Do 'not selected' pages in index stats cause dramatic drop in ranking?

6 replies
  • SEO
  • |
All was going reasonably well with my website until 28th of October when suddenly all of my keywords lost their ranking (no more impressions) and I have virtually no visitors through google anymore.
This happened before a year ago when I had lots of error pages but I have fixed that long ago with 301 redirects.

- I checked my stats in google webmaster tools and have no crawl errors, no configuration errrors and nothing wrong with my html etc. - all looks perfectly healthy
- I applied for reconsideration and was told that all is well with my webiste.
- I had a bit of duplicate content (same 3 pictures on each of my pages) but I have removed that a few weeks ago - before all this happened
- I checked all the webmaster guide-lines in google webmaster tools and nothing appears wrong with my site.

There is only one thing: I have 75 pages indexed but on 'advanced index stats' I see that google crawled a maximum of 660 pages (570 'not selected)'. Every week there are more and more pages that are 'not selected'. I don't no what these pages could be. I do not produce error pages anymore as I did when I was building the website and knew very little.

Does anybody know if these 'not selected' pages are causing a problem? And if yes, how to get rid of them?

Or any other suggestion why this sudden drop may happen?
#dramatic #drop #index #pages #ranking #selected #stats
  • Profile picture of the author pjman
    I see that a lot on my sites that were hit by panda. It usually indicates that you either have a heavy scraper issue on your content, your scraping somebody, or a canonical issue.

    I was trying to save my panda sites until I saw how those sites consisted of 75% "not selected" and realize it's an impossible task to get all those scrapped pages under control.
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    • Profile picture of the author Corinna
      Hi Pjman
      thanks for the prompt reply.

      I don't really understand what you are saying - only that you think, yes, those 'not selected pages' may have something to do with being dropped by google.

      Could you be so kind to elaborate a bit more - any info would be appreciated. At the moment I don't have a clue what to do.

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      • Profile picture of the author Corinna
        I don't know what a scraper issue is, or how I could possibly scraping somebody (who???) or what a canonical issue is.

        I would not even know where to find all those 600 pages. In my website there are only those 75 pages that a indexed with google. Where do all these 600 pages come from?

        Where are they? Google crawled them - so they must be somewhere. Why do they not show up on my control panel of my website, where I could delete them?

        Any info would be much appreciated. thanks
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      • Profile picture of the author paulgl
        You are mistaken about duplicate content. The WF has the
        same header and footer images over and over...but

        "Not selected" are pages that google finds are the same as
        others, or point/redirect to others.

        If this count grows, somewhere you/someone has tweaked
        something that causes many pages to point/redirect to
        the same page.

        There are a few things that can cause that.
        I know nothing about your site, so I can't even guess.
        You could have done something as basic as changing
        urls to canonicals, to your site auto-creating many
        ways of getting to the same page.

        You need to do more checking.

        Just one more reason that I can't stress hand coding for
        basic article/posts websites. Or use blogspot, or at
        least a pro CMS and not wordpress.

        Just an after thought. 301 redirects were never meant to be
        used that way. To fix errors. Maybe you did not do the 301
        correctly. In fact, google goes into detail on how to use
        the 301, especially making sure it is as close to a 1 to 1 swap
        as possible. Then we could start talking about old link structure
        vs. new link structure, folders, etc. One more reason why it's
        not a good idea to use 301 except in certain cases. 404
        errors may be even more prevalent, and, could cause google to
        think other things as well. People can create quite a mess.

        A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.


        If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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        • Profile picture of the author Corinna
          A year ago, when I was building my site I accidentally produced many error pages e.g. through mispelling the title tag and then correcting it. Or through moving pages around on my site and changing urls.

          I did not know then that this a bad thing to do.

          Anyways, google sandboxed me and I got myself a plugin that automatically redirects all these 404 error pages to my hompages via 301 redirects.

          I had no issues since.

          I don't know which error pages are being redirected or how to access them to delete them directly.

          Also, I do not produce error pages any more: yet the number of the 'not selected' pages has been climbing absolutely steadily week by week. Something is not right.

          But who could I ask?
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          • Profile picture of the author Corinna
            Hi paulgl
            yes, I have a'little knowledge', in fact I have only 'little knowledge'. But what I am to do - I have to learn on the job.

            I seem to have resolved the canonical issue by downloading a plug-in called 'no duplicates'. I hope this will help.

            I am sure I also have an scaping issue as my content appears on many very crappy looking sites - some slightly pornographic. (I write about soulmates but nothing about sex)

            Does anybody know what to do about this scraping?
            In which way does it harm you?
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