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XF 1.4 Lost ranking on Google when upgrading to 1.4.6 and changing style

#1
Hi, recently I upgraded my forum to 1.4.6. At the same time I changed style to Antiquark by @Mike Creuzer. But then something happened. I went from being ranked as #3/#4 on Google to being ranked as #15. I searched the Internet for a while and found a post with some great tips than pointed me in the right direction. I logged in to Webmaster Tools and found errors related to the mobile style (see picture below).

My question now is what's causing this?

Capture.PNG
 
#5
I guess around march/april. But you are right about the graph. The trend is downward. But I just that all these errors had something to do with the lost ranking position.
 

popowich

Active member
#6
The recent rankings update from Google only would have affected mobile searches.

When you're checking for your rankings are you doing both desktop or mobile searches?

You're moving in the right direction. It takes time for Google to find that the pages have been fixed.

Wait for the line to level off. Also check the crawler errors etc. Sometimes you'll find problem links that are really OK and you can manually mark them fixed.

A style shouldn't matter if it's only changing colors. If it made on page SEO content types of changes that could affect your rankings.
 
#7
Thanks for great info!

When you're checking for your rankings are you doing both desktop or mobile searches?
So far I have only searched on my desktop. Should I try a mobile search?

You're moving in the right direction. It takes time for Google to find that the pages have been fixed.
I thought Google would update much faster once the underlying issues were gone. But I guess that's not the case.

I used https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and then it turned out that many of the links were OK on mobile devices even though they were marked with an error.
 

Mike Creuzer

Well-known member
#9
Im here for any issues concerning ranking, but you should see an improvement moving to our themes as we apply many material design concepts to our themes that Google looks for as well as decrease http requests amongst many other things. As @popowich kindly pointed out I think you are going in the right direction with those page errors. Google may change your ranking whenever you change anything, but if you are doing things better than you were then I imagine you'll come back up in no time.
 

popowich

Active member
#11
I'd use robots.txt to tell Google and others not to worry about member pages. Disallow and then clear the errors page by page as fixed.

You'll probably need to modify this, but it will give you a sense of the types of pages I say not to crawl (some of these are leftovers from vB too):

User-agent: *
Disallow: /out.php
Disallow: /search.php
Disallow: /includes/
Disallow: /install/
Disallow: /customavatars/
Disallow: /members/
Disallow: /tags/
Disallow: /account/

You may find others as you narrow the list down and find pages that require a login etc and don't need Google alerting about no access.