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Some of my clients use Wix for the websites, and frankly Im impressed with the functionality it provides. Mind you my preferred website environment is WordPress, but I always enjoying the challenge of drilling down on the details in any CMS.

An obsure 404 page not found error

I was trawling though Uber Suggest’s reports to see if there was any opportunity to improve my client’s website’s SEO performance and noticed a series of 404 errors being thrown for seemly some random posts.

After some further snuffling around I discovered that the issue was occurring in blog posts that used an exclamation mark (!) in the post title. Wix uses the Title when it formats the post URL, except – and its an important exception – if you happen the use an Exclamation Mark in the title. Then Wix dutifully removes that exclamation mark when formatting the post’s URL.

Wix’s title field clearly shows the exclamation mark, but in the post URL doesn’t. OK all good so far but why are they throwing a 404 page not found error ?

The XML Sitemap (used by search engines to find all your pages) incorrectly shows the URL without the exclamation mark so search engines are guided to the incorrect URL hence the page not found errors! Bazzinga!

How does this impact SEO ?

This means it’s likely your post won’t be indexed, and so unlikely to appear in Google search results. As a result, any post that you’ve innocently used an exclamation mark in the Title tag will not contribute to your site’s SEO performance.

I didn’t check if the same applies to Pages, but its reasonable to assume this might be the case. Check it out and let me know ;)

I checked if my Client’s post was indexed using a site: <URL> in a Google search, and this confirmed the page wasn’t indexed. I also confirmed the post wasn’t indexed via Google Search Console.

So the innocent Wix user writing blogs who chooses to add an exclamation mark in the post title has effectively prevented their post from being indexed in Google.  Bummer!

 

Peter Cornish

Peter Cornish

An online marketer with deep experience in Sales & Marketing as well as technical skills accumulated over the many years of working in this industry. He has been knee-deep in websites and online marketing since the mid 80’s.
Peter is a lateral thinker who sees solutions where many don’t.

Website Concierge is a reincarnate of Succinct Ideas, providing quality website support and online marketing for small businesses.

If you found something in my site useful, I’d really appreciate if you could link to the page and maybe Google will help other people who need the same info find the page as well ;)