How I Google Slapped Myself!
So there sure has been a lot of talk this week about Google slaps and the changes they made in regards to “content farms.” I thought I would share with you guys how I managed to kill one of my highest rated pages on my blogs today by just not thinking through my actions before I did them.
It is not fun to admit you were stupid but to be honest I totally was. So hopefully if I share my story I can help one of you not repeat my mistakes.
This may sound a little strange since most of you know this blog is about internet marketing and that is what I usually blog about. However one of my top rated keywords on Google is “Bank of America Down.”
Last January I tried to log into my Bank of America account and the site was down. After a little internet research I realize it wasn’t my issue but instead the site was actually down. So I did a little Googling and no one was talking about it.
So I wrote a blog post that went extremely viral with the little bit of information I was able to gather on the event. The page was all over the internet. It was being re-tweeted all over and actually even managed to get a link from Huffington Post. It was a pretty spectacular day for my little blog.
So basically every time since that day that the Bank of America site would go down my site would see huge traffic surges. Many times I didn’t notice it and would not know until afterwards basically by checking analytics.
Fast forward to today! Bank of America the last two days has seen its biggest outage ever with almost going on 48 hours now. So obviously my blog has been going crazy…so I decided if people are landing here looking for information I should help them get some. So I used the same well ranked blog post and added an update or today at the top.
Then it dawned on me I really want this at the top of my blog today instead of buried 20 deep since it has been on Google Trends all day. That is where I jacked myself up. I knew there were two ways to get the blog to the top A) download a “sticky” plugin which allows me to pick what posts stay at the top or B) Change the date to today’s date. I decided B was quicker so I did it.
My WordPress blog has links that look like this www.domain.com/year/month/postname. Which is unusual because I usually get rid of year and month in my permalinks and only use post name but I guess not on this blog.
So when I changed the date….I KILLED THE LINK ON PAGE 1 OF GOOGLE!!!!! Seriously I did. Everyone hitting that link was getting a page not found.
I have since put up another page with the old date and a java re-direct. So it is now forwarding but I figure essentially the forwarding it most likely going to kill the ranking of that page. So even though eyeballs are making it to the right place now I am not sure that search engines will.
So long story short…if you have a well ranked page don’t do anything that can cause the link to change because trust me if you do once you realize it you will be freaking out like I was!
Wow, what a day! When I posted above I thought I was done but the method I used to re-direct and wp permalink structure were just sending me in circles. Ultimately the fix for the problem that actually worked without complication was a 301 re-direct in .htaccess from page to page. The code is below, hope it helps someone else.
301 Re-direct To Move a Single Page:
Redirect 301 /oldpage.html http://www.example.com/newpage.html
301 Re-direct for a Whole Domain:
Redirect 301 / http://www.example.com/