ChiSkyline

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Hi There!

I've never had this happen personally, but thought I'd seem out some insight here.

I've got a friend who's site had a single page fall out of organic search results. She previously showed up #3, but the page itself is no longer indexed. No manual action, but a definite drop in traffic. She did go in and change her title tag, and almost instantly fell out of the search results. It was then changed back, but the visibility was not restored. Nothing else has changed. Any insight is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 

ChiSkyline

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Thanks, Scott.

I'm not sure why they changed the title tag other than to experiment.
 

JoshuaMackens

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No issues with canonical?

No issues with robots.txt?

No issues with a noindex, nofollow directive on the page itself?

No issues with x meta robots telling Google not to index the page?
 

Eric Rohrback

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Most of the time something like this happens to a single page, it's due to one of the factors Joshua pointed out.

It's always the simple errors like this that mess things up :p
 

sdynamo

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So the problem was caused by canonical issue? And the page has been indexed again to previous position?

I understand all other hints Joshua pointed out but never really grasp how canonical works, or in what situation the tag should be deployed.

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Yoast has a great primer on Canonicals.

There's even a rundown of common problems:

There is a multitude of cases out there showing that a wrong rel=canonical implementation can lead to huge issues. I know of several sites that had the canonical on their homepage point to an article and completely lost their home page from the search results. There are more things you shouldn’t do with rel=canonical. Let me list the most important ones... (read the rest)

The core idea though, if there's a few different versions of a page, rel=canonical lets you tell Google which is the 'right' one. The down side, if you use it wrong, you might be telling Google that a given page actually isn't the version you want Google to pay attention to at all, effectively scrubbing the page from the index. That could be what the poster found in this thread's case.
 

sdynamo

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Ah... using Yoast's plugin but never pay attention to its canonical function. :)
Never have the need I guess, always go 301 route.

I have more questions regarding canonical, but will just have it in separate thread. Thanks James!

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JoshuaMackens

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Ah... using Yoast's plugin but never pay attention to its canonical function. :)
Never have the need I guess, always go 301 route.

I have more questions regarding canonical, but will just have it in separate thread. Thanks James!

Sent from my ASUS_Z00AD using Tapatalk

The most prevalent issue people have that I've seen where they need a canonical is with ecommerce pages where products have dynamic URL's created for one product and could have thousands of them. In that case, a canonical makes more sense so you don't have to code 1,000 301's.

Also, media companies should use them when they have republishing rights to an original work of content. In this case they don't want SEO traffic, it's just a good piece of content they want to use to provide more value to their readership.

Those are the two issues I can think of when you would want to use a canonical over a 301.
 
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