Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Scott Hodgkiss on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, November 8, 2018).

My traffic is down 70+%

Google Search Console pages excluded 1.34k.I had a massive drop in rankings but NOT for the pages excluded.

1. 134K excluded since 24th October
2. URL inspecton - Indexed, not submitted in sitemap
3. Crawled - currently not indexed - Status: Excluded

What I have checked:

1. Robots.txt NOT blocking URL
2. I did submit a sitemap but its a WordPress website and ALL the pages excluded are PHP custom pages and NOT in the sitemap.

I have checked all on page SEO issues but nothing, some pages are indexed but some not. Has anyone had this issue please? My traffic is down 70+%.

I now also created a sitemap for those pages and submitted.



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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Jim Munro: You don`t have to but, if you share your url, you are likely to draw more useful responses, Scott.
  • Scott Hodgkiss: Jim I have no problem with that, this is an example excluded page:https://www.operativehire.co.uk/loc.../cscs-jobs-in-cardiff/
  • Jim Munro: I`ll keep looking but your hosting might be an issue.
  • Scott Hodgkiss: Hmm strange working fine my end..
  • Jim Munro: ...and fine from Canada too: https://gtmetrix.com/rep.../www.operativehire.co.uk/FpAZVEjE
  • Scott Hodgkiss: I am based in the UK, I have the site on Pingdom alerts and havnt had no alerts from them
  • Michael Martinez: When did you add all the nofollow attributes on your internal links?
  • Scott Hodgkiss: I added them 2 years ago the no follow are to the job detail pages
  • Michael Martinez: Unfortunately I cannot pull up any pages from your site on Archive.Org so I may be pursuing another blind alley here. When did you redesign the site? Did you change the schema you`re using at any point in this year? I usually compare older versions of Websites to their current versions to rule out as many false possibilities as I can, but it looks like you`ll have to run through as many ideas as possible. What, if anything, did you do to the site in the 30-60 days leading up to the loss of traffic?
  • Scott Hodgkiss: Michael thanks for the feedbak.I did get stung by the yoast seo attachment bug. And the receding was implemented on 26th of spetember.Also mobile first was in September
  • Roger Montti: What did you do to solve your Yoast attachment bug?
  • Scott Hodgkiss: Sorry Roger, I am meant Resign was implemented in September. I used the Yoast solution purge plugin which created a sitemap of attachments which have 410 status
  • Michael Martinez: I`m not a fan of the Yoast attachments plugin. Plugin pages are typically NOT the problem that people have made them out to be. If nothing else, attachment pages can be edited. In fact, you can edit all the embedded images and change them from attachments to URLs. WordPress allows you to set the default status of embedded images. But it`s not clear that the attachment plugin is causing your problem. It could be related.
  • Scott Hodgkiss: Michael I think your right Google has now removed the majority of those attachment pages.I have noticed I create a seperate XML sitemap for the Job/Location pages and now seems to be reindexing them.So not sure if not having the job pages in the Main sitemap has made Google deindex them.
  • Michael Martinez: Well, removing the attachment pages substantially alters a site`s crawl pattern. That could, hypothetically, screw up a Website but I`ve never tried to formally analyze what it does. The thinking is that Google doesn`t want attachment pages, which is a bad assumption. Google doesn`t want BAD attachment pages. But attachment pages use the site`s theme and so channel crawl back to the main menu links. At this point, if you`re seeing the crawl come back to the rest of the site I would just wait a little longer. But going forward you don`t need to use such a drastic solution for attachment pages. It would be better to convert them to embedded image URLs than to disrupt the crawl, especially if there are a lot of them.
  • Scott Hodgkiss: Thanks for this, there was only 8 attchment images, so I can`t see that causing the huge deindexing and traffic drop
  • Michael Martinez: Scott Hodgkiss I agree. 8 pages is insignificant.
  • Scott Hodgkiss: The site before redesign had exactly the same URL structure and job pages, so something is not quite right.I have checked backlinks and nothing toxic, its the 15th of October all this started.
  • Scott Hodgkiss: Michael Martinez looks like adding the job pages to its own XML sitemap since yesturday 907 are now indexed.
  • Michael Martinez: It sounds to me like the redesign broke something. Did you change the navigation structure? Were there on-page cross-promotional links in the old design that are no longer there? I don`t believe the problem is external.
  • Scott Hodgkiss: Yeah I completely changed the main navigation, the internal links in search console are crazy numbers, which I presumed would level out but they have gone into the 1000`s.
  • Michael Martinez: Scott Hodgkiss That could do it. Don`t try to undo it at this stage. Wait out the storm.
  • Scott Hodgkiss: I have used screaming spider and the site structure looks fine, by the way thanks for your time Michael Martinez
  • Scott Hodgkiss: Thanks Michael Martinez much appreciated

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, November 8, 2018).

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