UC Berkeley & Google Not Getting Along: Indexing & Ranking Issues

Aug 6, 2014 • 8:21 am | comments (6) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Berkeley LogoThe University of California, Berkeley is having some issues with Google crawling, indexing, and ranking their berkeley.edu site and subdomains.

The first report came from Chris Prudhomme who helps manage the alumni.berkeley.edu sub domain. Chris posted his concerns in a Google Webmaster Help thread saying no changes have been made to the servers or site, as far as he knows, that would cause these issues.

He wrote, "I have checked rather thoroughly and found no changes in our environment that would have caused this."

He said that crawl rate has dropped to "few dozen from almost 1,700 pages overnight, impressions are down 36% and clicks are down 28% in the last month." The last time Google News crawled their site was on July 4th.

Eric Kuan from Google responded to the issue saying:

You may need to talk to the owner of the berkeley.edu domain to see if they recently changed hosting services. Google is having a bit of trouble crawling the entire domain as Suzanne and others have mentioned.

The domain owners may need to check on their new hosting service settings to make sure that they have the resources to allow Google to properly crawl their site. If they believe that Google is crawling them improperly or too aggressively, they can send feedback in Webmaster Tools (Click the gear icon > Site settings > Crawl Rate > Report a problem with Googlebot).

Feel free to point the site owners of the berkeley.edu domain to this thread or have them post additional questions in the forum!

The owner of the domain name in Webmaster Tools came in asking for Google to help them diagnosis the issue.

It is not every day you see large universities with issues with Google rankings.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Update: It seems the cause of this was mostly around DNS issues with the domain name. They resolved them and Google is now happier with the URLs.

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