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we recently updated a customer website which included a change in server and some 301's to send old pages to new ones. The website as long as we know has always been setup without the www. subdomain which we have continued in the new site launch. Upon launch we lost alot of high rankings that the website had which was very out the ordinary.

We noticed a big problem in particular that the homepage which used to rank for a lot does not rank for anything any more. Also when you google the brand name google always returns the www. version of the site with no meta titles or descriptions.

I have done google fetches, 301 tests, robots.txt test and all come back that the www. 301 redirects to the none www. version of the website so surely Google should return the non www. version instead?

We are at a bit of a loss what could be causing this as it has been going on for 9+ days now. The only thing I can see that may cause the issue is the brands google local business listing which says their wesbite is the www. variation. Could this have such as massive influence on the search results?

  • "with no meta titles or descriptions" - what does appear as the title/description? Anything?! It's not unusual for Google to change the title/description that appears in the SERPs based on what the user has searched for. Does Google Search Console (formerly GWT) report anything amiss (for both the www and bare domain)? Is the local business listing auto-generated or have you claimed ownership of this and manually entered the web address? – MrWhite Sep 29 '15 at 10:50
  • how are external backlinks linked to the site? with www or without? G could mean, external sites with high trust know better as you, what the correct site's address is. How is the search console property set up? with www or without? Is preferred domain set up? – Evgeniy Sep 29 '15 at 11:10
  • It returns just the Brand Name for the meta title and nothing for the meta description. The backlinks are a mix of the two subdomain variances, but these existed the same with the old version of the site which was setup as none www. to be the prefered domain. – rosscooperdesign Sep 29 '15 at 13:07
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    "nothing for the meta description" - literally "nothing"? The description in the SERPs is empty?! I have never seen that - can you provide a screenshot please. – MrWhite Sep 29 '15 at 13:45
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    Have you set a "preferred domain" in Google Search Console? – MrWhite Sep 29 '15 at 16:00

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