Categories: Crawling, indexing & ranking :

Developers site indexed instead of ours

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Developers site indexed instead of ours martinsu 5/16/12 8:34 AM
We have got our site developed by an outsourced  company. They use one domain to present their work to customer (us). Content of this domain is usualy only available with password. But they made a mistake. Content was available for bots as well. Google indexed their content and ours does not appear in SERP. Now, they put the robots.txt on their site. This is ok. But what is better:
1. replace the content of thier indext pages with 404 error, to get results of the SERP
2. rediret thier pages to ours, where only redirect to home page is available not 1 to 1

Thanks

Re: Developers site indexed instead of ours Lysis 5/16/12 9:05 AM
I would ask them to 301 redirect it. They screwed up, so they should be accommodating. 
Re: Developers site indexed instead of ours martinsu 5/16/12 9:24 AM
Developers can only redirect all indexed pages to our homepage, because URLs has changed (and it is almost 20 000 pages - it is a directory). When they redirect to our home page, users will be disapointed they did not found what they were looking for and will leave - this could go on for weeks.
If they just remove indexed content (404 error), google will remove them from search results and our site will come back to result page. But how long will this take? If it is a question on few days, this the better solution i suppose. But if it takes more than few weeks, this will be a massive loss of traffic...
Re: Developers site indexed instead of ours Lysis 5/16/12 9:49 AM
OK, then do #1? It can take a while for 404s to drop out.
Re: Developers site indexed instead of ours martinsu 5/16/12 11:08 AM
Yes, we did #1. It seems better to me. Can write here how long it took to get our trafic back.

I hope we do not get some penalty for duplicate content what the situation could look like...
Re: Developers site indexed instead of ours Grandmaster Flash 5/16/12 1:30 PM
If they are redirecting the content, make sure that they are NOT also blocking with robots.txt.
seeing the redirects/404s will likely take weeks, not days since it requires each page to get crawled and a dev server will often not have the authority to demand frequent deep crawls.
In addition, 404 pages will need to be crawled multiple times before they drop. Alternate solution, 410 header response which indicates that content has been permanently removed.


Re: Developers site indexed instead of ours martinsu 5/16/12 2:02 PM
thank you, this was very helpful, i didn't know about 410
Re: Developers site indexed instead of ours martinsu 7/26/12 2:11 AM

So it took over a month to recover fully. We suppose problem started arrond 8th May. We noticed it at 16th May. After replacing the content on dev servers with 410 error header, most of our pages came back to SERP arround 12th Jun.