UNIX.com is getting crushed in google search these days

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The Lounge What is on Your Mind? UNIX.com is getting crushed in google search these days
# 8  
Originally Posted by nezabudka
Hi Neo
In any case, a links to similar threads is a very common practice. Even there are options invisible to authorized users.
As a quick upgrade to "similar threads", I just added "thread preview" with the "forum title" in the similar thread code.

It looks much better and I am sure it will help out with SEO a bit.
# 9  
So someone writing in any forum or open support site something like " after updating with patch xxx.vv I get error YYY cannot resolve... " It would be rejected by Google AI... Difficult to believe that MS, IBM or other big vendor would accept that... wonder if it not again a question of $$$ to let them pass through which big accounts can afford but not the others and so they are dropped in the search engine..
What do you see when you make a same query in google and duckduckgo ?
Just to see the impact... Just wondering...
# 10  
This issue is only with Google search. I don't see the issue in Bing.

Anyway, as you can imagine, I do not have time to look at every search engine (duck, ask, baidu, etc) ; I only pay attention to the search engines that drive "real" traffic to the site.

If you are really interested in helping out, you can access to the search console and webmaster tools for each of those search engines; but honestly, you will need to spend considerable time doing each possible keyword combo to see exactly what Google is doing. I only stumbled on this working on "soft 404 errors", which I now understand are not "real errors" but "Google's optimization". "soft 404 is very misleading.

Anyway, Victor, I only report what I see and what is happening at unix.com and why our index is getting hammered by Google with the "soft 404 errors" reported in Google Search Console, where Google has rejected the links and deleted them from their index; and where i can test them.

Also, the complete algorithm of what and how Google is matching these "error" and "not found" words is not known to me (it is a closely guarded Google secret) and nor is it published by Google.

Anyway, it's wearisome to say the least.
# 11  

I think I have "fixed" most of the "soft 404" errors in Google Search Console by modifying the code and content. The revalidation is slow going, but so far the "soft 404 errors have dropped from around 7000 to around 2000 and Google says 'Looking Good" as they slowly revalidate.

I also added code in the posts code block to overflow (add scroll bar) where users have posted long lines of code without code tags. There are too many posts without code tags and all these posts caused problems with Google's mobile validator; and then Google drops them from the index for "not mobile friendly" .

I also added the post summary to similar threads so Google now does not flag pages as "soft 404" for "thin content" when there are a number of similar threads listed.

Also, looking at the Google search ranking, for the keyword "unix", I noticed that our site is not the only site which has dropped. A number of older sites, including the Open Group, who used to have two pages in the top ten, have dropped even lower than our site.

Also stackexchange for the same "unix" keyword used to be high on the second page, now it hangs around the bottom of page four.

So, it seems like changes in Google's algorithm has effected many sites, and not only this one. Many have benefited and others have fallen from grace.

Let's see if the changes I made reverse our downward trend, or as I suspect, we are just an "old and long in the tooth forum site" falling out of favor with Google because our content has "aged" over the years and there are lots of new sites with more modern formats coming up on the net who also have a much strong social media presence.
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# 12  
Also, I found another problem today where a domain in Brazil was using our IP address and duplicating our content.

So, today I created an Apache2 fix for this problem.

Maybe fixing this problem will help a bit as well with Google search referrals and ranking. Maybe not.
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# 13  
Today I spoke with a consultant who went over unix.com in the Google Search Console and he concurred all is looking good (and the soft 404 errors seemed to be well on their way to being fixed) and the site should start to re-index over time; and reminded me it simply takes time, especially with all the changes in Google Search Console and the many millions and millions of websites.

If anyone needs some Google Search Console (GSC) help or advice, please return the kindness he has given to unix.com and contact him on Fiverr.
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# 14  
Referring to Victor's post#9, I agree with him that, since this is a forum, we cannot (directly) control content. Given the size of DB we must have with all the historical questions, surely we can't be expected to make thousands of modifications. A forum is what is it; a forum.

I do notice that searching for "Unix forum" we are top.

As you say Neo, let's see what happens but if what you've done doesn't fix it then we ought to put this problem in front of John Mueller at Google (Zurich) or, if we can't get to him, Gary Illyes at Google (Zurich) and see what they say/recommend.

The change of algo must have given this issue to many forums.
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