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Google not indexing/caching forum any more

Guest MikeDaniels

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My friend asked me to search some information/help on an issue (for certain reasons, she is unable to do so herself, for the time being). Long ago, she had IPB v2.1 installed, then when v2.2 came out, the license would have expired but she renewed it. (It expired for her again, just before v2.3 came out but she finally decided not to renew it, see reasons below.)

With 2.1, she had some own customizations on the forum (skin and certain other modifications). Including five own skins (well, with only little differences.) The default skin (the "blue" IPB one) was disabled as "visible" (so no user could choose it) and has set one of the own skins as default. However, on google cache all cached pages used the default blue skin for some reason. When she has upgraded to v2.2, she reapplied her mods/skins, and to prevent google from using the IPB default skin, she removed it via the Admin CP panel -- assuming that google would also choose the own skin set to default (just like any users, e.g. guests also see that by default.) But no, google seems to cache only lo-fi versions (and only very very few), and absolutely no normal versions of pages. (There is a very popular subforum on her forum, which used to be returned by google as the first match for a keyword; after the upgrade to v2.2 it does not appear at all.)

Her "own" skins are just different in colours and images (and no special, huge images, so nothing special); the minor modifications on forum are really negligible (so nothing is altered such as usual URLs -- such as rules page -- at all; to my knowledge such major modifications wouldn't comply with the license anyway). So it's hard to believe that google doesn't cache it because of all this, but then what else? Is google trying to guess the access to the IPB blue-style default skin, and since it doesn't find it, it won't use the default own skin of the forum ?

Thank you very much in advance. The own skins are really important for her, and she doesn't want to subscribe to v2.3 as long as she can't be sure the custom skins will allow google to cache the well-visited forum pages correctly...

EDIT: sorry if it's not the correct forum and only for customers... in such a case may I get advice where to ask all those above?

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Well, the problem is that her account expired as I've said (she couldn't renew it, also for personal reasons I can't detail and not just because of her doubts with google caching), and support isn't provided without a valid license. As for me, I'm just a friend -- probably buying and setting up a new IPB in a few months, but that's months.... So IPBBeyond or customer center is no possibility. I guess I ask it on the wrong forum but anyway: is there a place where it can be asked without the need for a valid contract? (Anyway, I think I'll also have some questions before deciding to subscribe -- isn't there a place to get answers before one signs a contract?) Thank you for any information, I really appreciate it.

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