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I have a website that has been on the internet for almost 10 years created in "Microsoft FrontPage" with over 900 pages. Currently in Google Webmaster tools it shows up as 2 domains and 3 sitemaps:

  • http://www.example.com
  • example.com
  • hostedsitemaps.com

Furthermore, since we were having hard to placing the XML sitemap on our site(FrontPage Issues) we decided to hire pro-sitemaps.com to create, host and upload the XML file which they did. Thus, I have another site hostedsitemaps.com on our webmaster tools for the site.

Hostedsitemaps.com displays:

  1. 900 urls submitted 800 Indexed.
  2. Crawl errors and Search queries: No data available.

www.example.com displays:

  1. 889 URLs submitted 1 URLs indexed.
  2. Crawl Errors: 14 Soft 404 796 Not found
  3. Search Queries: 8104

example.com displays:

  1. 889 URLs submitted 1 URLs indexed
  2. Crawl errors: 48 Soft 404 91 Not found
  3. Search Queries: 8104

My questions and need for help are as followed:

1. Why are our domain based sites in webmaster tools (example.com and www.example.com) showing only 1 URL indexed while the hostedsitemap.com has 800 indexed?

2. Should we have 3 domains configured for this "one" domain in Google Webmaster tools?

3. Should we eliminate/delete the hostedsitemap.com from webmaster tools completely and take off that XML sitemap?

4 Does having example.com and www.example.com impact web ranking?

5. Any other thoughts or help in this very complicated matter for us.

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Which URLs show up in the search results? –  w3d Sep 13 '12 at 8:30
    
Thanks for inquiring. In the above example./our dilemma. It is clear. The WWW.example.com is how we are viewed and our URLs show up. –  Frank Sep 14 '12 at 21:13

1 Answer 1

You have an old and outdated architecture, so it's pretty hard to make any actionable recommendation. What I would do :

  • Remove the external sitemap file on hostedsitmaps.com, an external sitemap is not a sign of quality. Host it on your site.
  • Redirect with 301 example.com to www.example, or the other way. Choice www.example or .example then stick with it. If your site exists on both version, it is a total duplicate issue, Google has to choose with URL to serve on every relevant query, and Google is not happy with that.
  • Implement proper 404 pages, looks like you have soft 404 pages (HTTP header is not 404).
  • Crawl your site with Xenu, Screaming Frog or Integrity to detect and remove all broken internal links that may exist.
  • You should then have www.example and .example in WMT, you may even have only the chosen version in WMT (depends on the validation method used).

Last but not least, move all the content to another technical platform. All these recommendations should be done very quickly. If this is not the case, you better switch to pure html, PHP or something else.

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Thanks for your suggestions. Sorry I was traveling the past day. and could not follow up. –  Frank Sep 14 '12 at 21:04
    
Thanks for your suggestions. Sorry I was traveling the past day. and could not follow up. The main question have now is this: The reason we have not switched off the old "Frontpage" is "fear". In our field/niche we are on first page or first keyword ranking on Google so we always feared that switching to say WordPress CMS would sink/kill our rankings that have been built up over the past years. If you know of a way to get off our outdated platform easily without taking the ranking hit I would greatly appreciate the help. Sorry for my non tech sophistication. Thanks –  Frank Sep 14 '12 at 21:11
    
Changing the site to a new platform, if done well, will be painless. But you have to do it right, which is quite difficult. You will need technical and SEO advice, an on-site specialized SEO could do this. I can't give you a definitive answer, but what I would do first is change the technical platform but keep the exact same site (url, content, etc). Then make modifications step by step, but you need some advice to do this. –  Baptiste Placé Sep 17 '12 at 10:02

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