layout file not able to render changes on certain category pages

I have made some changes to the layout using local.xml. With the original sample products and category data that I used to test the site the product listing page works as I want it to. I recently got some more sample product and category data and the changes don't seem to work with these. One example is the top.links. In my local.xml I have

  <catalog_category_default>        
    <remove name="top.links" />
    <remove name="left.reports.product.viewed" />
    <remove name="catalog.leftnav" />
    <reference name="root">
        <action method="setTemplate"><template>page/1column.phtml</template></action>
    </reference>
</catalog_category_default>

This removes the toplinks for pages containing the original products but not with the new ones. There are no layout updates set in the db for the new products and categories. The templates are also coming from the correct theme. It just looks like my custom layout file is not able to render certain changes.

In addition to the toplinks, the layered navigation is not displaying but I think it is probably the same issue.

Solutions

There are two types of categories, non-anchor and anchor categories.

Each on of these have a different layout handle. Your code appears to only be using the non-anchor version, if you are dealing with anchor categories you will also need to use the handle catalog_category_layered.

You can check if a category is an anchor category via the category manage section of the admin page.

With regards to the filters not showing that is because you are removing the section that contains the filters.

<remove name="catalog.leftnav" />

If you want to move the block try using unsetChild and insert

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