Using a free StatCounter.com add-in, I get weekly emails showing the number of visitors to this blog. During the summer, the numbers plummeted. At the time, I thought it had to do with Google/Chrome requiring https.
Luckily, HostGator (disclosure: I’m working on becoming a HostGator affiliate), who I use to host this blog and a few other websites, provided free https certificates for all of my sites. So I made sure that https://MapRantala.com worked and thought the numbers would rebound.
Looking at the chart, you can see they did only slightly. I assumed that it would just be a matter of time for Google to see that https was enabled and since the blog is more a place for me to make notes to myself, I wasn’t concerned.
This weekend, I decided to take a look at Google’s Search Console and see if I could determine what was going on. Looking in the coverage, I saw many 404 results for pages. As I investigated some of them, I realized that it was due to my Permalinks setting.
The URLs, as shown below, were not working.
The website was using ‘https://maprantala.com/index.php/' as the base URL. So, for example, ‘https://maprantala.com/2017/08/07/arcgis-pro-2-0-migration-overview' did not work but ‘https://maprantala.com/index.php/2017/08/07/arcgis-pro-2-0-migration-overview’ did.
To change the WordPress Permalinks setting, I went to Settings-Permalinks and removed he ‘index.php/’ from the Custom Structure. Waiting a day, the 404s have disappeared in Search Console and, in theory, I just need to wait for Google to re-index the pages which are currently shown as ‘Crawled – currently not indexed’
That may not have been the whole problem. I republished this blog under a different name for a year. But moved it back to this domain when that domain registration expired. So that may have been another factor.