1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Jun 11, 2009 2:20 PM by Alan Thatcher
Alan Thatcher Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
I had owned my domain through Yahoo for a long time, and put off actually putting up a site. Late last summer I got iWeb, and within an hour or so of starting it up, I had my basic page done, a couple of linked pages with video, and had published it to .mac. That worked great, so I set up my original domain to forward to the .mac page. And that worked great also:

www.alanthatcher.com

so I asked friends to check it out, and my counter could went up above 150. I 'googled' my own name and found that my site was the top hit (as it should be).

However I recently did a check of google, using "Alan Thatcher" and also including the terms "DP" or "cinematographer" or "Director of Photography" and found to my horror that my site does not appear on google AT ALL. It was last cached by Google in December, and what they have cached is a blank page.

I see that there are all these tools available to webmasters on google, and I'm working on getting that going (though having trouble getting verified). I hope I can use the expertise of James Tseng and Varkgirl to make use of these resources.


But....how the heck did my site drop completely off google in the first place? The things that are coming up now are extremely obscure---posts I put on message boards, someone mentioning me in their resume. People--potential clients!-- are supposed to be able to find me on the web, and I have a sick feeling that no one has been able to do so for the last few months.


Any ideas?

Thanks, Alan



G5 dual 2.5, 2GB Ram, lots of drives, lots of other Macs in the house!   Mac OS X (10.4.8)  

G5 dual 2.5, 250GB   Mac OS X (10.4.8)  

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  • 1. Re: So why has my site disappeared--completely--from Google?
    varkgirl Level 5 Level 5 (5,025 points)
    The things that are
    coming up now are extremely obscure---posts I put on
    message boards, someone mentioning me in their
    resume.


    Well, this is the main way google will find you - links on other sites!

    Here's some more info:

    http://www.varkgirl.com/Varkgirl/Google%20and%20iWeb.html
  • 2. Re: So why has my site disappeared--completely--from Google?
    varkgirl Level 5 Level 5 (5,025 points)
    You are redirecting your domain to .Mac, so the pages Google will actually see are your .Mac pages ie

    http://web.mac.com/alanthatcherdp/iWeb/Site/1FE804F0-31D5-421E-BBC8-B70617A59CCC .html

    You should consider upgrading iWeb to 1.1.2 - should eliminate the weird page names.
  • 3. Re: So why has my site disappeared--completely--from Google?
    Alan Thatcher Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    Thanks for the reply, Varkgirl. I see on your site and on other queries here some of the things I need to do, and I'm on that.

    However I don't understand how my site could go from top of the google rankings to not appearing there at all; that's my real question, whether there's some inherent problem in my site preventing it appearing.

    I also updated iWeb today and republished the site. It still appears with that long tag after the name. What is that? It certainly can't help traffic.

    www.alanthatcher.com
  • 4. Re: So why has my site disappeared--completely--from Google?
    Badunit Level 6 Level 6 (10,815 points)
    You do come up as the top hit if you Google "alanthatcher". But the cached page is, as you said, blank.
  • 5. Re: So why has my site disappeared--completely--from Google?
    varkgirl Level 5 Level 5 (5,025 points)
    That's because his domain is forwarded. So www.alanthatcher.com IS a blank page, forwarding to his .Mac pages, which have all the content.
  • 6. Re: So why has my site disappeared--completely--from Google?
    varkgirl Level 5 Level 5 (5,025 points)
    I also updated iWeb today and republished the site.
    It still appears with that long tag after the name.
    What is that? It certainly can't help traffic.
    www.alanthatcher.com


    You have a slash in your page name, a big no no.
  • 7. Re: So why has my site disappeared--completely--from Google?
    Alan Thatcher Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    Maybe I am dense, but what slash in my pagename do you mean? The only part that I named myself was 'alanthatcherdp' and everything else was assigned when I published it.

    When I first published the site it came up very easily just by querying Google with 'Alan Thatcher,' even beating out the English squash commentator who shares my name, the wretched pretender. If any extra term like 'Chicago' or 'camera' or 'cinematography' were added mine jumped to the top. This is how I need it to work, where people have heard of me and need to find out about me and my work.

    The .mac publishing is very easy and convenient, and it is a snap to add pages with video (I should add more) which means potential clients can view my work. However if they can't find me, that doesn't do a lot of good.

    Thanks!
  • 8. Re: So why has my site disappeared--completely--from Google?
    varkgirl Level 5 Level 5 (5,025 points)
    No, not your site name or domain name, the actual names of your pages in the Site Organizer determine the names of your html files. If you use a weird character, iWeb sometimes makes weird page names.
  • 9. Re: So why has my site disappeared--completely--from Google?
    Alan Thatcher Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    Ah-ha! All I'd done was change the little 'Welcome' at the top of the page to say: Alan Thatcher, DP/Camera Operator thinking this would help in searches. So that's where the slash was. So I changed it to: 'Alan Thatcher, DP and Camera Operator,' and while the page is fine, now the url comes out (iweb, etc...then Alan%Thatcher%,DP%...etc. Do I have to have it say 'Welcome' at the top? (I have always wondered where all those %s come from.)

    I am going to give another shot at getting verified on Google tonight. Nothing worked the last time I tried, despite the thorough and helpful instructions from James and Varkgirl--which are much appreciated, anyway.
  • 10. Re: So why has my site disappeared--completely--from Google?
    Chris Owen1 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Hi Alan,

    It seems that we're in the same boat. I myself have been dealing with the exact same problem. I published my site recently from iWeb to mac.com. I am a photographer, and used to be at least within the top 20 hits when searching for just my name alone on google. This was a great achievement since there's an actor by the same name as mine, who has been in some feature films.

    Well anyways, no I'm no where to be found. So, I've been doing a lot of reading and research the last few days. Here's a few things I'm finding:

    1. We are now on the 3rd generation of search engine algorithms. Before Google it was the web crawler mentality. These systems constantly scanned websites, just looking at the content in textual form, and gave results based on that. When Google came on the scene, everything changed. When you searched on "Alan Thatcher," your number one result would be based primarily on popularity, as far as hits on that subject and sites that had the most traffic. Now, in the third generation, things have changed once again. It's a science that is not easy to decipher. It's currently a combination of many factors:

    * Textual content in the form of keywords and tags (these often times need to be edited by us (web developers). Usually these are not seen on the page, but are within the source code of a page. Go to a web page and choose view source from your pull down menu near the top right. You will see categories that have key words and tags. Right now, I'm trying to determine how to edit iWeb pages to include this. That's why I stumbled across your post

    * Popularity in visits. Self explanatory.

    * Customization based on your history. Google and others now recognize you as a person/user. If you commonly search on certain subjects, say "washers" such as in washers and dryers...you will receive content based on that whereas a construction guy might receive hits based on nuts and bolts (or washers of that sort).

    * The rest I'm still learning. I know that for a long time now, you can register your website on the major search engine sites. I'm suggesting that you do a little google-ing yourself.

    Search on Search Engine Optimization or SEO. I will report back if and when I find out how to enter keywords and tag codes on iWeb pages, because I think that is real big.

    Best of Luck...

    Chris
    www.chrisowen.com
    chris@chrisowen.com
  • 11. Re: So why has my site disappeared--completely--from Google?
    varkgirl Level 5 Level 5 (5,025 points)
    Ah-ha! All I'd done was change the little 'Welcome'
    at the top of the page to say: Alan Thatcher,
    DP/Camera Operator thinking this would help in
    searches. So that's where the slash was. So I
    changed it to: 'Alan Thatcher, DP and Camera
    Operator,' and while the page is fine, now the url
    comes out (iweb, etc...then Alan%Thatcher%,DP%...etc.
    Do I have to have it say 'Welcome' at the top? (I
    have always wondered where all those %s come from.)


    %'s come from spaces, etc. Make your page names in the Site Organizer short. You can put whatever you want at the top of the actual page content as a heading.

    http://www.varkgirl.com/iWebFAQ/FAQ%20Home/EFC18081-F59F-4EEA-AA5F-0DB97AAA30D6. html

    http://www.varkgirl.com/iWebFAQ/FAQ%20Home/F4CE7E92-331F-4E22-956E-D37E10C025B2. html


    I am going to give another shot at getting verified
    on Google tonight. Nothing worked the last time I
    tried, despite the thorough and helpful instructions
    from James and Varkgirl--which are much appreciated,
    anyway.


    Yeah, I have had some issues too, verifying .Mac... it used to work but now doesn't.
  • 12. Re: So why has my site disappeared--completely--from Google?
    varkgirl Level 5 Level 5 (5,025 points)
    It seems that we're in the same boat. I myself have
    been dealing with the exact same problem. I
    published my site recently from iWeb to mac.com.


    Again, you are dealing with the same issue - Google will find your .Mac pages because that is where the actual content resides. Yourdomain.com only has one page - a BLANK redirect page to your .Mac site.

    I
    am a photographer, and used to be at least within the
    top 20 hits when searching for just my name alone on
    google. This was a great achievement since there's
    an actor by the same name as mine, who has been in
    some feature films.


    When sites are initially found by Google, they can fluctuate on the list until they settle into their spots. It is based on (I believe) how popular your site is based on how many other sites link to YOU.

    Post your .Mac url here, starting with http. That will be a good start.

    Right now,
    I'm trying to determine how to edit iWeb pages to
    include this.


    http://www.varkgirl.com/Varkgirl/Basic%20HTML%20Additions.html

    I will
    report back if and when I find out how to enter
    keywords and tag codes on iWeb pages, because I think
    that is real big.


    http://www.varkgirl.com/Varkgirl/Google%20and%20iWeb.html
  • 13. Re: So why has my site disappeared--completely--from Google?
    Chris Owen1 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    However, my domain name forward has an area where I can put tags and descriptions. Are those useful at all??
  • 14. Re: So why has my site disappeared--completely--from Google?
    varkgirl Level 5 Level 5 (5,025 points)
    Sure, but again, that redirect page has no real content.
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