Diagnosing technical SEO problems before Google does





Blog Date

June 2, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Diagnosing technical SEO problems before Google does

The Curious Case of the Vanishing Webpages

As an SEO consultant, I’ve seen my fair share of technical issues that can make even the savviest of webmasters pull their hair out. But one problem, in particular, has always fascinated me – the case of the vanishing webpages. You know, those pages that seem to disappear from Google’s index, leaving you scratching your head and wondering, “What in the world happened?”

Well, my friends, today I’m going to let you in on a little secret: diagnosing these technical SEO problems before Google does is not only possible, but it can also be a game-changer for your website’s performance. So, grab a cup of coffee (or a cold one, depending on the time of day), and let’s dive into the world of proactive SEO troubleshooting.

The Googlebot’s Curious Path

Picture this: Googlebot, the ever-curious web crawler, makes its way through your website, following a winding path of links, buttons, and JavaScript-driven interactions. Now, here’s the thing – Googlebot’s experience isn’t always the same as a human user’s. Sometimes, it can get tripped up by technical hiccups that are invisible to the naked eye.

As Martin Splitt from Google mentioned in a recent interview, the path Googlebot follows when visiting a page can have a significant impact on its decision to index that page. And that’s where we, as SEO experts, come in.

Peeling Back the Layers

Imagine you’re a detective, tasked with solving the mystery of the vanishing webpages. Your first step would be to peel back the layers, uncovering the hidden clues that could be the root cause of the problem.

One of the most crucial aspects to investigate is how Google decides whether to index a specific page. According to Martin Splitt, this decision is based on a combination of factors, including the robots.txt file, the robots meta tags in the HTML, and the actual content of the page.

So, the first thing we need to do is to take a deep dive into our website’s technical setup, ensuring that our robots.txt file is properly configured and that our robots meta tags are accurately reflecting our indexing preferences.

Unraveling the Crawl Budget Mystery

But the story doesn’t end there. Another key factor in the indexing puzzle is the concept of crawl budget – the amount of time and resources that Googlebot is willing to invest in crawling and rendering your website.

As Martin Splitt shared in an upcoming interview, understanding and identifying crawl budget issues can be crucial for both small and large websites. For smaller sites, it might be a matter of ensuring that every page is easily accessible and optimized for quick rendering. For larger sites, it’s all about prioritizing the most important content and optimizing the crawl experience.

Mastering the JavaScript Conundrum

But wait, there’s more! In today’s world of dynamic, JavaScript-powered websites, the challenges don’t stop at the robots.txt and crawl budget. We also need to consider how Googlebot handles the rendering of our JavaScript-heavy pages.

As Martin Splitt explains, there can be a time difference between when Googlebot crawls a page and when it actually renders the JavaScript-driven content. This can lead to some serious headaches, as the content that Googlebot sees may not be the same as what a human user experiences.

Putting It All Together

Alright, now that we’ve uncovered some of the key technical SEO challenges that can lead to the dreaded “vanishing webpage” problem, it’s time to put it all together and devise a proactive strategy to stay one step ahead of Google.

First and foremost, it’s essential to regularly audit your website’s technical setup, ensuring that your robots.txt file, robots meta tags, and JavaScript-driven content are all optimized for Googlebot’s consumption. By using specialized SEO tools to evaluate your JavaScript-based site, you can quickly identify and address any potential issues.

But the proactive approach doesn’t stop there. It’s also crucial to maintain open communication with your development team, keeping them informed of the latest Google updates and best practices for technical SEO. After all, the collaboration between SEOs and developers is key to ensuring that your website is always one step ahead of the game.

The Reward for Your Efforts

So, there you have it, my fellow SEO enthusiasts – the secrets to diagnosing technical SEO problems before Google does. By taking a deep dive into the inner workings of your website, mastering the art of crawl budget optimization, and staying on top of the ever-evolving JavaScript SEO landscape, you can position your Manchester-based SEO agency as the go-to experts for proactive, future-proof website optimization.

Remember, the journey to technical SEO perfection is a never-ending one, but the rewards are well worth the effort. So, grab your magnifying glass, put on your detective hat, and let’s start solving those pesky technical SEO mysteries, one webpage at a time.

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