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

Discussion in 'XenForo Questions and Support' started by fredrikse, May 11, 2015.

  1. fredrikse

    fredrikse Active Member

    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?

  2. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    You will need to post in the style thread if the issues are related to the style.
  3. fredrikse

    fredrikse Active Member

    Re-post or can the thread be moved?
  4. popowich

    popowich Active Member

    When did you make the change?

    The graph you attached shows the number of errors decreasing, not increasing.
    Mike Creuzer likes this.
  5. fredrikse

    fredrikse Active Member

    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.
  6. popowich

    popowich Active Member

    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.
    Mike Creuzer likes this.
  7. fredrikse

    fredrikse Active Member

    Thanks for great info!

    So far I have only searched on my desktop. Should I try a mobile search?

    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.
  8. fredrikse

    fredrikse Active Member

    It could be the member profiles causing access denied errors. I saw many of those among the pages.

  9. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    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.
    fredrikse likes this.
  10. fredrikse

    fredrikse Active Member

    Thanks for replying. I guess I just have to give it some more time.
  11. popowich

    popowich Active Member

    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.

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