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These URLs keep coming!

I re-validated with Google Search Console, and began to watch my server logs. To my surprise, the search engines were crawling the old content! I had served up new sitemaps to my GSC, but I apparently had an old sitemap lingering behind. It had a 301 pointing to my new sitemap index, but no matter, Googlebot was clearly getting the URLs from the old sitemap.

A snapshot of Diane's log file showing archived content that she didn't write
…that’s definitely not my content!

I double-checked my Screaming Frog crawl and re-ran it as Googlebot to ensure that there were no links pointing to the old content. There were none. I opened up the Sitemap in my VSC and quickly updated the content of the original XML Sitemap.

I’m having an odd amount of fun figuring out all of these little puzzles. After a decade in SEO, mainly on the content side, playing around with all of these technical items is a blast!

More to come!

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“What just happened?”

Those were my words a few days ago when I was starting to look at log files on my site. Some weird posts were being crawled by Googlebot that I definitely did not write. Trying to get to my admin environment in WordPress brought about Malware warnings.

I downloaded a theme a few weeks back, added it to my site and put up an under construction message. I’ve done that before, and thought it’d work just fine. Little did I know of all the sample pages and blog posts that came along!

So today, September 25th, I am starting fresh and investing my time in this website once again. Bit by bit, I will start optimizing and reviewing things on my website and sharing what I learned. My goal is that through this process, others will learn more about SEO like I have – through screwing up on their own website.

I have re-installed WordPress on my site. Next up, I’m going to re-add my Google Analytics and re-verify with Search Console. I have my log files being sent to Logflare so I’ll be interested to see how quickly the search engine crawlers pick up this new information. I’ll keep you posted!