KieranThomas

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Hi all,

We've recently taken on some new sites and had to update some URLs.

301s redirects were setup as normal. However, we're finding consistently that:

1) Google is updating part of the URL in the SERPs, but not the full URL
2) GSC is not correctly reflecting what's happening in the SERPs

For example:

Let's say we've changed an old URL from:

To a new URL of:

And a 301 is setup accordingly.

Question 1:
What we're seeing in the SERPs is that Google will either:

a) update the existing listing to domainname.co.uk - This website is for sale! - domainname Resources and Information.
In other words, it's just updating the non-www to www part, but not updating the rest of the path.
(Thankfully we have 301s setup to cover that scenario too, so if a user clicks on the SERP result, they are still taken to the new location)

or
b) It completely ignores the redirect and continue to show the listing for the old URL even though GSC says it's crawled the URL since the 301 was introduced

Any ideas why?


Question 2:

At the same time, in GSC the original URL shows as "Indexed, not submitted in sitemap" (which make sense, as that Old URL no longer exists) and yet the new URL isn't being indexed.

Any ideas why?
Normally we would expect the old URL to simply be replaced with the new URL.

Question 3:
Also, in terms of GSC not reflecting what's happening in the SERPs, we're seeing cases where GSC reports some pages as being "Submitted and indexed", and yet when we do a manual search using site:domainname.co.uk - This website is for sale! - domainname Resources and Information. it doesn't show in the SERPs.

Conversely, we've also seen examples of the opposite whereby the page appears in the SERPs if I check manually, but if I use "URL Inspection" in GSC, it says "URL is not on Google"

I wondered initially if this was just a delay/lag between the two, but we're still seeing it for pages which have been visible in the index for 1 month, but GSC is still showing them as "URL is not on Google".

Any ideas as to why there's a mismatch after a month?

Ultimately we're currently finding that new URLs aren't being indexed, or aren't being indexed quickly even with 301 redirects in place, so I'm just trying to find out what's causing the issue.

Thanks
 

keyserholiday

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Honestly, I would revert back and get rid of the www. and 301 redirects. A. if the website has always been non www then there are countless backlinks pointing to the non www. 2nd, there is zero advantage to adding www. You may have made things worse with no payoff here.
 

KieranThomas

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Yeah sadly the devs made the update and we didn't realise until a couple of days after the site went live and we started to see a drop in traffic

The non-www to www was just one example. We're also seeing the same issue with other types of 301s though.
 

keyserholiday

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Yeah sadly the devs made the update and we didn't realise until a couple of days after the site went live and we started to see a drop in traffic

The non-www to www was just one example. We're also seeing the same issue with other types of 301s though.

Have you looked at the rel canonicals? Have you checked the site map? It’s really hard to debug without knowing the website or seeing the issues in the serps.
 

JoyHawkins

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I would check all the internal links on the site. If they are all pointing to the old version, that could likely be the cause.
 

KieranThomas

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Hi Joy :)

Sorry, I should have said, I've already checked that. Our CMS auto-updates internal links when they change.

How long are folks finding it (currently) takes the SERPs to update when using 301s?
 

Justin Mosebach

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@KieranThomas Trying to force Google to recrawl those old URLs with the hopes that it will pick up on the redirects this time. I'd keep the old page XML sitemap live in GSC for a few weeks (no more than a month) to see if it helps... and then remove it from both the website and GSC.
 

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