for just short of eight years now and established a website not all that long afterward.  It is basic and will probably remain that way.  If you want to see just how basic you'll find the URL in my profile.

 

       My domain registrar is namecheap.com and my site is hosted on Amazon Web Services and has been since the beginning.  I also have myself on Google Business and have gotten consistently good reviews over my time in business.  Using Google Webmaster tools it states that 5 of my pages have been indexed (I have a total of 6, and it doesn't identify which 5 of the 6) and it claims in the Search Appearance section that page / (yep, just a slash) does not have a title tag but all of my pages definitely have title tags.  I am using a masked redirect to get people to the physical hosting location and maybe that's the problem.

 

        It used to be when I searched for "computer repair staunton va" my site would consistently show up on the first page and often near the top of the Google Maps listing, but it's entirely dropped off the radar.  

 

        I am hoping that this conversation might not only be helpful to me, but to others putting together a website.  We all know that turning up near the top of Google search results for a locally targeted search can really help out a business.  If I'm doing something, or not doing something, that's obvious to someone else and easy to change I'll be happy to do it.

 

        Web design is not "my thing" and I'm learning (and, obviously, not learning some things) as I go along.  I'd like to do whatever I can to "get the word out" in cyberspace as best I can.


Edited by britechguy, 21 December 2015 - 08:46 PM.

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

       ~ Mark Twain

 

 

 

              

 


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#2 RolandJS

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 09:20 PM

The only answer I have is from my old web site, able college, from way back; meta this, meta that, meta the other.

Although I cannot quote from my nasa.htm [don't have permission to quote their stuff], by use of these meta lines,

I was able to have my "mirror of nasa labs" right above the actual nasa lab.

 

<html>
<head>
<title>able college admin</title>
<meta name="description" content="able college admin.
mission statement, advisory council, awards, embassy,
messages, bulletins, humanitarian places to visit,
resumes">
<meta name="keywords" content="able college admin,
mission statement, advisory council, awards, embassy,
messages, bulletins, resumes, humanitarian places to visit,
ablecollege, TheStollers">
<meta name="target" content="college admin">
<meta http-equiv="Reply-to" content="stollerusa;AT;earthlink.net">
<meta name="Generator" content="Jerry-Roland USA">
<meta name="ROBOTS" Content="NOFOLLOW">
</head>
<body background="bckgrnd.jpg" link="#0000FF" vlink="#FF0000">
<b>

 

Britechguy, I can give more details if you want.  I'm using old old school technology which I really do not know if such can be applied today.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#3 Guest_hollowface_*

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 12:16 AM

computer repair staunton va

I live in Canada, but when I search that, this thread shows up on page 5 of Google.ca. Didn't find your site, but I stopped looking after page 9.

 

Google Webmaster tools it states that 5 of my pages have been indexed (I have a total of 6, and it doesn't identify which 5 of the 6)

I Googled the page urls and "about_me.html", "links.html", "contact.html", "assistive_tech.html", "index.html", and "comp_elec.html" all came up. Your domain name is also indexed.

it claims in the Search Appearance section that page / (yep, just a slash) does not have a title tag but all of my pages definitely have title tags.

I presume "/" stands for the root of your site "yoursitename.domain/". When viewing the source code for that page in my browser, I see a valid title tag, but when I visit the unframed url (the true page url) your title tag is on line 12 which is a commented line. Looks like you missed adding a newline.

 

#4 britechguy

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 10:00 AM

hollowface,

 

         Happy Holidays!  Thanks for taking a look.

 

         I cannot explain how the title line gets shifted like it does when you do a view source, and it's doing the same thing for me, but in the original page HTML that line begins, physically, just below that comment line.

 

         I have done some recent work with meta tags for my masked forwarding and will hope that, along with a few other changes, might help my search results placement.  It's really irritating since for the longest time I consistently turned up on one of the first two pages of search results and never lower than #7 on the little mapped local results box.  It's all the weirder since my reviews on Google Business are excellent and a couple of things now showing up in search results are businesses that have been closed for some time.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

       ~ Mark Twain

 

 

 

              

 


#5 RolandJS

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 10:05 AM

Britechguy, my example of meta-stuff -- is it ok?


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#6 britechguy

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 11:09 AM

RolandJS,

 

          To be perfectly honest I don't know.  My domain name registrar (namecheap) give you the ability to add metadata on the page that handles the masked redirect.  I entered a description and a comma separated list of keywords, which I can now see if I do a "show source" when I go to the website via the URL the world would use, but I don't generate the actual HTML myself.

 

           HTML coding is not in my bag of tricks.  I've used templates and KompoZer to create what I have and know only enough "to make me dangerous."  Hence the reason I posted this question here.  I really don't know why things were the way they were or are the way they are as far as my positioning in Google Search results.

 

           My most recent client, a young man with a custom built gaming desktop system that he treats pretty much like a car (knows how to use it, but not how to take it apart and put it back together again), had me install a new, high end gaming GPU and power supply.  He said he found me via web search but I don't know how many pages deep he might have had to dig.  I stop after about three, at most.

 

           A Merry Christmas (if you celebrate it) and a Happy New Year to you and yours!


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

       ~ Mark Twain

 

 

 

              

 


#7 Guest_hollowface_*

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 08:30 PM

I cannot explain how the title line gets shifted like it does when you do a view source, and it's doing the same thing for me, but in the original page HTML that line begins, physically, just below that comment line.

Before I was viewing the source code using my web-browser on Windows, but since it's appearing fine in what-ever program you're using to view your local copy of the HTML file, I decided to download a copy of the "index.html" file under Linux Mint, and take a closer look at the line-endings using a tool called od.

Here are a few brief snippets from the output. In these outputs "\r  \n" indicates a Windows line-ending.

Beginning of the comment:
\r  \n   <   !   -   -
0001260       c   h   a   n   g   e

End of the comment and beginning of the title tag:
b   a
0001360   r       -   -   >   <   t   i   t   l   e   >
Note there is no line ending between them.

End of the title tag:
 V   A   <   /   t   i   t   l
0001540   e   >  \r  \n  \r  \n

These outputs show, the file that is currently being served, doesn't have a line ending between the end of the comment tag and the beginning of the title tag. Additionally, it shows a blank line after the title tag. I would suggest you compare your local copy of the HTML file (which you mentioned is correctly formatted) to the one that is on the server to verify they are in fact identical. If they are indentical, this will rule out a bad upload as the cause.

 

In case wish to verify the file I used was the same as yours, here are the checksums for the index.html I downloaded:
SHA-512:2a87fd6087e37425a36849c0b60451d4c6bfa0921e02d2af419f9756cd7e69b492d9d8d00f3f7752f3b16d2fa4380874154fa69b5bb95a6778a59ece95376556
SHA-256:41dfd0aeab1f2ebe773647b8d224cd1043e794f4a9da05664020d6213cdd95bd
SHA-1:e1b004ea1c506c4697aa6005be81a433b72f0e0e
MD5:52de59b431a58056ba6fec9241e56d69



#8 britechguy

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 09:10 PM

hollowface,

 

           You misunderstand me.  What I'm telling you, and I'll present a screen capture here, is that there is no doubt that the title tag is on its own line in the HTML as it exists here and is uploaded to AWS for hosting.  Here is the code for the navigation area.

 

           If I intentionally add returns prior to the <title> tag they are automatically removed by KompoZer and it starts on the line beneath the comment line.  I'm not seeing any functional issues with Firefox, Chrome, or Edge correctly rendering the site and all of the other pages have the <title> information set up to occur on the line directly below the comment line.

 

           That shifting is the result of the wrapper put on, and not by me, to create the masked indirection and add the meta information.  I couldn't change that behavior no matter how hard I try.

 

           Please do not take any of the above as being peeved at you, as I really appreciate the time and effort you've taken.  I can only fix what I can fix myself.

 

Addendum:  I just downloaded the copy of index.html I have on AWS and it's the same as far as the title line formatting (I think everything's identical, but didn't run the Windows equivalent of diff).

 

Addendum 2:  I just opened the HTML in notepad and made absolutely certain to insert a return at the end of the title comment line and before the comment tag, and have uploaded that.  Please let me know if that makes a difference in what you're seeing.  KompoZer clearly does some formatting of its own for presentation purposes that don't get saved that way.  The same file opened in Notepad does not show a return prior to the title tag.  In the end, though, I don't think that really matters based on Google webmaster feedback finding no errors on the pages.


Edited by britechguy, 25 December 2015 - 09:28 PM.

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

       ~ Mark Twain

 

 

 

              

 


#9 Guest_hollowface_*

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 01:45 AM

You misunderstand me.  What I'm telling you, and I'll present a screen capture here, is that there is no doubt that the title tag is on its own line in the HTML as it exists here and is uploaded to AWS for hosting.

I understood that your local file was showing correct formatting in the program you were using, my point was that the file being served wasn't, which suggested one of these senarios:
- The local file wasn't correctly formatted, and the program you're using was wrong. It turns out this was the case.
- The local file was correctly formatted, but during upload was corrupted.
- The local file and uploaded file were correctly formatted, but for some reason the uploaded file was not reaching the user correctly formatted, even when unmasked.
- The local file was correctly formatted, but the copy on the server had been modified since upload (by whom?).

I'm not seeing any functional issues with Firefox, Chrome, or Edge correctly rendering the site and all of the other pages have the <title> information set up to occur on the line directly below the comment line.

I think most browsers are smart enough detect simple errors like this. The tag contents display fine for me too. The goal of fixing this issue is to hopefully get Google to stop complaining about "page / (yep, just a slash) does not have a title tag".

That shifting is the result of the wrapper put on, and not by me, to create the masked indirection and add the meta information.

I was examining the unframed version, not the masked version, specifically to avoid the mask having any affect on the file.

Please do not take any of the above as being peeved at you, as I really appreciate the time and effort you've taken.

No worries mate. I understand that the issue I'm focusing on, is not the most pressing of those you listed. I hope the changes you mentioned trying earlier to solve your search results issues are working well.

I just opened the HTML in notepad and made absolutely certain to insert a return at the end of the title comment line and before the comment tag, and have uploaded that.  Please let me know if that makes a difference in what you're seeing.

Yes. The the line ending is showing up now.

0001360       b   a   r       -   -   >  \r  \n   <   t   i   t   l   e
0001400   >   B   r   i

Here are the checksums of the new file. They differ, which also confirms a change.
SHA-512:7d1d95dec31e714c54eaec088cf7b80a44d1ee39f17526b3fb84ffbde3ee59ea1c21872435c5cc8f0515dbaa54e05af68b71e78372789cfe5d76bb752a87f92c
SHA-256:e000cbdafb061a7b554c02b3ee1f7494255c943199c15cb5bb17ece05f72a3d9
SHA-1:68cb780cf06c2718f070ddcbdea55d925e6cb748
MD5:9112bfd94f9efceb5ec62e7ff419ba7e

In the end, though, I don't think that really matters based on Google webmaster feedback finding no errors on the pages.

So does this mean, after uploading the new version, that Google, as hoped, is no longer complaing about "page / (yep, just a slash) does not have a title tag"?

 

Even if it wasn't the issue, at least you've got that line of code now conformed to standards.



#10 RolandJS

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 08:40 AM

Britechguy, this is a long shot, if you're uploading via any form of FTP, do you have your upload setting for all files, regardless of type, as: binary   Long long ago, I found out that if I have all files set to upload as binary -- whatever is on my web site matches whatever is on on my hard-drive.


Edited by RolandJS, 26 December 2015 - 08:41 AM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#11 britechguy

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 11:06 AM

I upload to AWS using their own upload tool, which doesn't offer settings.

 

I believe that whatever reformatting is occurring in the HTML is the result of the KompoZer HTML editor.  The only reason the current version of the index.html file has that return before the title tag is that I tweaked it with Notepad after the fact.

 

I do not know whether the error I initially reported from Google has cleared yet since I doubt the pages have been crawled again (last crawl is reported as 12/24).  But even before these changes Google's report for the website as a whole indicated no errors, which is why the whole "just a slash" thing is mystifying to me.  Since index.html is the root page I have no idea what the other message is trying to tell me, really.  I'll report back after a crawl dated later than 12/25 is being reported.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

       ~ Mark Twain

 

 

 

              

 


#12 LittleGreenDots

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 06:43 PM

I am rebuilding my own site also (even though I am learning HTML/CSS3, my web knowledge is very limited) and had heard Google has changed the way they rate sites and I think it has to do with whether the site is compatible for tablets, phones, etc. 



#13 JamesMore

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 07:12 AM

Did you quote the website url here?



#14 webrat

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 02:54 PM

Just for reference / just refers to the root directory or index page at the root of the server. Googles algorythm is an unknown so you'll be banging your head against a wall guessing as to the how/why of things to an extent. One thing I do know is that time or 'freshness' is a factor. It'll come in high and gradually fade away. I've seen this with 2 sites. Traffic volumes will keep it afloat to some extent but if these are low or fairly consistent the same rule applies. Having unique content helps, particularly if it's tied to unique seach terms that are organic, rather than something you know you're looking for. The more people hitting that mark, even if it's not what they're actually looking for, will lift the ranking. The flipside of that is useless content filled with nonesense search terms. That'll get you sunk faster than a paper submarine.

 

You should be able to see when pages are crawled using webmaster tools or similar. In my experience (I've got a tinkering site where I play with code) it's actually fairly frequent, but if the content doesn't change much it'll go the same way. Another thing you might want to look at is the canonical metatag. Not sure if you're hosting multiple versions or just doing a straight redirect but if Google thinks it's 2 versions of the same page that's a no-no so you have to ID the authentic copy.


Edited by webrat, 22 January 2016 - 02:55 PM.


#15 britechguy

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 07:49 PM

Well, I refreshed my content very slightly, tweaked my title on all pages, and added metadata at my redirect including keywords that are also in my webpages and that has helped things.  I'm now showing up in the top ten of the Google Maps search results when one looks for "computer repair staunton va," and that's all I was hoping for.

 

Google must not factor in reviews on Google Business pages, because I'm the best reviewed (and have been, for some time now) business in town that does what I do.  I seldom update content on my site because the basics of technical support, particularly when described in broad terms rather than jargon, simply do not change that much.

 

I'm just happy that I'm showing up again somewhere that I can get seen.

 

Thanks to all for your input.  With any luck I'll remain in a relatively high position for some time now.


Did you quote the website url here?

 

No, because that would be considered a commercial posting.  See my signature if you want a direct line to my URL if you're interested in visiting my website.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

       ~ Mark Twain

 

 

 

              

 





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