Search engines can't see optimised site, but see non-optimised duplicate

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A friend of mine asked me to rebuild his site in his current webspace, however
has just bought a new domain and wants to start using that too. He does not want
stop using the old url yet whilst many of his customers still have it.

Leaving aside the option of web forwarding (just for a minute), I have put up
duplicate sites at both his domains, but at the old domain there is zero search
engine optimisation - no meta keywords, description, not even page titling,
at the new site I spent time working on all those things.

The idea was that search engines would see the new site and once I could see
everything working OK, I would simply set up web forwarding from his old URL and
delete the site at that domain.

The trouble is I have the opposite result - Google and Yahoo, for example can
see the old site but not the new one, which is weird!

HTML and CSS are valid, both sites uploaded in early January.

Old site: /

New site; /

Test search engine string: 'accounting services in Keynsham'
Old site: placed seventh on page 2 of Google UK, second on page 1 of Yahoo UK
New site: no where to be seen.

So clearly I do not want to set up web forwarding yet.

Any ideas what the problem is?


Re: Search engines can't see optimised site, but see non-optimised duplicate

Quoted text here. Click to load it

The new site is still using outdated markup and a transitional doctype.  
Better to use a strict doctype and remove all the presentational markup.

The old site's domain name also has keywords in it, which can help

I've crossposted and set follow-ups to,
where this is on topic.

Adrienne Boswell at Home
Arbpen Web Site Design Services
Please respond to the group so others can share

Re: Search engines can't see optimised site, but see non-optimised duplicate

On 2/6/2009 2:14 AM, Richard wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

If the old page is found by search services, why not setup forwarding?
Then, when someone tries to go to the old page from the results of a
search, they will instead go to the new page.

The problem might be in the <Title> element in the <Head> section.  The
title there should be short enough to view on a browser's title bar.
It's not intended as something for search engines to index.  Also, many
search crawlers no longer use <Meta> tags to index, especially <Meta>
tags for "keywords".  A few might still use <Meta> tags for
"description".  Instead, many search crawlers rely on text within the
<Body> section.

I tried a Metacrawler search at < on the
phrase "accounting services in Keynsham" and got no result, not even the
old Web site.  Metacrawler uses both Google and Yahoo (not the localized
UK versions) and also MSN Search, Ask Jeeves, About, MIVA, and
LookSmart.  A query on the terms "accounting", "Keynsham", and "Whear"
(not as a phrase) gave the old site.  Using just Google (again, not the
localized UK version), I found the old site but not the new one.

It's possible that the site has not been on the server long enough to be
crawled and indexed.  It's not a month yet.

David Ross

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