One Stop Blog - Most Important & Latest Updates Aug 2020

I didn't want to do it but finally, I had no other options left. I was made to take this decision!

AKSINDIBLOG.COM has now moved from Self-hosted WordPress to Google Blogger Platform

This is one of the most shocking decisions taken by me in the last 10 years. 

Below are some of the major reasons why I had to make this sudden switch to Blogger platform:

  • Repeated technical issues with the previous site
  • Poor support from my last web hosting company
  • Almost nil organic traffic from Google from last 4 months
  • Zero indexing of any new posts in Google from last 4 months
  • Lots of coverage issues in Google Search Console

I had tried my best to resolve all the above-listed issues at the earliest but to my dismay, I couldn't. 

In fact, the situation got worse with time. 

And eventually, I had to take 2 biggest decisions in quick succession:

  1. Cancel my last web hosting account
  2. Switch over to Google Blogger Platform to keep the site running

It was one of the hardest decisions in my blogging career.  

Everything was going fine till April 2020.

And then afterwards, it was a total nightmare for me... 

Below is the detailed explanation of the same. 

I am putting the full post here which I had published on 18th May 2020 on my previous blog which was hosted on the WordPress platform.

You can clearly make out the issues I was facing on my previous blog.

Its been long since I had come out with any new post on this blog. The reason for the same is Google Crawling and Indexing Issues on this blog.

Yes, it’s been almost a month now and the problem remains the same. This blog has seen a sudden drastic drop in traffic from Google in the last month and it continues… It is unprecedented and to my utter disappointment, I am unable to find the root cause for the same except making some assumptions. The biggest worry has been the failed Google indexation of several posts on this blog dated as old as 2017.

Google Crawling Problem

When Did Google Indexing Issues Start?

The indexing problem was right there from the very beginning of the year 2019. But initially, I didn’t pay much attention to the same as I was sure about the fact that eventually the posts will be crawled and indexed successfully by Google and other search engines. And it all happened as per my expectation. But as time progressed, indexing issues started cropping up more frequently especially with Google.

It was only after when I had published my last post on Android Video Editing Apps, I became more alert and concerned regarding Google indexing issues. The post was not indexed in Google even after 2 weeks. That really raised the bell and then I had to jump into the action. Unfortunately, all my efforts have gone in vain. The post is still waiting to be indexed along with several other posts on this blog. The situation seems to be pretty perplexed at the moment. I am totally clueless!!

How Did I Discover Google Crawling and Indexing Issues?

GSC – Google Search Console is the only place where you get all these data regarding Google crawling and indexing. I have discovered hundreds of issues related to Google crawling and indexing in the past 10-15 days. And because of these issues, Google has excluded most of my post pages from indexing. It is a terrible feeling!!

The maximum number of exclusion has resulted from Google Crawl Anomaly. The crawl anomaly is a case when Google crawler encounters server related issues while crawling the pages. These server issues can be 4XX or 5XX connection error related as far as I know. But it is still not clear. As per Google, “something had happened but not known what”

After discovering these crawl anomalies, I had also inquired my hosting provider to check if it was their server fault. Time and again, they have denied any issue with their servers. Instead, I am advised to check for all these issues from Google. I really do not know whom to blame for all these messes. Certainly, …someone has to take the blame…but who??

Yes, I do have one strong reason to blame my hosting company for one of the other major issues on my site. It is related to the SSL certificate. I had not bought any SSL certificate for my site till date and surprisingly, SSL was still active on my site without my knowledge. Yes, I could have never known about it had I not been through the Google Search Console coverage report.

For Google, HTTP and HTTPS pages, both are different. If your site is loading with both HTTP and HTTPS then you are obviously making it easy for Google to penalize you for duplicate content. The same thing has happened to my site. The free SSL which was active for my site has resulted in 2 different URLs – one starting with HTTP and other with HTTPS. Though Google was picking the right canonical for the pages, the site was still generating a different canonical URL which had eventually led Google to penalize my site for duplicate content.

The problem still would have been solved a long back if there was any sort of redirection applied on the site to redirect users from HTTPS to HTTP. But since, I was kept in the dark…I could do nothing about it. The situation got worse with the time and now, I have 60 odd pages to check and fix for duplicate content-related issues.

The only good thing to happen now is the removal of the free SSL certificate from my site. The hosting company has removed the free SSL after I brought it up to their notice. They really didn’t know about it…Gosh!!!

Apart from Crawl Anomaly and Duplicate Content issues, all other issues are not so concerning to me because I know I can fix it easy and quick.

I would also like to point out one more thing regarding GSC. Google Search Console seems to be buggy. While I understand its importance, I also feel that there are few bugs in its features especially with the sitemap fetching. Every time I have tried submitting my sitemap, I see the same fetch issue.

The site is also failing in Google Mobile-Friendly Test even after being responsive. So much of issues at one time. Things are really getting out of control.

How to Troubleshoot Google Site Crawling and Indexing Issues?

Well, it is not easy considering the number of issues I have to deal with presently. Though I have been able to solve the duplicate content issue to a great extent, it is mostly the crawl anomaly issues which is troubling me a lot. I have been in touch with my hosting company regarding the same but it seems that it is of no use. All blame is being shifted to Google.

I really do not know what to do now. In the last 4-5 days, I have tried to make several updates and changes on my site to check if it could solve the crawling and indexing issues.

Below are some of the steps I have taken:

  • Updated robots.txt
  • Update .htaccess file
  • Removed all necessary plugins
  • Deleted several posts with thin content
  • Removed, added and re-verified property in Google Search Console
  • Created new sitemap and submitted it to GSC
  • Got security firewall flushed out several times

Duh…still no luck!!

Now, the other option I am thinking to explore is to contact people who are Digital Marketing or SEO experts to look into my matter and do the needful. Obviously, it won’t be free of cost. Fine, I am ready to bear that provided I am getting a positive result.

And finally, the last option I have is to change my present web hosting company to a better one. Though I still do not see any major issues with my current hosting service provider. But with repeated crawl anomalies, I have been made to believe that something is definitely wrong with my web servers. Surprisingly, there are no such issues with the other popular search engines like Bing, Yahoo or Yandex.

A thing to be noted here is that the current crawling issues are specific to Google Smartphone Bot. This is understood from the fact that Google has moved to mobile-first indexing. Sites which are still not optimized for mobile devices are likely to face indexing issues. But, why my site…I am totally clueless!!

Anyway, I am still busy with the fix. Not sure for how long. Hopefully, things should be fine soon. 

Post a Comment (0)
Previous Post Next Post