I’ve noticed a couple of problems with my site which could be pushing visitors/search engines away from the site in question. Here’s what i found:
Contact Page not working: I changed the url for the contact page about 3-4 months ago and thought it was working correctly but to my amazement it wasn’t. I was checking the 404 stats today and noticed that since Aug last year, i had about 300 requests for this contact page which resulted in 404 error code because the page rewriting was messing things up which means i’ve lost 300 queries!!!
Cananonical problem: This can cause duplicate content penalty/filter if not corrected. However i’ve set my preference to be www.example.com instead of example.com in Google Webmaster Tools but i still should have done a 301 redirect as i believe this problem could be leaking about PR juice.
Category name changes: I’ve shortened my category names and made them more concise a while back. To ensure the old url did not result in a 404 error, i made 301 redirects for the old urls to the new ones. However i didn’t spend to much time looking at the trailing slash problem caused by certain urls and this resulted in few unexpected 404s. (eg example.com/old-category/title/ –> example.com/new-category/title/ but not example.com/old-catetory/title –> example.com/new-category/title/) Yeh, i know my regex was wrong!
Keeping urls short: It’s good to keep the folders upto 3 levels, so i cleverly changed my urls from 4 levels deep to 3 levels. However i made category name changes at the same time and because i didn’t spend too much time testing everything out, there are occurences where some urls are giving out 404 errors.
Ugly message for bad requests: For urls that don’t exist, the website just says a one-liner to inform the user that the content was not found. This is disgraceful and should really show the user the same layout as the website and give alternate urls for the user to try to enhance the user experience on the site.
Feedback for questions not working: I found it really odd that questions which were asked by visitors were not being followed by either by themselves or other people. I didn’t pay too much attention to it until today and when i tried to insert an answer myself, the page would just refresh without saving the feedback from the visitor. Very bad!! I don’t even want to know how many people tried to send feedback and thought it was sent through when it didn’t make its way to the database 🙁