WordPress site problem with google related to change in permalinks and/or from plug-ins that handle 404 errors

The subject website has been online only since May 25. Many of the posts/pages have been published only since mid-June to late June. However, prior to the change of permalinks (July 21), Google was indexing the site in a very normal way: About 98% of posts/pages that should have been indexed, were indexed.

On July 21, I changed our permalinks setting from the default (post ID) to "Post name." My understanding is that WordPress automatically creates canonical URL references and/or 301 redirects when there is a change in the URL of post(s) or page(s), Wordpress will automically insert the canonical URL reference so that the old or unpreferred URL would defer to the preferred/new URL.

However, google's indexing and ranking has been very unkind to this website in the past ten days:

1. Mostly the problem is the ranking has dropped incredibly low compared to how it was before.

2. Now google is indexing only about half of the pages, rather than 98% as before.

3. I know that the problem derives, at least in part, from the change in the permalink structure from default to Post name. It may be that the part of the problem derives from one of the plug-ins described in the next paragraph - that such plug-in(s) may be interfering with the native canonical reference feature of Wordpress (late versions)

I had several plug-ins installed and activated that deal with how 404 errors are handled. I'm afraid that these plug-ins may have interfered with the native ability of WordPress (late versions) to automatically handle all of the above by assigning canonical reference links. So today, Aug 4, I disabled these plug-ins. The .htacccess file is posted at the bottom of this description, starting with #BEGIN Wordpress. I'm not sure if this .htaccess file was created by one of those plugins (and maybe interfering with the native WordPress canonical links process). The plugins that I am referring to are these three: 404 Redirected, 404 Redirection, 404 to Start. Unfortunately I had all three activated at the same time, which may have caused a problem in itself. Today I deactivated all three of them.

The deliverables of this project are:

1. To determine if the .htaccess file below is:

(a) native to wordpress or was it created by one of the three plug-ins referred to above (starting with 404)?

(b) is the .htaccess file interfering with the native WordPress canonical links process?

(c) should the .htaccess file be deleted or modified, or left as-is?

2. To determine if I should re-activate one or more of the plug-ins referred to above (starting with 404)?

Here is the .htaccess file:

# BEGIN WordPress

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

RewriteEngine On

RewriteBase /

RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

RewriteRule . /[url removed, login to view] [L]


# END WordPress

Compétences : SEO, WordPress

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( 169 commentaires ) Tucson, United States

Nº du projet : #2376928

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