More or less been de-platformed by Google Search Console

Horton

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Nov 20, 2017
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46
Ok guys I am feeling a bit screwed by Google. My forum is embedded in my larger Joomla site. The forum pages are much slower than then the rest of the site and so Google Search Console treats the whole site as if it is too slow. I have more or less been de-platformed by Google.

I have looked for tech solutions and am not sure there is one. I thought that perhaps a Kunena forum might be faster because it is a forum that is part of the greater site – not an embed. I tested it and it was not faster.

My business requires that I have my forum embedded in my larger site. The structure could change but the same banners and menus need to be consistent throughout.

I also understand that I cannot exclude my forum pages from the Search Console. I WISH I could just do that.

Ideas?


FYI – I ran https://www.theadminzone.com/ through GTMetix and it scores about the same as my forum.
 

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Kaelon

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Aug 14, 2008
Messages
281
Very sorry to hear about this, but, it's important to note that all forums - and not just yours - are in effect being heavily penalized by Google right now. User-generated content has a severe penalty on listings over authoritative, canonical content, and this practice started about ~18 months ago as the scrutiny over misinformation, "fake news," etc. took center stage. The fact that both Joomla, and the embedded forum on your site, are so slow, however, poses a double-whammy, which is probably what is getting you effectively "de-platformed," instead of just seriously "down-ranked."

My recommendations:
  1. If you're running a forum, give it a unique URL. Subdomains still carry some of the penalties under Caffeine 2021+ as the actual domain itself.

  2. You can use the same style and design, but: avoid tables, use proper headings (H1, H2, etc.) to identify topic, contributors, etc. Use some SEO best practices in the style design, and make sure that your entire site on the unique URL hosting your forums is using modern markup.
 

mysiteguy

Migration Expert
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
3,358
Is the site completely gone from Google using this query:

Code:
site:yoursitename.com
 
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Avery

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Jun 3, 2016
Messages
28
Have you been able to test the performance, speed, and loading time from your Joomla instance (largest page vs. smallest page), then directly into your forum/community (not within the Joomla site), and then the mixture? I'm almost wondering if it is related to possibly how you have your forum being called within the Joomla instance as being the biggest blocker in terms of loading times, and making your forum block loading the rest of the site (sync vs. async issues).

If possible, would there just be a way to modify the forum's header and footer, to possibly call the same assets as the Joomla instance, so that you do not require it to be embedded within the Joomla instance?
 

Horton

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Joined
Nov 20, 2017
Messages
46
Kaelon The subdomain idea is interesting. I am going to have to think about that.

mysiteguy No. Google still sees me but Core Web Vitals rate my site as "Poor". All I know is in June Google revised the algorithms and added the Core Web Vitals and that is when my traffic tanked.

Avery I am not a developer so I do not know if that would work. Attached is an image of a comparison of a bare-bones page vs a forum page.
 

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DigNap15

Fan
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
680
I stopped trying to rely on Google 2 months after I started my forum two years ago.
They downgrade many forums
And due to the fact that they keep changing their alghorythms without tellign people what they are...
I don't bother to play their games
I defund them as much as I can.

The sooner more people use other search engines such as DuckDuckGo the better off we will all be.
BIg Tech is a big Scourge
 

eva2000

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Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
1,811
Ok guys I am feeling a bit screwed by Google. My forum is embedded in my larger Joomla site. The forum pages are much slower than then the rest of the site and so Google Search Console treats the whole site as if it is too slow. I have more or less been de-platformed by Google.

Sounds similar to a client of my recently that hired me to fix their Google Search Console/Web Vital and page speed mess - huge part of it was some Xenforo addon/themes killing their page speed back in October - December 2021. Their Google Search Console's User Page Experience was a low 13-18%!

Good news is I've managed to reverse the problem now and pagespeed is up to 40-65% faster and Google Search Console's User Page Experience is slowly moving up past 98% as is improved Core Web Vitals reported via Google Chrome User Experience report which is real world visitors to you site. Will be interesting to see their updated Core Web Vitals report via GSC after it's 2nd Tuesday each month update ~20 days away :D

You can see an example here for my client's October to December 2021 damage done by poor forum style and addon choices with a drop in Google reported Core Web Vitals for Good Time Time First Byte (TTFB) and Google Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) via custom Google Data Studio dashboard I created for my client using his Google Analytics and Chrome User Experience report data sets.

1643091775137.png


FYI – I ran https://www.theadminzone.com/ through GTMetix and it scores about the same as my forum.

Lab tests for GTMetrix and Webpagetest.org are nice they give you relative comparison of your optimization progress but they won't reflect the real world users based on real world Google user data obtained via Chrome User Report which data set is used for reporting Google Search Console's User Page Experience and Core Web Vitals data. So you could have similar lab test results as another site and still have a worse or better Google Search Console reported User Experience/Core Web Vital result due to different real world traffic/user make ups between 2 sites. i.e. you could have slower average users than another site and that would show up for real world results/GSC reported data but not show up in lab tests.

Tips, properly inspect your Google Analytics data for page speed metrics - you can only do that with older gtag Universal tracker and not newer Google Analytics v4 tracker which doesn't include page speed metrics like Average Page Load Speed and Average Server Response Time (TTFB).

FYI, Google Analytics Average Page Load Time includes 3rd party requests so ads and other 3rd party can blow out your Average Page Load Time. Averages aren’t as useful without accompanying percentile metrics too i.e. 75, 90, 99% percentile (see below Google Data Studio / Google Anaylytics dashboards).

You can setup a custom Google Analytics dashboard just to monitor Average Server Response Time (TTFB) over time. As GA dashboards are limited, you can also import your GA data into Google Data Studio for more in-depth insights.

Example of my Google Data Studio reports for TTFB using my Google Analytics data

Desktop/Mobile and slowest TTFB by country on right column

1643092173776.png

1643092184028.png

Then drilldown to a date’s specific hourly TTFB

1643092201870.png

Google Data Studio can also create interactive Geo Map charts so clicking on a country or URL can drilldown only on specific metrics for that country or URL. This allows you to narrow down your TTFB and page load times from Google Analytics data by country and URL and time of day to see trending patterns. Why? Because GA metrics are real world users so looking just at averages ignores spikes (99% percentile metrics) for the slowest user request i.e. slow mobile device from far away country. This will allow you to pinpoint where you real world page speed user slowness is and profile your visit page speed over time :D

Example drill down on country/city level Average Server Response Time GA metric (TTFB) sorting URLs by slowest TTFB descending for USA only

1643092246442.png


After seeing the domain in the attachment, I visited the site and it's very easy to see what's probably killing the site: the huge number of ads.

16 ads on the forum listing, for example.

Oh definitely ads will kill page speed if done incorrectly. Horton, try testing on default forum style pagespeed and then slowly re-add back elements and each time re-test page speed until you pinpoint the issues. Having Google Analytics/Data Studio real world user metrics will also help profile things over time too.
 

deslocotoco

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Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
209
If you're running a forum, give it a unique URL. Subdomains still carry some of the penalties under Caffeine 2021+ as the actual domain itself.

Sorry, can you elaborate more?

I use an subdomain for my Forum: forum.mysite.com - and my domain redirects to this sub.

This is wrong? Should I move my entire site to the main domain and not use subs?

I’m asking because the Article Management System from Bob is my landing page.

I’m a little worried because Google is giving headaches to us for about 2 years more or less :/
 
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