More threads by HoosierBuff

Dec 12, 2013
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Hi all,

I have a car dealer that I am working on. Sometime early this month, the home page basically dropped out of the Google index, for reasons I can't figure out. I'm trying to figure out what may have happened, but, I'm not sure:

1. I checked, there are no manual penalties in WMT

2. The drop in traffic is verified in WMT (and with some rank trackers)

3. I can't tell if there was a change to the website that preceded this, but, there definitely could have been. There was an increase in errors on the site 1 week beforehand.

4. There is no robots.txt

5. The view source does not show a no index.

Is this a penalty?
................and, I found it. . . .

the home page had a canonical URL that was www.<dealershipname>

two .com's.
Are you talking about organic results, or local? Because there was a shakeup that could be related as well, depending on which keywords you're talking about (city in the search) and how far away the client is. Here's a relevant thread:

If you're talking about organic though, the above wouldn't be a factor, just thought I'd throw it out there. If the canonical doesn't help, post the website and I'll take a look and see if anything jumps out.
Thanks James

I think it was the canonical issue (though, I won't be sure until the traffic come backs).

I was definitely talking about organic, and talking about it when I searched for the exact brand name of the car dealer "Enrico Palazzo's Ford".

When I would do that search, the home page was AWOL, but the "service" and "specials" page would show up.
. . . and the traffic came back.

So, the gist of it was this:

- Canonical URL of home got switched to a nonsense url that 404'd.
- Home page stopped showing up in search, all other pages still showed up
- Fixed the canonical URL
- 24 hours later traffic returned.

Its as simple as that.
Thanks for sharing your experience with this Hoosier! Now that you've described it, that sounds about right. Funny how many little landmines there can be for people unfamiliar with technical SEO.

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