Page info appears scrambled on Google

Why do certain pages of my site appear as they do in Google (see images).

As shown, the pages are www.mindbluff.com/marble.htm and www.mindbluff.com/askread.htm as well as others. Other pages of my site don’t appear like this. Never happened before.

Hm, your page code is terribly outdated, and has a lot of errors. The first thing that would be good is to add a doctype. But beyond that, it would be good to run your page through the validator:

… and address the many errors on there … any of which might be causing problems. Its not much fun, but necessary. :slight_smile:

Validator?

[FONT=Verdana]http://validator.w3.org/

It will check your code against the specs and tell you if there are any errors in there, where they are and what’s wrong. If you ever get things not working as you expected, it’s always a good idea to run your code through the validator first, because sometimes the most unlikely problems can be caused by slight errors in the code, and easily fixed.[/FONT]

Oops, sorry. I meant to post the link that Stevie posted, not a link to your site. :blush:

Thanks for the suggestions. I checked the codes on validator. Lots of small errors, but nothing too different from my other pages. It would take forever to clean them up. I noticed the pages were in Unicode instead of ANSI, if that means anything. I changed them to ANSI and re-uploaded. Wonder if that makes a difference, and how soon Google will notice? Most of my other pages display fine on Google.

I tried using DOC TYPE and it changed my pages’ layout. Adding DOC TYPE to all my pages, then sorting them out, would require fortitude. After thirteen years on the Web, I know less than before I started.

You actually have pages at http://mindbluff.com/marble.htm and http://www.mindbluff.com/marble.htm, but the content is different on each, which is weird. It seems to be the non www one that has the Google problems, and I notice that, on that page, there is a gap at the top in the code, and possible an alien character (BOM?) that is showing up in the Google page title.

It’s not good to have content on both the www and non-www versions. Ideally, choose one or the other. You can do that with a .htaccess file (if hosted on Apache). You can find more info here:

Search for “Force www for a Domain” about half way down the page.

I think you mean the 250x300 banner at the top of one page and not the other. That banner appears once per 24 hours per unique visitor, so it disappears if the page is refreshed or the other page is visited. Otherwise, I see no difference at all in content between the www and non-www versions. (How could there be?) …as for a gap in code, not sure where that is, but if so I would assume both versions must have it.

I still think it has something to do with the fact that the problem pages were originally in Unicode format instead of ANSI…but I am not knowledgeable enough to understand why. It seems very strange to me. I wish there were a way to immediately see what Google sees when I edit a page.

If you ‘View Source’, you’ll pretty much see what Google sees. There is a gap at the very top of the code, and I’m wondering if there’s a hidden character in there. I see what you mean about the ad appearing once per day. All the same, it’s not good to have a page at www and non-www, because the search engine value of the page is divided between the two versions … and they are separate versions, because they are stored in different places on the server (I believe).

Well, askread.htm doesn’t have the gap, and yet it shares the same Google display problem. I corrected the gap in the other pages but as for a hidden character, all I can say is that most of the codes are ad codes, pasted into notepad manually, the same as my other pages which don’t have the same problem.

As for www and non-www, all my sites on the server are accessible in either format, an option I chose on the host’s web panel. Each page has singular content, which is uploaded only once into the same server. Aren’t most sites accessible as either www and non-www? Never heard of this to be a SEO issue. Viewing Source doesn’t reveal what Google is visually displaying on the attachments above. The actual presentation of the page on my Web browsers doesn’t have a scrambled appearance.

For some shared and specific reason, I would assume, the pages in question cause a glitch in Google’s indexing criteria. I checked one of the pages using Bing and the description/citation there looks fine. Oh well. I do appreciate your suggestions, though.

Unfortunately, I can’t think of anything else to suggest for sorting out the Google problem. But the www or not is an important issue for SEO, so definitely worth looking into further. It’s one of the first things I always attend to when setting up a new site.