At the end of 2012 we moved a web site from Joomla to Drupal and from http to https. During the move, for a couple of weeks we used a 302 redirect rather than 301 and we almost disappeared from Google.

We fixed that and also discovered a number of issues with Drupal plugins that created duplicate pages which we have addressed and almost immediately started recovering in the rankings and search results.

However, the site's page rank went down from 3 to 0 and at 0 remains today, suggesting that there may be something else going on.

Realistically we need someone with experience with Drupal SEO and possibly google penalties to audit the site's structure and make sure we use all the SEO best practices for Drupal 7 sites.


Christopher James Francis Rodgers’s picture

- Fact: Google ranks pages; not sites.

- Fact: Google's most important consideration
for increasing a page's rank occurs when
your pages are linked to by independent sites,
where an independent site is one that is in no way
directly associated to you.

- Fact: You can author unique/original articles
(not published elsewhere)
which an independent site can publish on their site
with your 'by'-line; and you need Not fear that you will be
penalized by Google as being associated with their site.

- Fact: The text wording of independent links
ideally matches the keywords associated
with your page for the best results
in getting your page rank increased
for the keywords you are trying to get ranked for.

- Fact: The keywords in the independent article
would, of course, be under your exact control
since you are the author
assuming the independent publisher
publishes your article without changes.

- Conclusion:
1 - Contact highly ranked independent sites.
2 - Offer to create a unique article
for publication on their site.
3 - Write the article with text-links
that incorporate the keywords associated
with your page being linked to.
4 - Actually get the independent publisher
to publish the article as-is; and note that you
should not offer to link back to their site from yours
as compensation; their compensation being your
gift of Unique content.
5 - Your pages' rankings increase.

There is also a Drupal module which is
essentially just a SEO checklist,
that comes highly recommended.
I do not remember its exact name,
because I have not yet used it.
I will probably track that module down
when my site is complete.

All the best; intended.
-Chris (
"The number one stated objective for Drupal is improving usability." ~Dries Buytaert *

AnalyticsSEOMatt’s picture

Disclosure: I work for an SEO software firm (which uses Drupal as a backbone for our webapp incidentally).

Whilst Christopher's reply certainly contains some good advice, I'd always be wary of using the word "fact" when discussing SEO. Why? Because a) SEO is always changing as Google refines its algorithms, b) Google never tells you exactly what you should do in order to guarantee results c) a lot of SEO advice is educated guesswork (and it quickly becomes obsolete advice).

In particular the advice Chris gives about writing content for other sites and linking back to your own is OK - to a point. I'd add to this:
* Don't produce spammy content (spun articles or copy/scrape content from other sites)
* Take into account the social profile of the site you're approaching (e.g. do they a good following on Twitter and other social networks and would they be likely to share your content with their communities?)
* Take into account the current discussions going on in the SEO world about the value of guest posting - Matt Cutts has suggested that Google may devalue the links from guest posts if they think it looks spammy (watch Google WebMaster Central videos on Youtube)
* Use rel=author and/or rel=published tags

I'd also add that I would caution overdoing the use of keyword-specific anchor text in the links you're getting back to your site. If you end up with a spammy-looking link profile as a result of this (and other factors), you could find your site incurs penalties, which undoes all you hard work in the first place.


Christopher James Francis Rodgers’s picture

I would also agree:

I would caution against overdoing the use
of keyword-specific anchor text links
back to your site(s)
on any one page of content on the independent website:

...or not more than three if one is to your
"About me, the Author" page.

Personally; in my opinion.



..and I do agree with your position on the word "Fact".
I do laugh now, as I did then, back when I chose that word
to force the original poster to seriously reconsider
their present mindset re: seo.
... if you know what I mean.

All the best; intended.
-Chris (
"The number one stated objective for Drupal is improving usability." ~Dries Buytaert *

areynolds’s picture

The module Chris is referring to is, verbatim, SEO Checklist. I've seen audit reports by SEO "specialists" that are basically a re-hash of the SEO Checklist module, so it's certainly worth going through, if only to have the satisfaction of saving the money you'd fork out to them :)

It sounds like you're cognizant of the dangers of duplicate pages, so I trust that all pages are redirecting to https, your bare domain (non-www) redirects to www (or vice versa), and that every page of your site has a tag?

In terms of recommendations of Drupal-oriented SEO specialists, I haven't worked with someone who has knocked my socks off, but I'd be happy to tell you my experiences with different providers if you reach out.



riccb’s picture

Google adsense reports that drupal has too many render-blocking javascripts that slow page performance. If a google product is reporting bad performance it quite likely penalizing the site.

Fme Addons’s picture

The best would be if you can post the URL of your website here in this post, We can review accordingly and let you know what went wrong, Otherwise you will receive open suggestions and that makes it difficult to translate them particularly for your own website.

P.S - Do consider forum rules before posting URL