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  1. It's definitely frustrating when a page of your website doesn't appear when you think it should. Google is looking at hundreds of factors when they decide what to rank things. Likely they have decided that the search intent of that search is to learn more about your event and at the time, the about page was a better answer to that question than the home page. It's also possible you have a few more external links pointing to your about page for some reason and it's causing that page to be a little more powerful than normal. I agree with @ArtByPino that the best thing you can do right now is to ask Google to reindex your home page so they see your updates a little sooner. If you are continually adding new (and useful) content and building up the site in general, these things tend to sort themselves out. It just takes some time.
  2. Hello! I'm seeing that your XML file is working now. Are you seeing the same thing on your end? I have nothing but anecdotal evidence to support this, but I believe that Squarespace's XML files are not generated dynamically. At best they only updates XML files daily. So I suspect that this is why Squarespace was telling you that you just needed to wait. But it's good that you checked this as I discovered there was an issue a few months ago where the XML was not regenerating properly and they opened a ticket and fixed a few things.
  3. Hello! This should be an easy fix. Go to Design > Logo and Title I believe the first field there is "Site Title" and this is where it is pulling from. I'm guessing you are using Squarespace 7.1? I have a couple of clients using it and there must be a bug where occasionally this field decides to erase itself. Keep an eye on this as you make changes to the site as this will likely happen again.
  4. Someone did a very recent study and Google only uses your site's meta descriptions about 30% of the time. Its kinda crazy. So the other 70% of the time they use copy from your page and build their own meta description based on the user's query and anything else that they feel is relevant. So in your case, they ignored your custom meta description and grabbed the only text on your home page and then the filenames of your images as what they displayed. I believe you can solve this pretty easily by adding some text to the home page that explains your product. Target 200+ words. Also rename your images to something a bit more descriptive, just in case they continue to do the same thing for awhile. After you make your changes, use Google Search Console to ask them to re-index your page. I had a client who had the same thing happen and it too 6 weeks or so before they displayed something that was better – so you might have to be patient! Hope that helps!
  5. Even if the content is exactly the same from the old site to the new site, moving from one platform to another will always generate a small decline (10 to 15% are rough estimates) in SEO and traffic performance for a month or so. Best way I can describe it is that Google sees the code changes on each page and takes a short step back to reassess everything. It usually only temporary and if the benefits to moving off Weebly to Squarespace are big enough then its usually worth it.
  6. Hello Jesseboy! I do a lot of SEO work for photographers on Squarespace so your post caught my eye. There are times when Squarespace is the issue but honestly that is pretty rare. In general unless you've turned off indexing for search engines, Google and others will be able to get through your Squarespace site without issue. I ran a scan of your name without any localization and it was showing up at position 23 (page three, position 3) on a Google desktop search and position 21 (page three, position 1) for a Google mobile search. So it is showing up and it is indexed. I also checked the 18 pages on the website and 15 of them are indexed and cached on Google. So we can say that the problem isn't that Google isn't seeing the site. If you made a lot of changes to the website (regardless if the homepage was untouched), Google will often pull back a bit. It often happens with redesigns and CMS changes. If you only have a few pages on the website, changing a large % of the content can cause this too. I suspect Google algorithms saw the changes and are trying to see what the fallout will be. I suspect that your ranking for your name is primarily being driven from your backlink profile, which is really good. You have a lot of nice links pointing to your site with anchor text that is your name. So that part is good. Without seeing what changed, it's hard for me to make any assumptions or recommendations. I know that my views as an SEO run contrary to the artistic side of photography website design, lol. Google needs text content to really understand, categorize, and rank your site and so I would be one to recommend providing a robust page about you with a fair amount of content. But I understand and appreciate the aesthetic you are going for. It will just be more of an uphill battle from an SEO perspective. Hope that helps..let me know if you have any further questions!
  7. Hello! Not sure if I'm among the "smart people" but I'll chime in since I primarily do SEO work for photographers on Squarespace. 🙂 I did a scan for "Steve Marais" and "Steve Marais photographer" on Google US, Google Germany, a localized search from Berlin, and Switzerland and indeed I am not seeing it anywhere other than "Steve Marais photographer" on page 3 for the Berlin localized search. A Google search for your domain name does put you at #1 which at least means we have something to work with. I do enough SEO on Squarespace to know that sites can rank as long as you have enough content. Your site does have a beautiful simplicity — that unfortunately makes SEO harder. If only Google could translate art into text for us! These would be my suggestions: Optimize the three pages you have a little more by customizing the page title, meta description, and image ALT text. Looks like the page titles are defaults and only the home page has a meta description. Writing custom ALT text for each picture in your galleries might help if you add your name into some of them as the photographer. If you don't mind compromising the "About/bio" page a bit more, I would add some more text in that page that expands on your services and professional expertise. I've also found that sometimes Google mis-categorizes photographer websites if the home page is only a gallery of pictures. I suspect they put you into a category as an image-centric site and not a professional photographer who is offering services. So as hard as it might be to , I would look to add some kind of text to the home page that at least says something like, "Steve Marias — Professional Photographer" or "Steve Marias — Lifestyle & Fashion Photographer" somewhere. Your backlink profile is good. You have a decent number of links and different domains. I don't think that's the issue here, although I see some links pointing to a page that no longer exists on the current site. So you may want to do a 301 redirect of https://www.stevemarais.com/everyday-people/ to your home page. Instructions >> https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/205815308-URL-redirects You have some fantastic PDFs available and those have some text in them. Again, I know I'm recommending things that aren't adding to the simplicity, but having that content on pages would certainly help. I noticed too you have a great Tumblr feed that gets updated regularly. I might suggest doing the same thing on the website. I know it's not as easy as Tumblr probably is for you, but having regularly updated content on your own branded property will likely help too I think it just boils down to the fact that simplifying the site so much probably doesn't give Google enough information to index and use your site as a search result. I'd try a few of the things above and let us know how it works for you!
  8. I have a client who has been having a sitelinks issues so your post caught my attention. You are correct that there are almost no controls anymore over what Google displays in sitelinks. We used to be able to at least ask to remove something if we didn't want it there, but even that was removed a few years ago. So, Google tries its best to determine what the most important links are on your site. And in your example, they recognized that the main navigation links, which are front and center, were the most important. I don't know that i would add a link in there and hide it and try to recenter everything. In general Google really frowns on hidden text that is only seen by search engines and they are basically spidering sites as a user would see them these days, so it might not even help. I can offer 2 suggestions. (1) Put the a second shop link in the center navigation. I know it might drive you crazy and ruin some aesthetics but at the same time if it is that important and it does the job, then it might be worth it. (2) Add another shop link to the footer of each page in an effort to show google through internal links that the shop page is important to you. Sorry I don't have a better answer!
  9. I can't verify for sure that the two are connected, as there was a big Google core update earlier this month that has caused a lot of changes. However, I can provide some guidance on how to resolve #1 and then you can see if that has any benefits for you. So this is a common issue with Squarespace and they should provide a way in the admin to keep the built-in domain from being indexed. until then, follow the steps I've outlined here in this blog post and that will tell Google to remove your built-in domain from their index. https://modsquare.io/blog/remove-squarespace-domain-google-search-results It may take a few weeks for this to take effect but it's worth a try.
  10. I have no special insight into what Google is doing on their Chrome home page. The only thing I could think of why your name is truncated is that maybe they didn't like the hyphen in your name. I wish I had a more insightful answer, lol.
  11. This question intrigued me and I did a bit of research. Here's a quote from Google Search Console support site: Obviously Google's algorithm hasn't done a good job in your case, but I'd be wary of hiding pages from Google that you really don't want hidden. The last thing you want to happen is have them de-index anything important. I would just take a long-term approach and work on your internal linking, pointing more internal links to your higher-profile pages. Google will see what pages are more important to you and should follow along. If it helps, those sitelinks only display when Google is 100% sure that the query is looking for your website. So for most searches, where someone isn't aware of you yet, these odd sitelinks would not appear to them.
  12. I scanned your site with another SEO tool that I use. It emulates Googlebot as much as possible and it didn't return any 401 errors. It did get 404 errors on the blog and podcast links in the footer. I've seen so many tools trigger false positives on different things. I've not seen Squarespace servers blocking scans before but it's possible they were for a particular reason. Are you still seeing the same issue?
  13. Yes, IgorAvidon is correct that your site is being indexed. I don't see you currently ranking anywhere in the first 10 pages for "Maurice Samuels" so you definitely aren't on the map yet. I did a quick audit to see if there was anything glaring and here would be my suggestions: Just as suggested above, work on getting some inbound links to the website. I f this is an authorized site for the author, I have to believe he'd have some good connections that could be leveraged for links. At first glance, the site seems over optimized for the author name. Almost every page title mention his full name twice. Not that this is a ranking factor, but I would shorten and write custom meta descriptions for each page. You have a number of duplicates and most are too long to all be displayed. Without digging further, I suspect it is a combination of new site "sandboxing" by Google and the lack of inbound links. Hope that helps!
  14. What kind of activity data do you want to see? And what criteria do you use to define your "groups"? I'm guessing that you want to see basic analytics data like sessions, pages views, time on page, etc. If you don't want to collect personally identifiable information, then the only data you could know about people would be what Google Analytics or another platform would be able to provide. They do provide a lot of demographics info, but it won't be 100% accurate. The only other idea I came up with would be to use UTM parameters in your links to try to funnel different groups of users into your site. For example, if you're advertising to specific groups, you could track them that way.
  15. Hello! How long ago did you go live with the site? And what steps did you take to display the site in Google? The bad news is that it is 100% up to Google which websites to include in their index and where to put them. The good news is that if you have an excellent website, they are happy to include you. Your site looks like a good start content-wise so my guess is that you will just need to wait a bit. Typically it can take a few weeks for you to start showing up somewhere in search results. And unfortunately it can take 6 months or more for new sites to get out of the "sandbox" and into the top listings. I scanned your site quickly to make sure there weren't any obvious things wrong and I didn't see anything that would keep Google from indexing. So my suggestion would be to create a Google Search Console account, grab your Squarespace sitemap, and add your sitemap. Once you've done that then you've successfully let Google know you're here and where all of your pages are. Now your job is to make this the best site on the internet for your topic. The more content you publish, the more links you'll get and the more content Google has to understand your site and rank you. SEO is a marathon and not a sprint (unfortunately). Hope that helps!
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