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When I use 'cache:example.com/category' Google is showing the homepage 'example.com' as the URL for the cached content.

If I Google search 'info:example.com/category' it returns a result for the homepage as well.

It seems Google is mistakenly indexed the homepage, as our /category page. The page in question has taken a hit in rankings (from page1 to page12... page12!)

An interesting part is that if I do 'cache:' or 'info:example.com/category/' with a trailing slash Google seems to show the proper cache/info result and shows the URL without the trailing slash.

More info regarding the effected category URL:

  • the URL with a trailing slash is redirected to URL without trailing slash no redirects for the URL in question (without trailing slash)
  • meta robots is follow,index
  • query params are disallowed (?color=red) and are self-canonicalized to the URL without query params anyways.
  • robots.txt is not blocking any resources or the URL to page
  • Google can fetch and render the page fine and Googlebot version is identical to user version

Response Headers are as follows:

cache-control:no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0 content-encoding:gzip content-type:text/html; charset=UTF-8 date:Wed, 31 Jan 2018 14:40:37 GMT expires:Thu, 19 Nov 1981 08:52:00 GMT pragma:no-cache server:nginx status:200 vary:Accept-Encoding x-content-type-options:nosniff x-frame-options:SAMEORIGIN x-frame-options:SAMEORIGIN x-sucuri-cache:BYPASS x-sucuri-id:14018 x-xss-protection:1; mode=block

Platform we are using is Magento 1.9x

I have requested reindexing of the URL(without trailing slash) several times in past week or so, and while it seems Google has indeed crawled the page several times since then, it still shows wrong content for 'cache:' and 'info:' Seemingly it still thinks the homepage is the proper canonical/content for the URL!

I'm not sharing actual domain URL for privacy reasons.

  • It sounds like Google thinks the two pages are duplicate. Do they have the same content? – Stephen Ostermiller Jan 30 '18 at 21:01
  • No, the /category page is for a specific product type. there's probably ONE product that is linked to from /category and featured on home page as well. – Silverandrew Jan 30 '18 at 21:06
  • Hi Silverandrew your guess is good as ours... without further information its doubtful this question is answerable. Please edit the question and include additional information such as the 'header' response from doing a CURL. You can do this in a terminal or by using Online Curl, also are you using a content management system? which? – Simon Hayter Jan 30 '18 at 22:24
  • How are you removing the /? and what is cms/setup is adding the slash, are you using canonical links? are your canonical links reflecting the correct URL... e.g this should be set to the URL after the redirect, not the URL prior to the redirect. (what is the canonical? currently) Finally I do not recommend doing either operator cache: or info:, use: site:https://www.example.com/pagename since pages can be indexed without being cached and info does not reveal duplicate pages on similar URLS. – Simon Hayter Jan 30 '18 at 22:27
  • @Simon Hayter - the trailing slash is a 301 to the non-trailing URL. Canonicals are properly setup, they reflect the non-trailing URL and the current URL e.g. 'example.com/category' as canonical. The header response has no X-Robots tag blocking anything and cache-control is no-cache must revalidate. served gzip utf8. am unable to edit my post atm, when I can I will paste it there. I'm half wondering if this is a just a google bug... but it seems more than coincidence this is happening then our rankings dropped. – Silverandrew Jan 31 '18 at 14:42

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