DIY SEO Disaster, My Page Disappeared from Google

For the most part I’m a DIY type of person, I put together this website without much trouble, thanks to the user-friendliness of WordPress. I was ambitious and installed the Yoast SEO plugin to try some DIY SEO. After reading up on SEO I thought it couldn’t hurt to give it a try.

DIY SEO, Attempt 1

After installing and using the Yoast SEO plugin my traffic dropped off. I took a look to see what was going on. I searched Google and found my posts had been indexed by their tags or as archives, not by post or page titles like they used to be. My search result title would be “Butterfly” or some other random tag rather than the post title or page name. So confusing! Maybe my page views were down because the post and page titles were missing and only vague tags or archives showed up.

When searching for “Butterfly Wing Tutorial” my page showed up but the title was strange, just my archive was indexed, not my actual page title. Picture below:

DIY SEO problems

Archive title rather than post or page title.

Below is what I put in the Yoast SEO form below my post, hoping my page would show up like the plugin preview:

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 2.17.22 PM


I contacted support and they told me to take a look at the Titles and Metas section. Then select Post Types and Taxonomies and choose noindex. They attached the screenshot below to help:


So I changed the Meta Robots for Posts to no index (like the picture above showed). I also changed archives and tags to no index.

And then my website disappeared. Horror!

Trying to Fix My SEO Fail

I panicked, looked over the changes and changed Posts back to index. It was the only thing I could think to do… Some pages returned, but still with strange titles. When I followed up with support I found out I misunderstood their directions. The graphic they sent me was just an example of how to change the Meta Robots to noindex. It wasn’t actually “Posts” I was supposed to noindex to fix the problem.

Fortunately I purchased the Yoast SEO premium version which comes with tech support. I found the tech support was very helpful; I felt really bad for annoying them. In hindsight I should have sought out an SEO expert and not tried to attempt DIY SEO.

I resubmitted my sitemap, now I wait and hope the random “tag” and “archive” pages will disappear from Google.

Tech support reminded me that there’s over 200 factors that Google considers when choosing your page rank. Maybe my website isn’t relevant. Maybe adding SEO caused it to be indexed and ranked (or ignored) by Google as it should be.

In Conclusion

My new goals for this year: provide relevant content and tutorials and seek an SEO expert before I try any other DIY SEO experiments!

8 Comments on DIY SEO Disaster, My Page Disappeared from Google

  1. blckberry13
    March 3, 2017 at 9:48 pm (1 year ago)

    Wow, this sounds like a nightmare. Looks like you learned a thing or two though. I’m just not technical at all!

  2. Joely Smith
    March 4, 2017 at 3:34 am (1 year ago)

    Wow this is rather scary! I just switched from Blogger to WordPress and have not noticed any issues yet. My page views were down for a bit but so was my blog more or less. I had a professional move me from Blogger to WP so if you want to email me I would be happy to send you screen shots of my SEO area. I really hope this gets worked out for you. It would be a total nightmare!

  3. David E
    March 5, 2017 at 2:18 am (1 year ago)

    That does sound like a nightmare. I can’t imagine my blog no longer getting indexed. Ah well. Hope it gets fixed and soon.

  4. Nicki McLaren
    March 5, 2017 at 2:32 am (1 year ago)

    Wow I would have had a meltdown. I am not too savvy when it comes to websites and running them. Maybe I will stick around before moving.

  5. Helene Dsouza
    March 5, 2017 at 3:03 pm (1 year ago)

    I found yoast always super useful but I have to say at times I was hitting my head on a wall to get the page title tags right. For some reason I couldn’t get any page titel to show for the woocommerce part of the website. It was frustrating and I gave up in time. Maybe I should get the premium version some time. Well in case next time this happens to you, just fix it so that it is indexed again and then go to Google Dashboard (formerly Webmaster tools) and resubmit your website to crawl. It will send out a ping to google to come by asap.

  6. none
    March 5, 2017 at 9:09 pm (1 year ago)

    Yikes this sounds like a nightmare. I thought about hiring someone for my SEO. I don’t know, I’m still on the fence. Good luck!

  7. Keoshia I Busy Doing Me
    March 7, 2017 at 8:49 am (1 year ago)

    Sorry you had that problem, yes sometimes it is better to get an expert to help or teach you how to do things you are unfamilar with.

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