Multisite and Search results

Hi Folks

I've been running my main site and one subsite for over a month now, and I've noticed neither site shows up in search results … at all. Even if you enter the full domain name as the search, they still don't show. The settings are set to index sites in search results for each site … is there something else relating to multisites that I need to do to get them to show.

Many thanks

Richard.

  • Avatar
    • The Bug Hunter

    I am interested in getting your insights too. I noticed some long waiting time like 6 months before Google index content-rich websites in my multisite. And some other search engines are indexing some pages, but not the main website URL.

    Does it play a roll what server you use? shared private host? Dedicated IP?

    I do use SmartCrawl to fetch the site-index. And I use Google Site Kit to connect the Google Search Console, Google Analytics and more.

    Recently I switched to WPMUDEV hosting, WPultimo (new domain mapping) and a new DNS register. The search indexing behavior interests me too.

  • Nastia
    • Support Rock Star

    Hello Richard

    Hope you’re doing well!

    I’ve checked your site and so far I can say that only one result came out when I search for it. (The easiest way to check this is to search site:yourdomain.com in Google.)

    The first step that Google bots do is to find how many pages your site has. I’ve checked the robots.txt site and there is no sitemap added. Please consider adding a site map, in there, to indicate the location of any sitemaps associated with this domain.

    Sitemap: http://example.com/my_sitemap.xml

    The next time your site will be crawled the search engine will locate your site map.

    Please note that each subdomain on a root domain uses separate robots.txt files, so every robots.txt needs to be edited.

    If you have not created a sitemap yet, please try a SmartCrawl plugin.

    You may as well. ask Google to recrawl your site. It can be done by submitting your sitemap to Google WebMaster, on Google Search Console. This includes that you need to add your site as your property, if you have not done so yet. This for sure will help to index your site faster.

    Please also have a look at this really good article:

    https://neilpatel.com/blog/google-index/

    Let us know if you have any further questions!

    Cheers,

    Nastia

  • Richard
    • Flash Drive

    Hi Nastia

    Thanks for your response. Yes the main site hasn’t really been configured yet … it still has a coming soon page. I’d tried searching in a more neutral search engine (duckduckgo) and I couldn’t find any reference. I did also get a result for the main site in google, so I’ll do some work on this and try the plugin as you suggest.

    The main subsite on the account (the one beginning lili) doesn’t show up at all in the search results. What does show up is a previous post to this forum which has the full domain name in it (this post – https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/adding-a-www-version-of-a-domain but it doesn’t have the subdomain address anymore). I had asked on a previous support chat if this post can be hidden, but it’s still showing in search results. If it’s possible to delete or make private this previous post that would be great.

    I think you’re suggesting it’s more important to get the SEO sorted on a multi-site subsite, because of the way the sites appear to search engines … that for the subsite domain to show up at all, you have to add a sitemap etc.

    I’ll see how I get on :slight_smile:

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    Richard.

  • Dimitris
    • Support Star

    Hello Richard

    I had asked on a previous support chat if this post can be hidden, but it’s still showing in search results. If it’s possible to delete or make private this previous post that would be great.

    I’m really sorry about this. Unfortunately, we can’t delete topics but I’ve already marked it as “internal” so it should be removed from google search results soon.

    Please proceed with SmartCrawl and subsite sitemap like Nastia proposed and let us know if you’re still experiencing this. :slight_smile:

    Thank you,

    Dimitris

  • Richard
    • Flash Drive

    Hi Dimitris

    There is an issue with the subsites as smartcrawl shows an error message when you go to the sitemap.xml file (it's a blank screen on chrome and the error shown in the screenshot on firefox). Both the subsites liliv…co.uk and tomm…com show this error and do not show up in search results even if you enter the full domain name as the search.

    Many thanks

    Richard.

  • Nastia
    • Support Rock Star

    Hello Richard

    Hope you're doing well!

    The above error showing that the stylesheet is not loading. Please try deactivating the stylesheet, from SmartCrawl > SiteMap > Setting, toggle off "Include stylesheet with sitemap" option. Please see screenshot below:

    Let us know if the error still is showing up.

    I am afraid support access to your site expired, would you please grant access to your site from WPMU DEV > Support > Support Access so we could have a closer look at this issue?

    Please let us know when support access will be granted!

    Kind regards,

    Nastia

  • Richard
    • Flash Drive

    Hi Nastia

    This appears to have worked in the sense there is now an unstyled site map showing.

    I’ll carry on do some of the other settings and see if the site shows up in search results.

    I’m guessing using the mapped domain that it won’t show up in google unless you do make positive steps such as registering the site with google. Normally a standalone wordpress site will show up in search results if you search for the full domain, after a few days of being set up. Is it always the case that multisite subsites need more work to get them to show up?

    I have enabled support should you need to check anything.

    Many thanks

    Richard.

  • Nastia
    • Support Rock Star

    Hello Richard ,

    Hope you’re doing well!

    I’ve checked your site and looks like the styles are blocked because the domains do not match. The sitemap from the subsite is coming from URL:

    https://www.mainsite.space/lilivelazquez/sitemap.xml

    And the sitemap is redirecting in the front end to the mapped domain:

    https://www.mapped-domain.co.uk/sitemap.xml

    I see the domain is mapped from Aliases section, when editing the site from the network admin. Although I could not determine which plugin adding this feature; please let us know what plugin you’re using so we could check the settings of this plugin.

    Please advise,

    Kind regards,

    Nastia

  • Richard
    • Flash Drive

    Thanks Nastia – It’s the WP Ultimo plugin. You should have admin access through the hub if you need to check.

    I have now registered the subsite with google to see how that goes over the coming weeks. I notice at the moment, that if I search for the subsite in google, the first result is now arti.space which is the main site in the network.

    Would be good to know if everything is configured correctly :slight_smile:

    Many thanks

    Richard.

  • Dimitris
    • Support Star

    Hello there Richard

    I can now see that both sites are listed in Google as they return results when we search for:

    site:art******.space

    or

    site:lilive********.co.uk

    As for the issue with the sitemap URL of the mapped domain through the WP Ultimo plugin, this is already reported to our developers recently and it’s tasked up for our developers.

    If there’s any development on this, me or another colleague of mine will keep you posted here as soon as possible! :slight_smile:

    Thank you,

    Dimitris

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