Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Annie Singer on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, August 23, 2018).

My medical/health site got hit big time by the Medic update

My medical/health site got hit big time by the Medic update, so I`ve been making changes. We have tons of very very similar content that has no unique value, so I started trimming pages that are almost identical. For now I have noindex/nofollowed, canonicalized, and requested to remove from Google a small number of pages.

This is one of the pages I noindex/nofollowed and requested to remove from Googs on Aug 13th, for the date range of Aug 14-19 compared to August 7-12.

Why if I noindex/nofollowed, canonicalized, and requested for removal, would there be a more than 900% increase in clicks and 1, 800% increase in impressions???

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Dave Elliott: Might not have been crawled since you made the change. Also I wouldn`t no index and canonicalise sends mixed signals.
  • Annie Singer: Thanks for the tip, I`ll have to pick. The plan is to delete and permanently redirect these pages but the way the site is set up I need dev to do that.
  • George G.: canonical takes over noindex if the bot sees both.
  • Dave Elliott: I mean Google should work it out. But always better to be definitive and not make the algo decide what you are trying to do.
  • Annie Singer: Yeah, that def makes sense. Probably won`t touch this page until I verify wtf is actually going on but moving forward I`ll pick one or the other. In this case - where you have poorly performing pages that are "unique" but have 3 or 4 pages that serve the same search intent, would you suggest just the canonicalization?
  • George G.: Annie Singer no, take w/e is usefull from all and 301 them to the most related article. unless they serve another UX purpose where you need the user to actually see all 3 pages.
  • Annie Singer: George G. that is the plan, but I can`t implement that on my own. So, it`s either wait 3 months until dev gets around to it, or canonicalize now and redirect later.
  • Ɓukasz Rogala: Isn`t this a bug or wrong GA implementation? Does server log match more or less the increase?
  • Annie Singer: I don`t have access to server log, going to see if I can verify. GA seems to have been working more or less consistently for the past 5+ years. Haven`t noticed anything else that seems off.
  • Annie Singer: For further reference
  • George G.: it is the right move. but please stop with this medic update nonsense. it was a global quality update that hit all sites from gambling to pets.
  • Michael Martinez: I like and use the name "Medic update" because the first sites to attract attention over these changes were indeed mostly health related.
  • Michael Martinez: There may be no connection between what you did and what you are seeing. Remember that google makes changes every day. That said, usually radical site changes include changes to internal linking, and that is often all you need to do to improve search optimization.
  • Rob Woods: is the page actually out of the index? if not maybe changes were still settling out and you noindexed a page that gained traffic and now it will drop since you noindexed it. Also, if you are using the canonical and Google thinks the page is valuable they will just ignore the canonical

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, August 23, 2018).

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