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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Issues Emerge From My Google Webmaster Tools Account

I checked the stats of my Joomla! website lately from Google Webmaster Tools account. I was really shocked to see all the negative things showing up there: Not found(5), Duplicate meta descriptions(9), Short meta descriptions(3), and Duplicate title tags(25). And most of these issues were caused by the forum that I've set up for my Joomla! website earlier. My main concern now is to find solutions for these problems.

How to fix pages not found problems?

Usually these pages are not existing so I just ask Google to remove the urls for me. This is how I've accomplished this task.

  • Log in to my Google Webmaster Tools account, click on my website/Diagnostics/Web crawl/Not found to find out the urls.
  • Click on Tools/Remove URLs/New Remove Request.
  • Select Individual URLs: web pages, images, or other files ...
  • Click on Next>> button.
  • A new page shows up, enter the url that was listed as not found in the text field, and make sure you only keep the portion after http://www.yoursite.com/.
  • Choose Google web search results.
  • Click Add button/Submit Removal Request.
  • Repeat the above steps for other urls to be removed.
It will tell you that your url removal is pending and will take 3-5 days to finish the process. So you need to check back to see the update. Alternatively you may create a 404 pages for those not found pages.

How to fix duplicate meta descriptions and/or duplicate title tags and/or short meta descriptions?

Basically I can use Sh404sef to solve these problems. See this post here: How to Optimize Your Joomla! Website?. However, some of these problems here were generated by Fireboard, Sh404sef does not seem to be able to pick up the urls, so I can't rewrite them to be more search engine friendly. See one of the examples here: http://www.internetoutput.com/Forum/?catid=11&func=credits. I will find a solution for this, so stay tune...

Update: I use a robots.txt to fix forum problems. Read more from this article here: What Should be Included in a Robots.txt?


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