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Your results in Google are plummeting. vB5 is horrible for SEO.

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  • #16
    The real reason for the drop was the change in URL structure that someone seems to have done by accident:

    Code:
    http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/forum/vbulletin-5-connect/vbulletin-5-connect-feedback/3980385-your-results-in-google-are-plummeting-vb5-is-horrible-for-seo
    There are now two instances of /forum in the URL. So it seems that the software has been installed in a subdirectory where the old forum was installed, resulting in every single URL being changed.

    When you change old URLs (some which were perhaps 10 years old or more) google drops you to the bottom of the search rankings, considering you a new page. Secondly, google will have to reindex all the millions of posts with the new URLs which will take time, and even once that's done they will have lost all their old incoming links (since the URL has changed), as well as the age benefits.

    So I would say this drop has nothing to do with the vb5 software (yet), but everything to do with an accidental mistake while installing the new software to a new folder. To find out whether vb5 performs well or poorly with SEO and old links, etc., the software would have to be installed in the exact same folder with exact same links. Then we could accurately compare what the effects on it are.

    At this point someone should try to move the forum to the old location and check that the URL structures all match 100% with the old URLs. But from past experience, once you mess up google doesn't give you back your rankings even after correcting things.
    Last edited by rmd708; Thu 4th Jul '13, 6:56am.

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    • #17
      Oh that has nothing to do with this. This is an authoritative site. That change happened over 6 months ago. Plenty of time for google to update.

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      • OhioDave
        OhioDave commented
        Editing a comment
        Also the number indexed should be growing based on your theory. If google has dropped all the old pages and is reindexing then why is it still loosing about 10k pages indexed er day despite the forum growing? And all the URLs returned in google are of the new format.

    • #18
      Originally posted by rmd708 View Post
      There are now two instances of /forum in the URL. So it seems that the software has been installed in a subdirectory where the old forum was installed, resulting in every single URL being changed.
      Check this out: http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/forum...64#post3980564

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      • #19
        Originally posted by TLMD View Post
        Or this one ...http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/forum...76#post3980476

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        • #20
          All old urls, from vB4 are redirected to the correct url in vB5.

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          • #21
            Originally posted by Zachery View Post
            All old urls, from vB4 are redirected to the correct url in vB5.
            What about old urls from vb3?

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            • #22
              The URLs didn't change from vb3 to 4 so those should also redirect. this week the indexed pages is only reporting 387,000 which I believe to be incorrect at the time I checked. I'll check again tomorrow and see if the result is different/higher

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              • #23
                Originally posted by OhioDave View Post
                5-24-13 to 5-31-13 Search results returned about 2,560,000 results
                6-1-13 to 6-8-13 Search results returned about 2,225,000 results
                6-9-13 to 6-16-13 Search results returned about 1,975,000 results
                6-17-13 to 6-23-13 Search results returned about 1,761,000 results
                6-24-13 to 6-29-13 (present day) Search results returned about 1,650,000 results

                Yes we can debate this metric as a measure of SEO all you want, but the fact remains that if pages aren't indexed, then they can't be returned as results for search queries.

                Anyone else with similar experience.
                The number of pages a site has in the index isn't a very useful measure of SEO. Sites used to try to get as many pages in the index that they could, but ever since Panda, the general trend has been for sites to decrease their footprints in favor of a more curated approach.

                Let me put this in the context of vBulletin. If you remember back to vBulletin 3.x, every post has a corresponding showpost.php URL, which is linked from the post number in the upper right hand corner. The default vBulletin 3.x install has that link nofollowed because it's essentially duplicate content. One of the things vBSEO did was remove that nofollow because the idea was "the more pages in the index, the better". vB4 also removed the nofollow, but instead of displaying just the linked post, it displayed the whole page, with focus on the individual post (which is technically duplicate content that the canonical URL on the page should have taken care of) The thought now has shifted the opposite way, that all of those lower-value pages don't add value and should be removed, which is why in vb5 they replace those showpost pages with an anchor on the showthread pages (read: an intentional reduction in pages on the site)

                Long story short, the number of pages in the index are going down deliberately, and that's a very good thing.

                A better metric then number of pages in the index would be the number of visitors from Google. I understand that you don't have access to this information on vbulletin.com, but I can assure you that over the period you have been tracking, there has not been a loss in Google visits to this forum.

                Originally posted by rmd708 View Post
                When you change old URLs (some which were perhaps 10 years old or more) google drops you to the bottom of the search rankings, considering you a new page. Secondly, google will have to reindex all the millions of posts with the new URLs which will take time, and even once that's done they will have lost all their old incoming links (since the URL has changed), as well as the age benefits.
                This is just plain incorrect. If you change the URL of a page and 301 redirect the old URL to the new URL, Google doesn't miss a beat. If anyone on this site has installed vBSEO, they can attest to this. When you install vBSEO (specifically on a vB3.x site), you're 301 redirecting every URL on the site-- millions of pages for large forums-- and Google never has any issue with this. I've installed vBSEO on forums that receive 100k+ visits from Google a day, and never lost a single visit because we changed the URL.

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                • OhioDave
                  OhioDave commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I get that pages indexed isn't the perfect metric to measure the SEO success, and it is indeed the traffic that matters.

                  But how will you get traffic when your pages indexed is dropped to around 1 million and below, which it's rapidly approaching.

                • DisasterDotCom
                  DisasterDotCom commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Slightly off.. rule of thumb is that 301's and 302's carry about 10% less link juice. Not a huge deal except for short tail keywords.

              • #24
                Originally posted by OhioDave View Post
                The URLs didn't change from vb3 to 4 so those should also redirect. this week the indexed pages is only reporting 387,000 which I believe to be incorrect at the time I checked. I'll check again tomorrow and see if the result is different/higher
                The URLs did change from vb3 to vb4. In vb3, the URLs were in the format of http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?t=xxxxxx. In vb4, they went to "SEO Friendly" URLs. vB5 should 301 redirect both vb3 and vb4 URLs to the new, vb5 URL.

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                • #25
                  Originally posted by Dick View Post

                  The URLs did change from vb3 to vb4. In vb3, the URLs were in the format of http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?t=xxxxxx. In vb4, they went to "SEO Friendly" URLs. vB5 should 301 redirect both vb3 and vb4 URLs to the new, vb5 URL.
                  It depends on if you wanted that, its an option in the AdminCP, either way, vb5 will map whatever your choice is on the upgrader.

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                  • #26
                    Originally posted by Wayne Luke View Post
                    From what I understand and have been told, results are actually expected to drop as Google indexes the canonical URLs as well as the NEXT and PREV relative links in the system. This means that individual pages of a topic are less likely to be indexed. Indexing multiple pages of a topic, actually bleeds search relevance from the topic as a whole. So while there may be fewer page, the overall relevance of each page will be higher. vBulletin 3 and 4 were high in "duplicate content" links due to the indexing of multiple pages.
                    You mean pagination and such when done correct it will find more and in the correct order see http://googlewebmastercentral.blogsp...d-relprev.html

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                    • #27
                      Here with video http://googlewebmastercentral.blogsp...lnext-and.html P.s on ipad i cant edit my post it does not load the text that was there all ready.

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                      • #28
                        How low will you guys let the indexed pages get before you realize you have major SEO problems with vbulletin 5. you're now at exactly 1.5 million pages indexed and dropping. so even if you got rid of duplicate URLs which I'm sure you didn't. You still have more than 1.5 threads/pages and user profiles...

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                        • #29
                          Did you do site:www.vbulletin.com or site:www.vbulletin.com/forum because the last one will return only 1.48million.

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                          • #30
                            I use site:vbulletin.com or site:www.vbulletin.com they return the same number always but I like to double check them just to make sure.

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