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Googles New Change Slapped My Blog and You Could Be Next

Posted by in SEO

Google Slapped My Blog

Today I wanted to give you all a heads up to something that happened to my blog this past week, since the new Google change took effect.

If you don’t know yet.. Google has made a direct effort to now remove all sites/blogs that have duplicate content, which in theory will help ma and you that write “real” content to rank higher.

Sounds all good, Right?

Well like many of Google’s changes lately, the good guy gets screwed a little bit too. google slap

The Problem

The past 3 weeks I was doing some keyword work for 2 keys I wanted to rank for, I noticed after 4 weeks the results weren’t any better


and normally what I do works pretty fast.

So I looked a little deeper and noticed that my blog ranks for www.johnpaulaguiar.com but recently I noticed it was ranking as johnpaulaguiar.com.

Normally this isn’t that big a deal.. but with Google’s new found attack on dupe content, this is now a HUGE issue.

The problem is that Google now sees my blog url www.johnpaulaguiar.com normally, but now looks at johnpaulaguiar.com as a sub-domain and now sees my content as duplicate since it thinks it is the same content on 2 different domains.

Now I have always used a 301 redirect plugin and my sitemap has “www” in it yet this still happened.

So I recommend you look at your blogs ranks to see if Google has indexed your blog the way it has mine.

The Result

What has happened you ask?

How about dropping all my post urls rankings and I mean pages not positions.  I mean from first place on first page for 10 months to not even in the top 3 pages.

My johnpaulaguiar.com is ranking fine but my post urls which have the “www” are all dropping in rank..not good at all.

This may also drop my PR rank at some point since some of my backlinks are going to the non “www” url.

The Fix

The fix is simple – code a 301 redirect, from what I have been told, a .htaccess method is the best option.

Bad news?
This will drop many of your rankings for a few weeks while Google crawls your blog a few times.

Good News?
The ranks “should” come back in 1- 2 months.

If the ranks come back, then not a big deal, just a pain in the ass thing to have to deal with when you are not a content stealing ass.

But it is something that has to be fixed, long term this will get worse. So better to take a hit now.. then to take a hit month after month.

I hope this isn’t playing out for you and your blog, but if it is, then this is how you can fix it.

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  • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

    You wrote, “So I recommend you look at your blogs ranks to see if Google has indexed your blog the way it has mine.” Could you be more specific about how?

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Gail when you comment, please use ONLY your name.. thanks

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Are you ranking for “www” and “non-www” if you are then you need to fix that.

  • http://www.profitblog.com Ben

    There should be a setting in wordpress where you can choose www. Also, you can set it up in Google webmaster tools. Sorry that happened to you.

  • http://keepupwiththeweb.com Sherryl Perry

    This is scary. Did you have http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com set up as your preferred domain name in Google Webmaster tools?

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Yes I did. From day one of the blog.

  • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

    One of the main things I highly recommend is to have http://sitename to redirect to http://www.sitename from the .htaccess level. Also make sure no chance of sitemap.xml containing duplicate content like listing your archives as separate entries from your posts.

  • http://twitter.com/ShanSteffen Shannon Steffen

    Yes, you are spot on! However, those that already have a 301 redirect from www to non-www (or vice versa) will most likely see their website rankings increase due to this change. It’s only those that didn’t have a reputable SEO person tell them that having both www and non-www is considered duplicate content and people need to choose one or the other.

    The reason why is that www is seen as a subdomain of the root website and therefore it’s own entity.

    Best of luck! Let me know if you need further help!

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Yea none of that is an issue.. Once the redirect is fixed I will be good., and ranks will come back.. pain in the ass but not end of the world :)

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Yea.. this only became an issue with the new direction Google has taken.. not a big deal before.

    But something to fix now.. since they will only continue to go in this direction.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    TY Lisa.. Hope it helps :)

  • http://twitter.com/2createawebsite Lisa Irby

    Fabulous post! Thanks for the heads up, John.

  • http://www.thefriendlyblogger.com/ Lisa


    Does the cache version matter as well? I am shown with a cache of non www url and my preferred is the www version.


  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    cached urls are fine :)

  • http://internetmarketing.ricklapoint.com/blog Rick LaPoint

    Hi John,

    I hate posts like this, because I get freaked out, drop everything I’m doing, and rush to examine my own situation.

    Although I have my WordPress theme set up for Canonization, although not sainthood, I wasn’t sure about what my host was doing exactly.

    It appears Hostgator has it set automatically to the method I prefer. And when I added a short URL for redirect to my site, all is well.

    Whew, dodged another bullet :-)


  • http://keepupwiththeweb.com Sherryl Perry

    I though that t since I did that in Google, that Google would realize it’s the same and one is “preferred”. Thanks for sharing this with us. I will definitely modify my .htaccess level.

  • http://marketsecrets.biz Caleb

    Yeah, the .htaccess redirect method is the way to go but here’s what got me: As advanced as Google is and yet they can’t or simply won’t fix something that simple?!

    Smells fishy..

  • http://twitter.com/techofweb Atul Kumar

    how to check if one is ranking for www or non www

  • http://www.marketeering.com Jonny Hardwick

    John, I was going to suggest adding the .htaccess but it seems you’re already on it, however, I’ve just tried accessing this blog post without the ‘www.’ in front and I am not redirected to ‘www.’. You might need to double check this again to avoid disappointment a few months down the line. I can show you how to do it if you get stuck.


  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Glad it is all good man.. better to check then go thru the shit I just went thru.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    I thought the same thing.. other thing is even if it is set to that.. your blog can become un-verified like mine was. So check regularly if your blog is verified too.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Exactly.. you would think they would see the domain with or without www as the same.. Its ridiculous.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    check to see ho your main url and your post urls are ranking..

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Hey Jonny… we were working on it again lastnite.. apparently Bluehost doesnt allow a htaccess rediect.. so we did it another way.. so waiting to see what happens. Thanks for the offer …Appreciate that

  • http://technicallyeasy.net Paul Salmon

    Interesting. I haven’t had a problem with redirecting the www domain to the non-www version on BlueHost. I have been doing that for about 2.5 years. I use .htaccess redirect to accomplish it.

  • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

    Hey John,
    Thanks a lot for the heads up. But I’m kinda cursing at you for putting me in a state of panic now LOL ;). Kidding about the cursing of course – but not about the panicking.

    Will head over to check things out. Seeing that I suck at all things techie – I may come back here for help if I need it :).

    Cheers John

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Hi Ingrid.. Sorry for hitting the panick button for you haha

    But figured better you fix any issues now, then see it after the fact like I did.

    Its an easy fix even if your having the same issue.. its more annoying then anything.

  • http://twitter.com/offgrid Off-grid

    Uh oh, I better look into this – My PR rank dropped down to 3.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    This has nothing to do with PR.. PR drops and goes up naturally.. so don’t stress it.

    Work on higher quality backlinks to keep the PR going up.

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  • http://twitter.com/RussFye101 Russ Fye

    Great tip John!

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