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Worded the question title the best I could.

I have a website. The site has a category of articles - award winners. the URL to this category, a page with a list of winners, is:

example.com/award-winners

This page has a list of award winners where each is a link to an individual page for each award winner. For the purpose of explaining my question, the award winner is John.

The URL of the page is:

example.com/winner/John .... NOT example.com/award-winners/John

My question is - Does Google dislike this? Would it want to see example.com/award-winners/John?? And therefore not show example.com/winner/john in the SERPs?? Does Google get confused that going back from example.com/winner/john doesn't take you to example.com/winner??

I ask because Google is seeming to refuse to index example.com/winner/john.

For a search for 'john' Google shows example.com/award-winners ('john' appears on this page in the list) but doesn't show example.com/winner/john.

The SEO of the page example.com/winner/john is definitely more optimised for 'john' than example.com/award-winners - the title tag is john, the description and h1, 'john' is mentioned a few times in the text of the page and it's in the URL Yet Google prefers to show the latter page, in fact doesn't even want to index the page example.com/winner/john. The are no meta robots or robot.txt.

I have submitted that URL to Webmaster Tools...The page comes up in results when I search for the URL its self, only. A couple days later I try to search for the URL again and Google has removed it from it's index.

Anyone know what's going on?

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    Is this website new? – Wexford Dec 11 '14 at 10:11
  • Why is the page available at both /award-winners/John and /winner/John? Why not just prevent the first from being a valid URL/getting indexed/301 redirect it to the latter? – zigojacko Dec 11 '14 at 10:42
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    "Does Google dislike this?" - No. You are thinking too hard. URLs can point to anywhere from anywhere. What you describe won't influence ranking directly. – MrWhite Dec 11 '14 at 10:44
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    @zigojacko: I don't think it is "duplicate". There is /award-winners and /winners/John, not /award-winners/John. – MrWhite Dec 11 '14 at 10:46
  • the website is new yes...do you think it will be indexing /winner/John eventually? @zigojacko, what w3d said...thanks for replies! – user3399434 Dec 11 '14 at 11:19
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The base directory in your URLs will make no difference to Google. Google indexes pages linked from one directory to another.

Google often chooses not to index URLs for other reasons:

  • The page doesn't have enough link juice. If you have only one page that links to the page, it may not make the cut.
  • The site and page is too new. Google often takes weeks to fully index new sites. New pages may take a while to be discovered and indexed even on existing sites.
  • The content of the page is not compelling to searchers. Google may try to index the page but find that nobody is clicking to it from the search results. It may then decide to de-index the page to make room for something else.
  • The content of the page is too similar to other pages. If the only difference between your award winners pages is the name on the page, Google will have no reason to index all of them. Each page needs enough unique content to demonstrate to Google that it has merit to stand on its own.

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