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Google Webmaster Issue

mamtrader
Posts: 52
Joined: 16 Aug 09
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Google Webmaster Issue

What's up guys,

Having some issues with Google Webmaster Tools. Everything was going great until I was asked to submit my sitemap where instead of getting a big, green tick, Google spits out the following for each of my page url's:

Paths don't match
We've detected that you submitted your Sitemap using a URL path that includes the www prefix (for instance, http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml). However, the URLs listed inside your Sitemap don't use the www prefix (for instance, http://example.com/myfile.htm).


I don't know why this is happening as my site works (and any internal page) regardless of whether I use the www. prefix or not. Does this mean Google views each of my pages separately? If so, should I be worried about duplicate content? Should I use a 301 redirect? I'm unsure what to do here and could really do with some help - does anyobdy know how to fix this?

Just a side note - Could this problem also explain my volatile Google rankings. I seem to rank really well for all of my keywords in Google for a few days and then drop away completely from the SERPS for a few weeks. This pattern keeps repeating itself.

Many thanks in advance for any help - Mike.
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Site Admin
michellerana
Posts: 2372
Joined: 05 May 09
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You need to make sure your site URL has the www prefix.

This is the information taken from the Sitemap error page on how to resolve path mismatch error that includes www

To fix this problem, you should select a preferred domain for your site. This means that you should decide which way you would like URLs from your site to be indexed.

The preferred domain is the one that you would liked used to index your site's pages (sometimes this is referred to as the canonical domain). Links may point to your site using both the www and non-www versions of the URL (for instance, http://www.example.com and http://example.com). The preferred domain is the version that you want used for your site in the search results.

Once you tell us your preferred domain name, we use that information for all future crawls of your site and indexing refreshes. For instance, if you specify your preferred domain as http://www.example.com and we find a link to your site that is formatted as http://example.com, we follow that link as http://www.example.com instead. In addition, we'll take your preference into account when displaying the URLs. If you don't specify a preferred domain, we may treat the www and non-www versions of the domain as separate references to separate pages.

If you would like the URLs from your site to be indexed without the www prefix, delete the Sitemap from your Google Webmaster Tools account and resubmit it using the path without the www prefix (for instance, http://example.com/sitemap.xml). If you use this option, you don't need to modify the URLs inside your Sitemap.

If you would like the URLs from your site to be indexed with the www prefix, you should modify your Sitemap to include www in the URLs listed there, then upload and resubmit your updated Sitemap.




To answer your other question, I don't think the error on your sitemap has affected your ranking. The purpose of the sitemap isn't necessarily to improve rankings, but to help search engines so that they can navigate more easily and index your pages faster. The site map is just a convenient way to inform search engines of new pages, whereas ranking is based on the content of pages and your backlinks.

Google has made some changes in their algorithm so that might be the reason why your site's rankings fluctuate. You'd also see some fluctuations on sites less than a year old because search engines are re-evaluating your site to see if it should remain in their index and what keywords it should rank for.
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Michelle
Customer Support


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mamtrader
Posts: 52
Joined: 16 Aug 09
Trust:
Hi Michelle - thanks for your reply. Everything worked out.

Regarding your response that you didn't think the error on my sitemap affected my rankings: When I type one of my keywords into Google I see my site map page (with the relevent keyowrd in bold beneath) outranking my actual keyword. Is this normal to see? Or is this a clear sign that a deeper problem exists.

In any case, hopefully now that i've changed those settings which you prescribed it will fix the problem.

Thanks - Mike.
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Site Admin
michellerana
Posts: 2372
Joined: 05 May 09
Trust:
Can you PM me the keyword and your site URL so that I could check the results on my end? Hope to hear from you soon!
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Michelle
Customer Support


=========================

Want a step-by-step training program in affiliate marketing? Affiloblueprint is a "hand-holding" course that will will show you how to build a site, drive traffic to it, and monetize it.

Go to this link to start building your profitable affiliate sites now!
www.affilorama.com/affiloblueprint
 

This topic was started on Mar 31, 2011 and has been closed due to inactivity. If you want to discuss this topic further, please create a new forum topic.

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