Writing Myself Out Of Search Engine Limbo

2 min read

⚠️ A warning that while not entirely, this is certainly partly the cliché “here are the tools I've used to build this blog over the years post” ⚠️

For years I relied on Jekyll as the backbone of this website. Not to blame this fine tool, but I found the publishing orchestration (and there wasn't a lot) to be just annoying enough to hold me back. Or so I thought.

I decided that switching to Ghost, with it's purpose built publishing UI/UX would remove the friction holding me back from writing the volume I aspired to. But I found Ghost didn't quite have the developer UX I was hoping for. An external problem again blocked my progress. Or so I thought.

I've now settled on 11ty for the front-end with Ghost remaining on the back-end. Self-hosting Ghost easily enough on DigitalOcean. Netlify holding it's own hosting the static site.

Through these migrations I took the opportunity to settle on a URL pattern. From /YYYY/MM/DD/post-title to /post-title and now /blog/post-title (with a couple of others as well).

Stepping carefully, I kept Google happy using redirects and the sitemap.xml file. But I clearly took a wrong turn during the last big change made as the search results are now a mess.

All results correctly redirect, but the correct URLs are missing and some posts are missing entirely. And quite annoyingly, Google Search Console has disabled the feature allowing me to request page specific indexes.

So here I am, stuck once again. But this time the answer seems clear. The metaphorical cache-busting needed is likely to write my way through this wall.

Here we go.

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