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View Full Version : Westhost Shared IP error upsets Google Indexing



ramakhalsa
04-18-2006, 07:04 PM
We have a number of sites with westhost and we have become seriously concerned about how the configuration of the Virtual Private Server with shared ip addresses may be causing google to index pages with the wrong base url.

For example: when you do a site index search in the google search bar by entering: site:internationalkids.ca you will notice that the description has been taken from another site with the same ip hosted with westhost. Also another site's title and description are indexed with the internationalkids.ca url.

This obviously affects the indexing and page ranking of the site tremendously. Many of the sites we manage have the same issue.

One site we manage has a fixed IP address and is not affected.

We are still waiting to hear what and when Westhost Support plans to get this error resolved. I encourage you to check your own sites to see if this is plaguing your indexing and page ranking.

wildjokerdesign
04-18-2006, 08:56 PM
That does not make sense. Google optains the information they use by going to your site and reading what is on the page (to put it simply). Google does not index your site useing the IP but by useing the domain name. How do you know that the description you are seeing is from anouther site on the same IP? Is it one of yours. Perhaps a second domain on the same account as the one in question? There are advantages to haveing a static IP but don't think they include SE indexing. It will be interesting to hear what WH replies with. Keep us updated.

WestHost - JFillmore
04-19-2006, 05:00 PM
This is a bug within the VPS software-- specifically the component that manages HTTP requests to accounts with a shared IP address. This bug was only recently discovered as a result of some changes Google has made to the way they index pages. The result is the problem that you have described. And yes-- accounts with dedicated IP addresses are not effected as there is no "middle man" between Google and the web server.

Our developers have already produced a patch for this problem, but unfortunately it requires some significant structural changes before the patch can be applied. We are already working hard at making those changes, but in the mean time are trying to find a way to provide an alternative solution for people with this problem.

I have probably created more questions then I have answered, but we wanted to be sure we acknowledged this problem so you weren't left in the dark. As soon as we have more specific details on this issue we'll be sure to update this thread to let you know.

Jonny Fillmore

Hosting Systems Team Lead
WestHost, Inc.
Phone: 1-800-222-2165
FAX: 435-755-3449
http://members.westhost.com

When you expect more from your web host
http://www.westhost.com/

wildjokerdesign
04-19-2006, 05:46 PM
Wow! Prove me wrong... :) I really didn't think there would be anything the at the server level that would affect Google.

Sorry ramakhalsa about my missleading assumtions.

WestHost - JFillmore
04-21-2006, 05:01 PM
wildjokerdesigns:

The issue is a rather tricky one, and stems from the fact that Google will frequently now keep the HTTP connection open using keep-alives when indexing another host with the same shared IP address. When these two hosts happen to be different accounts then a bug in the component of the VPS software that handles requests to name based accounts handles these requests incorrectly.

ramakhalsa:

I imagine that this has given you a bit of trouble already. Could you please submit a ticket at http://members.westhost.com/contactus.html and request to have it escalated to me so I can help you with this problem?

Jonny Fillmore
Hosting Systems Team Lead
WestHost, Inc.
Phone: 1-800-222-2165, ext 226
FAX: 435-755-3449
http://members.westhost.com

When you expect more from your web host
http://www.westhost.com/

firebirdfan
04-26-2006, 11:19 PM
I've noticed for the past months that Google seems to be showing another site's content & page title.
Ex: domainA.com carries content about " cooking recipes books "
Ex: domainB.com carries content about " socks & stockings :
I investigated both are on the same shared IP and different WH vps.
Google will inadvertently get domainA.com's content for domainB.com while domainA.com will also get another domains content.
Do you guys get any of the above problems same as mine ?

chrisjewitt
04-30-2006, 12:32 PM
I have seen this same issue with at least one of my sites. I thought the issue was with Google when in fact it was with the VPS software. I hope this is resolved quickly as it has become a definite issue for me!

wildjokerdesign
04-30-2006, 04:03 PM
I would make sure and submit a ticket and refrence this post or the fact that Jonny Filmore is aware of the problem so it gets routed to him. I may be they need to examine accounts that this happens to in order to get it ultimately resolved.

ajparker
05-05-2006, 09:56 AM
I've seen the same thing with three shared IP accounts I had been trying to follow up on the issue with google which didn't seem to be getting anywhere.....of course on reading this it's fairly clear I won't get far if the problems at the westhost end.... as you might imagine, depending on the site mismatch it could be quite a frustrating/embarrassing problem. Unfortunately one business site is cached as a site with various "stupid customer" anecdotes....

AndyG
05-09-2006, 03:58 AM
I've also seen this issue.

One of our sites had a completely different title and has caused many pages to be removed from Google.

The first sign of an issue is the sudden drop in PR.

Then the title of the home page is changed.

We have since applied a full dedicatede IP address to the server that hosts 6 web sites and all seems to be ok just waiting for a re-index by Google to bring back PR values and missing content.

Other sites on different Servers have suddenly lost PR and I expect the same issue to arise.

Congratulations to WestHost for admitting that there are issues and that it should be resolved.

I'm betting that this time next month alot of other webmasters will start to notice a problem.

One of the golden rules of SEO is to have a dedicated IP for each web site for reverse lookups. Google is constantly looking for duplicate sites or crossed linked websites on the same server or IP address.

Artisans_Square
05-10-2006, 11:40 PM
I've spent my whole day looking for answers to this:


Artisan's Square
The Stitcher's Guild sewing forum welcomes you! C'mon in, and discuss sewing, quilting, patterns, sewing machines, sergers, embroidery and other ...
www.goatonaboat.org/ - 3k - Cached - Similar pages


Artisan's Square is my site. Stitcher's Guild is one of my forums, and the meta description is my own. But clicking the link takes me to goatonaboat.org which is a puppeteer's site, and has nothing to do with sewing.

I've been assuming this was an intentional traffic heist, intended to quickly bring in a lot of traffic (albeit traffic looking for sewing, not puppets). I've posted to several search engine forums, the Admin Zone and other places trying to find out how it was done, why it was done, and how to prevent it from ever happening again.

Now; reading this is making me think it may just be a bug? If so, how do we fix it?

wildjokerdesign
05-11-2006, 10:03 AM
Artisans,
I am sure it is part of the problem that is discussed here and not the puppeteers site that your users are being redirected to. I am familiar with the owner of that site and have worked with her in the past. Pretty sure she would not do something on the sly to direct traffic to her site. I would bet that if you contacted her she might be willing to work with you in getting users that are looking for you site back to your site. Perhaps a notice on her site. Could be that some of her users are being redirected to anouther site also and is not aware of it. That may be a temp "fix" till this can be sorted out.

allyn
05-11-2006, 02:21 PM
the obvious fix for this problem is just to get a dedicated ip address. isn't that only like $1/month?

w2vy
05-11-2006, 07:14 PM
Our developers have already produced a patch for this problem, but unfortunately it requires some significant structural changes before the patch can be applied. We are already working hard at making those changes, but in the mean time are trying to find a way to provide an alternative solution for people with this problem.


When this is fixed will all accounts, dedciated and not, automatically be
upgraded, or will we need to request it?

We're not having the problem, we've only been here 2 weeks..

Tom

Artisans_Square
05-12-2006, 07:38 PM
I am sure it is part of the problem that is discussed here and not the puppeteers site that your users are being redirected to.

Thanks! If the problem persists, I will contact her. I'm happy to know it is a bug issue, and not a new way to hijack traffic. :)

AndyG
05-15-2006, 02:28 AM
Just to confirm I had the same problem, Google results showing wrong title for wrong URL.

This is easily fixed by a dedicated IP address.

Its wise to have a dedicated IP address not just for search engines but also to prevent your server from being added to Email Spam lists.

WestHost - CRussell
09-05-2006, 05:32 PM
Hello Everyone,

We have now patched a few servers for this problem and expect to have everyone patched in the next 1-2 weeks.

w2vy
09-05-2006, 06:40 PM
Hello Everyone,

We have now patched a few servers for this problem and expect to have everyone patched in the next 1-2 weeks.

Will that include Dedicated servers too?

tom

WestHost - BErickson
09-12-2006, 03:08 PM
Tom,

The patch will be applied to all remaining servers (including Dedicated) tonight.