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Common Google Problems

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Webpages from my site are displayed without a title or a description

A common situation in Google is when pages appear in search results with the page's URL instead of its title, no description text is displayed, nor a link to the page's cache version.

This type of a search result will look like:

similar pages

You can see that this result does not contain the link to the cache that is displayed in regular results.

First, in order to calm down all of you that are stressed by this situation, this display is not a result of a Google penalty. Even the Google pages themselves are displayed in this format (perform a search for "" in order to see for yourselves).

This event can occur for several reasons:

The page is blocked from scanning by the robots.txt file: When there's a link from a page in Google's index to a page that is blocked from scanning by a robots.txt file or a Robots meta tag.

Error message during scanning: When Google's scan robot attempted to read the page, it received an error message (server was unavailable, the page returned an error message etc).

The page hasn't been scanned yet: Sometimes Google recognizes a link to a new page that does not appear in its index yet, but this page still hasn't been scanned by the scan robot.

When you encounter this problem, you should check your robots.txt file. If the file is in order, all there is left to do is wait for Google's robot's next scan.

Duality of the site with "www" and without "www"

In Google's eyes, your site with "www" and without "www" is actually regarded as two separate sites (although Google puts much effort into recognizing that these are still the same website). In order to avoid a situation where your page is listed twice (and then Google randomly removes one of the copies), you should make sure that pages that have no "www" are automatically directed to the pages with "www" (or vice versa).

There are several ways to perform this direction:

  • Through your hosting company
  • Through the htaccess file (if your site is hosted on a Unix or Linux server)
  • Through code lines that are added to your PHP or ASP

The first option is clear - contact your service provider and ask him to perform the direction.

The second option requires adding code to the htaccess file on your site:

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^

RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R=permanent,L]

The third option is by inserting code to your ASP or PHP pages.

ASP code example:

if lcase(request.servervariables("HTTP_HOST")) = "" then

   Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently"

   Response.AddHeader "Location", ""

end if

This code performs a scan of the origin domain. In case this domain is, a permamnt redirection to is performed. This redirection should be performed before other writing on the page, meaning before the HTML and HEAD tags.

At the end of the redirection you should make sure that it is actually executed, and that it is permanent and not a temporary redirection. You should also make sure that the redirection does not refer all pages to the homepage:

An example of a wrong redirection: ->

An example of a good redirection: ->

A tool for checking a page's or site's HTTP header:

HTTP status code checker

A customer that couldn't find you is your competitor's customer..

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