Using URL rewritting seems to badly impact SEO in 1 website

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haitao
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Using URL rewritting seems to badly impact SEO in 1 website

Post by haitao » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:29 am

Hi!

As an introduction I run a few Joomla! websites and this is only happening on one specific one. Though this is the only problem I have identified so far, it could definitely come from somewhere else.

So when I use different SEO Analysis tools I often get error messages on this website such as site inacessible or 403 or "Your server is reporting that the specific page is not accessible to us (Code 403). Please check that the page URL you have entered is correct, is published, and that there are no problems preventing it's display." while the site is fully reachable.

I took a backup and restored it on a different domain name, disabled the URL rewriting option and I don't have the issue any more. In some cases (I should say depending on the SEO Analyisers) the meta tags are not even accessible. This is a multilingual site using Falang and discussing with the developer didn't seem to incriminate the extension neither.

I would say the template could be at fault as it is the real main difference with all the other sites I manage, but installing it from scratch and checking it doesn't generate the same issue at all.

Does anybody have any suggestion as to what could be the culprit, or how to narrow it down and of course, fixing the issue ? :D

Thank you very much.

ps: oh yes, and I had to completely remove the robots.txt to get the site listed in Google at the beginning...
Last edited by haitao on Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

waarnemer
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Re: Using URL rewritting seems to badly impact SEO in 1 website

Post by waarnemer » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:52 am

If you needed to remove the robots.txt to have it listed, it sounds like a server problem. Robots.txt
Assuming you are on apache. Are you using the .htaccess provided with Joomla!? Are you using the robots.txt provided?

haitao
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Re: Using URL rewritting seems to badly impact SEO in 1 website

Post by haitao » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:10 am

Hi!
Unfortunately I have a few other website running on that same server and they all work (very) well. I did compare and even switch back to the original htaccess.txt provided by the latest Joomla! update (since I have some force redirects for SSL and a few other things - could have been a hidden character?) but no luck.

I ran both sites with and without the htaccess (URL rewriting option option on or off) on sem rush and still get the same issue depending on this option.

Now I'm wondering if it could be 1-2 extensions conflicting but they do not write to the htaccess file so...
And yes robots.txt was the one supplied with Joomla! so is htaccess with a few changes (though, as I just said, removing the changes does nothing).

And last but not least I'm also thinking it could come from the template but moving over to a new template would be quite some work, so maybe I'm keeping that option after everything else? :'(

Thank you for the message anyway, I know it's a real pain to figure that out.

Fred

waarnemer
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Re: Using URL rewritting seems to badly impact SEO in 1 website

Post by waarnemer » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:32 am

Nothing writes to .htaccess. It is a static file. No extension involved here.

Extensions CAN do local php ini changes if your server allows.
You may need to sort that out. Does this site have an extension that is not on the other websites? Check that extension.

By the way... if you can, I'd do the redirect to https:// in the apache hosts file... leave the .htaccess as is.

Also do check your apache access and error logs... (if enabled of course)

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changlee
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Re: Using URL rewritting seems to badly impact SEO in 1 website

Post by changlee » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:59 am

What Google webmasters Search Console tells you about that? Have you submitted an updated sitemap with the final URLs?
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haitao
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Re: Using URL rewritting seems to badly impact SEO in 1 website

Post by haitao » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:03 am

Sorry for the late follow up. It seems the problem is coming from the Joomla! cache. Disabling it fixes my issues with Google.com organic search and probably everything else (am I being too optimistic?). I didn't check the logs as disabling the (joomla!) cache from the Global configuration settings has done the job.

Now how do I drill down to that issue and resolve it to enable caching again?
Thank you.

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Re: Using URL rewritting seems to badly impact SEO in 1 website

Post by changlee » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:54 am

What is the difference with Joomla cache enabled? The Urls are exactly the same.
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haitao
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Re: Using URL rewritting seems to badly impact SEO in 1 website

Post by haitao » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:00 am

Right. But suddenly Google is getting the meta description and other fields which seemed inaccessible before. Likewise the site is finally on Google 1st page for specific keywords which we worked on, while it was badly lagging for the past 6 months.

I hope that gives you a better understanding of my headaches ;-).
Thank you.

haitao
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Re: Using URL rewritting seems to badly impact SEO in 1 website

Post by haitao » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:17 am

ok. Took a look at the error log and this is what I am getting:
[Tue Aug 27 11:29:20.422880 2019] [autoindex:error] [pid 270412] [client 66.249.82.164:55041] AH01276: Cannot serve directory /home/xxxxxxx/public_html/en/: No matching DirectoryIndex (index.html.var,index.htm,index.html,index.shtml,index.xhtml,index.wml,index.perl,index.pl,index.plx,index.ppl,index.cgi,index.jsp,index.js,index.jp,index.php4,index.php3,index.php,index.phtml,default.htm,default.html,home.htm,index.php5,Default.html,Default.htm,home.html) found, and server-generated directory index forbidden by Options directive

but en/ is supposed to be a redirect for the multilingual version of the site. Besides the page gets served without (can I say that?) any problem...

Thank you.

Fred

waarnemer
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Re: Using URL rewritting seems to badly impact SEO in 1 website

Post by waarnemer » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:57 am

On each change you need to clear your local servers cache (joomla cache, server cache, whatever there is locally).

Cache can always be an issue... server sided cache on a dynamic site can have a lot of issues. It may also depend on the server you are running J! from.

Too much ways to have a local cache to dive deep.. you may read this https://docs.joomla.org/Cache


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