Last Updated on March 17, 2023
Shopify effectively doubled the number of indexable urls on your site, by letting Google crawl and index their WPM@ urls.
Sites using Shopify’s Web Pixels who keep a keen eye on their Google Search Console will have noticed recently a new set of urls indexed for all of their pages, effectively doubling their site index.
This isn’t the first time Shopify has messed up the technical SEO setups of sites, back in early 2021 their robots.txt files were completely unaccessible for months, causing mass indexing of poor urls on several domains (source).
Gymshark.com and other huge sites affected
This has affected some of the largest Shopify sites online, including Gymshark.com:
You can check other domains using the search – intitle:”web pixels manager” site:domain.com
What’s The Fix?
Shopify has since added noindex HTTP headers to these urls, which will get them deindexed once Google recrawls them.
The problem is, Google will likely not recrawl them for a long time – they already crawl urls slowly due to poor resources anyway, and they recrawl thin content pages even less often.
Plus if you’ve added a robots.txt rule to stop them crawling these, then Google won’t be able to recrawl them to respect the new noindex tag.
I’m personally going to block the urls in the robots.txt file and use the temporary url removal tool in Search Console to remove the following pattern: domain.com/wpm@
- This isn’t technically best practice, as Google won’t be able to recrawl the noindex tag, but frankly I’m not prepared to wait months to see if potential spam is damaging the rankings of sites.
What’s worse is they used to use a different url pattern for this feature (“web-pixels-manager”), and so by changing it to “wpm@” they’ve effectively runined previous fixes SEO’s had to combat this issue.
Mind you, not that surprising after they fired a large number of their SEO team.
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