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The BKV website ranked as high as #3 for animated email, but then lost rankings completely. I believe the issue is because Google did not follow a 301 redirect quickly enough before following a robots.txt disallow rule for the old URL. I worked with our web development team on migrating the platform, but 301s in the HTACCESS were acting funny, not working the way we wanted them to. The site had switched hands from many different developers over the years and people weren’t sure why certain things redirected and other did not. There seemed no way to address all duplicate content using redirects, so we placed a disallow in the robots.txt to clean up any duplicate content that the 301s did not address.
Background History of Site Migration and Animated Email
- We migrated the blog from Expression Engine to WordPress in June.
- We changed the directory structure and used the appropriate 301 redirect rule in the HTACCESS.
- The rule did not work for all posts and redirected some URLs that should be errors to live posts.
- The old structure allowed Google to double list every blog post under two different URLs.
- To eliminate duplicate content, we used the robots.txt to disallow one version of the URLs.
Rankings Shuffled After Site Migration to WordPress
In particular we noticed rankings for animated email went from #4 to #67 to zilch.
Despite the 301 malfunctions, I found that http://www.bkv.com/blog/comments/animation-in-email-marketing/ was 301 redirected to http://www.bkv.com/blog/animation-in-email-marketing/.
SEO Strategy and Theory
My theory is that Google did not have time to re-index the 301 redirected URLs before disallowing the page.
I have asked the developer to remove the disallow line and I will ping Google to re-index the old URL.
I have also place a link to both URL in this blog post. That should be enough to get the page re-indexed and hopefully ranking in its old position. Even though a month has passed, the blog was old in the first place to be ranking so highly. I suspect it can rank page 1 again. Let’s see…