Google indexing pages with "html?style=18"

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Google indexing pages with "html?style=18"

Postby Elephantspike » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:34 pm

I've been using PhpBBSEO Advanced url rewriting for a number of years now and have thousands of threads indexed in google but we moved it to a new server last week (domain has not changed) and I had to redo the phpbbseo settings in the ACP and regenerate a new .htaccess and now Google seems to be replacing our existing links with links that have urls with "html?style=18" appended to the end of the urls and those links go to an error "style data can not be found". My default style is Absolution which WAS style 18 in the database on the old installation on the old server but on the new one it is style 21 (not sure why. I guess because when I migrated I deactivated all styles except prosilver and then re-activated the styles once on the new server-perhaps in a different order?)

If I type in 21 in place of the 18 in the url the link works but why would that "?style=18" be in the indexed urls anyway? I don't have any bot-accessible styleswitcher or anything like that other than the built-in one in the UCP Board preferences for logged-in users. I tried changing the style number of Absolution to 18 in the pphpbb_styles table in the database but that makes all the internal links go to the "style data can not be found" error so I changed it back.

Is there anything I can do to a) make the current links in Google work? and/or..... b) get google to re-index everything without the "?style=18" part?

Thanks.
Elephantspike
 
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 3:39 pm

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Re: Google indexing pages with "html?style=18"

Postby HB » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:47 pm

Elephantspike wrote: b) get google to re-index everything without the "?style=18" part?

If you go to Google Webmaster Tools > Crawl > URL Parameters, you can tell Googlebot that the style parameter affects only appearances. As for the errors, I would 301 redirect the URLs containing the style attribute to the same one without the attribute. You should test your .htaccess redirect on a local server (see How to set up a local server using xampp).

I haven't tried it, but another option that may work is adding a second row to the styles table, i.e., one for 18 and another for 21, both pointing to the same template. I assume that your style number got regiggered when you migrated (?).
Dan Kehn
HB
phpBB SEO Team
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