Q and A: Why is Google indexing 2 different pages as the same ?


Hello Kalena,

Something weird is going on with my website, which is the fact that google started indexing 2 different pages as one page. So now: www.mysite.com/index.htm (actual site provided) and www.mysite.com are indexed as the same page, though they are different pages. And when you view the cache of www.mysite.com/index.htm it gives you the cache of www.mysite.com. Can you please advise?

Regards, Mais

Dear Mais

I’ve looked at the URLs (provided), and yes indeed, the pages you’ve referenced are in fact completely different. It appears that you have an index.php (the default home page) and a different page at index.htm.

Historically there have been a number of “standard” or “default” filenames used for home pages (see list below), and the order of precedence for these is determined by your server configuration.

I suspect that the problem you’ve experienced has been caused by confusion (by the search engines) over which page is in fact your default one. I recommend that you rename your index.htm to something else (and adjust the links to it accordingly).

Listed below is a (possibly incomplete) list of the filenames that could be setup as a default home page.

To save confusion, I suggest that you try to have ONLY ONE of these files existing in any one directory. This list is roughly in order of precedence (but can vary depending on server configuration) :

1. default.html
2. default.htm
3. index.php
4. index.shtml
5. index.html
6. index.htm
7. home.html
8. home.htm
9. index.php5
10. welcome.html
11. welcome.htm


Andy Henderson
Ireckon Web Marketing

Q and A: Will two sets of header information effect our ranking?

QuestionDear Kalena…

Our Web site uses a layered navigation scheme which pulls content (formatted as its own page) into a template which wraps the top, left and bottom navigation (also its own page) around the content page. This results is two sets of header tags when the page is loaded in a browser.

Will two sets of header information effect our ranking?

We have a script that pulls the title tag from the content page and displays it at the top of the two combined pages. I’m hoping to hide the second title by hiding it in design notes. If I have design notes in my HTML code, will search engines ignore it?



Dear Brad

Years ago, having two sets of header tags in a document would cause considerable display issues for some browsers but as they’ve evolved (to accommodate for poor coding and situations like this), you most likely won’t have too many browser-related problems.

However, from an SEO point-of-view it would be best if you could avoid unnecessary header tags. The search bots navigate pages from top to bottom, so by default, it will use the header data from the first tag and technically should ignore the information contained in the second one. But having two such tags bloats the code (even if it’s commented-out) and creates unnecessary information that the search bots have to scan, even though it provides absolutely no value to the page.

If the pages being pulled into the template aren’t designed to be viewed or indexed without the layered navigation system you’re using – then really you shouldn’t even need to have heading tags on these docs? Or perhaps as another alternative, have an additional script that runs and only imports/displays all data below the tag.

Hope this helps

Peter Newsome
SiteMost SEO Brisbane

Q and A: How much should I expect to pay for SEO services?

QuestionDear Kalena…

We are in the early stages of the SEO service development within our company and are now wanting to start getting an idea as to what the going rates for this service generally are within the industry, and what factors effect pricing.

Do you have any knowledge or information regarding this?

Are there any leads/resources you can point me in the direction of for me to gather up information regarding this? How are costs usually determined/laid out within a company offering this service, I’m assuming there are typically multiple levels of SEO one can offer, yet I do not know what the variables are that put someone in one level, and someone else in another.

If you can, please let me know anything about this topic that you can. I’m sure any help will go a long way in helping us sort things out.



Dear Myles

There are many ways you can promote a website online ranging from paid advertising, organic optimisation, social media marketing, local business directory and search listings, article marketing/distribution, viral/linkbaiting etc. etc.

Just like there are many flavours of SEO – there are also just as many types of companies providing these services ranging from large corporate SEO agencies, freelance consultants and specialised boutique providers that focus primarily on one aspect of SEO (and then do it really well).

So as you could imagine, the pricing will differ considerably – and sadly, you don’t always get what you pay for.

Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz wrote a great article on the topic which should give you some more specific information regarding costs and services: SEO Pricing & Costs – What Should You Charge / How Much Should You Pay?

SEOmoz also has a directory of well respected SEO firms in their SEO Services Marketplace. Or the Search Engine College Jobs Board will give you an idea of what price some companies are willing to pay to hire in-house SEO consultants.

At the end of the day, you have to feel comfortable with the SEO provider you decide to work with, so ask lots of questions and if you’re not satisfied with the answers move on. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is… oh, and one last thing – avoid any company that guarantees top 10 rankings.

Hope this helps!

Peter Newsome
SiteMost SEO Services

Q and A: How do I remove content from Google search results?


Hi Kalena,

I receive your Newsletter updates and I always enjoy them.  I’m working on a medical website and the client was wondering what to do if someone puts up an inflammatory website about a specific doctor? Can we report a threatening and/or inflammatory website to Google? I’ve never run into this problem before.  Any ideas?

Thanks, Mitch.

Dear Mitch

One of the best (and worst) things about the internet is the fact that just about anyone can publish just about anything.  This offers a great opportunity to disseminate information, however, this can certainly be a problem if  the information is inaccurate or defamatory.

In your case, if the information is actually true (even if it is unflattering – or even nasty), there is probably not very much you can do.

If the published information is untrue, your first course of action should be to contact the site owner and ask them to modify or remove the information.  If they refuse or are unresponsive, you may need to seek legal action to “encourage” them to make changes.

Once the site has been updated, and recrawled by search spiders (which may take some time), the updated content should start appearing in search result listings.  Google has a long memory and sometimes old (deleted) content seems to persist in search results for a very long time.  It is possible for the site owner to request (via webmaster tools) for content to be removed from the Google Index – but once again you would need the site owners co-operation to do this.

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, recently published a post about getting pages removed from Google, but as a general rule Google will not remove defamatory content unless it has a court order to do so (although this policy may vary depending on the country concerned).

The official Google documentation page on how to remove a page from Google’s search results provides more information.

Good Luck..

Andy Henderson
Ireckon Web Marketing

Q and A : How come we see PR for password protected Gmail inner pages?

QuestionDear Kalena…

We all know that PR comprises of backlinks to a particular page or PR passes on from High Page. We also know that Google or any other Search Engine suggests to block a page by using the username and password.

If that is the case then how come we see PR for Gmail inner pages or PR for Orkut pages when logged in?

In reality the PR should never pass to the email account pages when you have logged in.



Dear Arnab

The PageRank shown in the Google Toolbar is not an accurate measure of a page’s true PR. The Toolbar PR is usually updated 4 – 6 times a year (sometimes more, sometimes less depending on algorithm changes and other search updates).

As a result of this, there are a lot of pages that will show no rank for months, which really do have a ranking hidden to the general user. Or the complete opposite where pages within a well trusted domain like Google (even non-indexed, password protected pages) will show PR that doesn’t exist.

In these cases it’s nothing more than a glitch in the Toolbar as it’s attempting to guesstimate what the PR would be based on the value normally passed down from the root domain.

You can still use the Toolbar PR as a rough guide, but for the reasons above, it’s best not to focus primarily on the Toolbar PR and use other metrics to measure the true value of a page.

Hope this helps.

Peter Newsome