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Website abruptly dropped off google

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I've had a portfolio website made through Squarespace for close to 5 years, but I recently discovered that about 6 months ago it abruptly dropped off Google.

The timing aligns with when I did some updates to the website, which involved me duplicating pages and dropping new content in them to keep the look + feel consistent throughout the site. That's the only real thing I can think of that might have triggered the SEO to get funky, but I'm at a loss for how to remedy it.

I ran it through Google Search console and was hit with this message:

"Search Console has identified that your site is affected by 3 Page indexing issue(s). The following issues were found on your site.

Top Issues

  • Alternate page with proper canonical tag

  • Page with redirect

  • Not found (404)"

Any tips on how to get this back on track? Would like to avoid rebuilding the site from the ground up.

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This is a tricky one to fix without knowing a bit more info about your site, but here it goes:

  • Ensure you added a new SEO title and SEO description when you duplicated the pages. I often see people forget this when they duplicate pages + ensure the URLs are relevant.
  • Resubmit your sitemap to Google Search Console by typing "sitemap.xml" in the below box.
  • Ensure you added 301 redirects if you changed the URL of any page.
  • Put your website through https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/ to see where any broken links are hiding. 
  • Ensure you have a minimum of 300 words of unique content on each page

Squarespace has good SEO out of the box, and Google Search Console issues are often nothing to worry about, but the above should cover most boxes.

Happy to answer any other questions.

Screenshot 2022-12-23 at 15.19.02.png

Henry Purchase

Founder of ROUGH WATER MEDIA's Squarespace SEO Plugin 

RoughWater_SEO_PLUGIN_highres-min (1).jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey there,

Thank you for this response. Quick question though. I'm due to upgrade to 7.1 since my site is a bit outdated. I've gone and built the new site, but before I transition it I wanted to find out if this would theoretically fix my SEO issues.

I have done what you mentioned with screaming frog and it returned a long list of issues which I have zero clue how to fix. See attached. 

Screen Shot 2023-01-16 at 2.57.18 PM.png

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On 1/17/2023 at 2:57 AM, LeJeux said:

Hey there,

Thank you for this response. Quick question though. I'm due to upgrade to 7.1 since my site is a bit outdated. I've gone and built the new site, but before I transition it I wanted to find out if this would theoretically fix my SEO issues.

I have done what you mentioned with screaming frog and it returned a long list of issues which I have zero clue how to fix. See attached. 

Screen Shot 2023-01-16 at 2.57.18 PM.png

One of the challenges with Squarespace being less customisable is that you can't easily edit the sitemap. So the best thing here could be to try to contact Squarespace support to see if they can fix the canonicals on their end.

As for the other points:

  • Images over 100KB - download them, compress them using this tool and re-upload them
  • Page titles (duplicate) - Screaming Frog will show you which titles on your site are copies of each other - manually go through each page and add a unique title. Follow this guide for how to format them and where to add them
  • Low content pages - each page should have a minimum of 300 words
  • H1 (multiple) - each page should only have 1 H1 title
  • H1 (duplicates) - each page should have a unique H1
  • Images (alt text) - each image should have an alt tag (follow this guide)
  • Meta description missing - follow this guide for how to format them and where to add them

Henry Purchase

Founder of ROUGH WATER MEDIA's Squarespace SEO Plugin 

RoughWater_SEO_PLUGIN_highres-min (1).jpg

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