Webpage not being indexed in Google?

Recently I was moving over an old test site’s content from a domain that I had leased and no longer wanted, to put the content on a new .info site.

So I purchased hosting, copied all the files and uploaded them on to the server, edited the web.config (it was .net) and it all appeared to work without too much trouble.

Next I added a new design and everything seemed to run smoothly 🙂

After that I verified the account in Google Webmaster Tools, sat back and waited to see what happened. I checked back and in a few days or so all the pages bar 1 had been crawled and indexed even without any links pointing at the site.

So what happened, why where all the pages indexed in Google, bar the most important homepage?

I checked the source code in the browser for non index elements, checked for any canonical mistakes, checked the history of the site to see if the site had been black listed, but couldn’t figure out the issue. I didn’t think the fact that the content had been on another domain and was non on a new and weak authority site would stop it from being indexed, particularly as only 1 page hadn’t been indexed.

So after a week of scratching my head I decided to add the site to Google Webmaster Tools and verified that it was mine. Next I popped into ‘Diagnostics’ and then clicked on the link ‘Fetch As GoogleBot’ to see if Google was picking up a problem that I wasn’t. When I clicked ‘Fetch’ an error message came back with ‘Fetch Status’ unreachable.

fetch-googlebot

So there it was, GoogleBot was obviously having a problem accessing the page, yet when I checked it in every browser going and in mobiles it worked fine.

Next stop was to download the user agent plugin for Firefox. Switching the User Agent to Googlebot 2.1 and trying to access the site brought up the issue, a nasty error message.

Within the source code of one of the template pages that I had written a very long time ago and not checked when quickly moving the site over, it showed that if the Googlebot spider visited the site then a certain bit of code would be run. The file path to the database file into which the information was to be stored had been hard coded, and so when Googlebot visited the old site the code ran fine but with the new site the file path was incorrect and the code didn’t!

Anyway lesson learned, check to make sure Google is seeing what you want it to see, particularly if it’s a new site.



2 Responses to “Webpage not being indexed in Google?”

  1. Barry ConnollyNo Gravatar Says:

    Transferring websites brings up the strangest problems.

    I designed a site and decided live test it and store it on another URL (obviously disabled robots) until it was ready to transfer across to replace the original website.

    A few months later a some of the images on the newly launched website suddenly stopped working. I tried removing them and re-uploading,changing them to jpgs as some were png. Even re-installed a new version of WordPress Everything in the HTML code seemed fine so my head was totally wrecked!

    Turns out it was a simple case of the images pointing towards the domain I’d previously stored the site on. Because I’d worked so closely with the two domains I just couldn’t see it, couldn’t believe what an obvious error it was.

  2. MichaelNo Gravatar Says:

    Site migration is very very important not least for SEO. Many’s a times, for new development work, the old website structure will just be destroyed and the client won’t be aware of the negative effects of this.

Michael Wall

Michael Wall is an experienced web developer based in Belfast N.Ireland currently running his own web design company.

Michael Wall is available for Internet Marketing, Google Adwords PPC and SEO work. Please call Belfast 02890 923383 or use the contact form.

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