Two SEO Checks You Must Do Now

stopEver wonder how easy it is to lose your ranking in Google and Bing? Unfortunately,  a few of our clients found out how easy it was to lose ranking last week.

Both methods of losing ranking happened without any overt signs. However, two simple checks can easily spot and quickly remedy the situation…

First Check

Go to Google, and type this into the search box:

site:www.Your_Domain.com

(replacing “www.Your_Domain.com” with your actual domain name)

Go ahead and do it now, I’ll wait…. :)

If all is well, you should see the number of results be close to the total number of pages in your site, and, more importantly, the descriptions under the first 5 to 10 results are in-line with what you’d expect.

If, on the other hand, you see descriptions for many of your pages including things like Viagra or custom knock-off watches, it’s likely your site was hacked by SEO spammers who insert code into your “.htaccess” file to redirect only Google and Bing/Yahoo to special pages optimized for whatever it is they are trying to sell.

hacked-site

Google Results (click image to enlarge)

You and your visitors won’t see these “special” pages, but Google and Bing will, and will likely drop your ranking like a rock thrown into a pond.

Second Check

In your web browser, go to this URL:

http://www.Your_Domain.com/robots.txt

(replacing “www.Your_Domain.com” with your actual domain name)

If you see the following Disallow line, that’s a problem:

Disallow: /

That tells the search engines to *NOT* index your entire website. We had a few clients recently who had mistakenly put this in their robots.txt file and it caused Google to drop them from search results.

Other Disallow lines like:

Disallow: /cgi-xyz/sb/
Disallow: /logs/

are normal in most cases, and not cause for alarm.

These two simple checks take less than a minute, but can save you hours of work, prevent the loss of ranking, and more importantly, prevent the loss of sales and revenue.

If you’re hosted with us, and you’re not sure if the results of either check is correct, just let us know, and we’ll take a look.

photo credit

 

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One Comment

  1. steve says:

    Thanks for the info. More along those same lines would be welcome.

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