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  1. #1
    jammer's Avatar
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    website disappeared from all search engines

    Hi all, I had a website for three years on the web. Everything was going fine, I was at the top of the first page in many search engines including google, yahoo, MSN and many others. I decided to build a new site as it needed to be updated and we needed a larger site. I wrote it in HTML/CSS and changed the file names, eg. instead of 005.htm and so on I changed them to something.htm. for each page. In less than one weeks time every page on all search engines where gone......poof! I'm in panic mode as I'm hoping they will be re-index but I do not know for sure. Does anyone have any idea what's happened and can it be fixed? Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.J

  2. #2
    mega_traffic's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: website disappeared from all search engines

    Quote Originally Posted by jammer View Post
    Hi all, I had a website for three years on the web. Everything was going fine, I was at the top of the first page in many search engines including google, yahoo, MSN and many others. I decided to build a new site as it needed to be updated and we needed a larger site. I wrote it in HTML/CSS and changed the file names, eg. instead of 005.htm and so on I changed them to something.htm. for each page. In less than one weeks time every page on all search engines where gone......poof! I'm in panic mode as I'm hoping they will be re-index but I do not know for sure. Does anyone have any idea what's happened and can it be fixed? Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.J
    Ouch! Not much fun when this happens.

    Never, ever change a filename like this, because as you found it can cause you to disappear.
    Even if you didn't disappear from the search engines, it would mean people clicking on your listing in the search engines would get a 404 error (no page found).

    More times than not, if this happens, they won't take the time to manually type your domain in, they will just click back and move on to the next site.

    If you really have to change file names, put a 301 redirect and then point this to your new filename.

    This is the "search engine friendly" way of saying, this page has now moved here (in your case 005.htm to something.htm).

    There are two options a 301 is a temporary change, and a 307 tells means a permanent change has occured.

    Look into the .htaccess file (google is your friend) and you will find info on how to do it.

    Here is an example of what you would put into it
    Redirect 301 /005.htm http://www.domain.com/something.htm

    the .htaccess file usually goes in the root directory of your domain, but if you are in a subfolder you can put it in there.

    As to how to get your search engine listings back, I would just look at posting on craigslist.org or submitting a press release and I think you will find you will be back in the search engine listings fairly quickly.

    Just for the record there is another way to redirect, and that's just by putting this in the old html file

    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url=http://domain.com/something.htm">

    But I would not recommend this, it's not search engine friendly.

    Good luck.

    Cheers




    Tim

  3. #3
    rememberramu's Avatar
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    Re: website disappeared from all search engines

    I also have same problem with my site http://www.************.com when I have totally changed content and layout but after few week I went better than before ......

  4. #4
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    Re: website disappeared from all search engines

    Quote Originally Posted by rememberramu View Post
    I also have same problem with my site http://www.************.com when I have totally changed content and layout but after few week I went better than before ......
    I'm curious here, did you change filenames, etc as well as content and layout?

    I would have thought if you had the same filenames, and had similar content, in the same particular niche you were operating in, that your site should not have disappeared.

    Perhaps you changed the format of your HTML and removed key tags like the header tags <h1..6>, etc.

    Generally, in my experience, even with dramatic content change, so long as I retained the same filenames (or correctly did a 301 temporary redirect in my .htaccess file) my site remained visible in the search engines.

    Cheers




    Tim Buchalka

  5. #5
    jammer's Avatar
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    Re: website disappeared from all search engines

    Hi Tim, My old site was written in HTML, when I rebuilt my site I went with the latest standard HTML/CSS 2.2 I also changed the file names and the layout but the content remained the same. I did this for several reasons, I have to constantly update my site and it made it much easier to do so, secondly, it needed a major overhaul, and it needed to be expanded, so I did everything at once. I noticed that after a couple of months. I'm at the top of some search engines and moved to the second page of others that I was once at the top of. It seems the the traffic I do receive now is much more targeted (instead of 20 people a day putting my site in their favorites, I now get 60 people a day putting the site in their favorites). I'm thinking eventually I will be at the top again on the search engines I was at the top of before, how long that will take, I'm not sure. The search engine robots have been re-indexing my site with the new file names so I guess we'll see. Business seems to be steady so I guess I can't complain to much.
    Thanks,
    J

  6. #6
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    Re: website disappeared from all search engines

    Quote Originally Posted by jammer View Post
    Hi Tim, My old site was written in HTML, when I rebuilt my site I went with the latest standard HTML/CSS 2.2 I also changed the file names and the layout but the content remained the same. I did this for several reasons, I have to constantly update my site and it made it much easier to do so, secondly, it needed a major overhaul, and it needed to be expanded, so I did everything at once. I noticed that after a couple of months. I'm at the top of some search engines and moved to the second page of others that I was once at the top of. It seems the the traffic I do receive now is much more targeted (instead of 20 people a day putting my site in their favorites, I now get 60 people a day putting the site in their favorites). I'm thinking eventually I will be at the top again on the search engines I was at the top of before, how long that will take, I'm not sure. The search engine robots have been re-indexing my site with the new file names so I guess we'll see. Business seems to be steady so I guess I can't complain to much.
    Thanks,
    J
    Glad to hear it seems to be working out for you. Remember it's likely that you could have avoided this situation by using a 301 redirect for your old page to the equivalent new page, so do that next time to avoid waiting to eventually climb your way back up the google search ladder.

    To do a 301 re-direct, edit the .htaccess file for your domain (usually in the root folder).

    edit it, and type the following

    redirect 301 /old.html http://www.domain.com/new.html

    old.html is the old version before your changes, and new.html is the revised file.

    Do this for all files effected.

    Cheers




    Tim

  7. #7
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    Re: website disappeared from all search engines

    The redirect process is different though if you are hosted on a Windows server. In that case, you'll need to leave the old pages on the server and replace their old code with the following:

    Code:
    <%
    response.redirect("newpage.asp")
    %>
    Of course, replace newpage.asp with whatever page you're actually redirecting your visitors to.

    Side Note: This also assumes that the old pages were written in classic ASP or ASP.NET. Otherwise, this redirect method won't work. If the pages aren't classic ASP or ASP.NET, I suppose you could use a javascript redirect, but search engines don't like them and won't follow that kind of redirect to the new pages, so it kind of defeats the purpose.
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  8. #8
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    Re: website disappeared from all search engines

    I have changed all the file names so my site http://www.************.com was disappeared
    But letter I have redirected all the previous pages to new pages It again begin to appear on SEs

  9. #9
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    Re: website disappeared from all search engines

    Quote Originally Posted by vinyl-junkie View Post
    The redirect process is different though if you are hosted on a Windows server. In that case, you'll need to leave the old pages on the server and replace their old code with the following:

    Code:
    <%
    response.redirect("newpage.asp")
    %>
    Of course, replace newpage.asp with whatever page you're actually redirecting your visitors to.

    Side Note: This also assumes that the old pages were written in classic ASP or ASP.NET. Otherwise, this redirect method won't work. If the pages aren't classic ASP or ASP.NET, I suppose you could use a javascript redirect, but search engines don't like them and won't follow that kind of redirect to the new pages, so it kind of defeats the purpose.
    Actually this is not a good method to use in ASP (or ASP.NET). Whilst it gets the job done in terms of redirecting to a new page, it is not at all search friendly and is almost certainly going to damage your rankings.

    Issuing a 301 redirect tells the search engines to remove the old page from their indexes and to use the new page only, if you don't do that the search engines will see this as possible spam or duplicate content (as in their eyes the old (not non existent content) and the new content are duplicates, even though there is only one page of content.

    To avoid the negative impact, do something like the following: -

    In IIS itself you can do the following (if you have access to start/stop the web server, most webhosts probably won't let you).
    1. Open Computer Management to manage your IIS Website.
    2. Right click on your site and select Properties.
    3. Under the Folder tab select "A redirection to a URL".
    4. Type in the new domain information in the text box below.
    5. Select "The exact URL entered above" and "A permanent redirection for this resource" in order to ensure that the 301 header will be sent to the client.
    Alternatively, to do this in code try: -

    For regular .ASP code

    Place the following code above your <html> tag or <!DOCTYPE>, if you have one:
    <%@ Language=VBScript %>
    <%
    response.status="301 moved permanently"
    Response.AddHeader "Location", "http://www.domain.com/new-file-location.html"
    %>

    http://www.domain.com/new-file-location.html is the location of the new page.

    C# (For ASP.NET)

    <script runat="server">
    private void Page_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    {
    Response.Status = "301 Moved Permanently";

    Response.AddHeader("Location","http://www.someotherdomain.com/new-page.aspx");
    }

    http://www.someotherdomain.com/new-page.aspx is the location of the new page.

    Make sure you test that it is working first before deploying to a live site.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers




    Tim Buchalka



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