Let’s look at three real-life case studies that are great examples of the horrors of SEO if done wrong.
You will come across very few articles that show examples of real-life SEO blunders. The reason behind this is that nobody would want to share how their SEO mistakes made their Google rankings go downhill. This is why the details of the following SEO horror stories that we are going to discuss today have been kept anonymous. The three Webpages we are going to discuss are based around non-English speaking markets. Important Decisions were not taken wisely by these businesses which led to their downfall. Keep in mind that all these businesses were able to recover.
This example revolves around the PremiumRetailWebsite. They are an online based store which sells jewelry.
The store decided to move it is hard to remember the domain name to a much easier and shorter name. This is a very common step that various online businesses take and it usually tends to go very smoothly. But, the company made a few blunders which led to everything blowing out of proportion.
Firstly, they did not discuss any legacy issues before the move or made any technical audits. A very bad move was planned from the previous domain to a new one. Thus, the migration was mishandled from the start.
To perform a content migration, Google simply recrawls the new URLs with all the accompanying signals like backlinks. This enables them to rank the new landing pages. It is very crucial to carefully plan migration months and have it done at the time of the low sales season. The business did not focus on any of these things which led to them dropping very low in Google rankings.Besides to this, the website was hit with a legal issue because of the new domain and they had to create a whole new domain.
Advanced preparation is required to carry out a content migration successfully. Also, the current state of affairs should be audited before making any such move.
Any checkered domain past or penalty can be removed but this should be factored within the whole planning process.
Local or regional sales teams are never good contenders for taking over website operations. Success comes with the organization of content, technical on, and off-page signals.
Located in central Europe JourneyCompareHeaven was a well-known travel aggregator. Due to their success in handling a competitive market the company came across various growth opportunities. By making more landing pages the company decided to work on growing SERP visibility. A great amount of 500 thousand landing pages was quickly changed into five different languages. This is where the problem started as that content was not localized. This had a very bad impact on user’s fulfillment. That’s where rankings started going downhill for JourneyCompareHeaven.
Opening landing pages option filtering for indexing was another bad decision. After that around 3 million landing pages erupted in SERPs. Now, Google was left with the task of indexing and crawling countless pages to just be able to index one. The crawl budget allocation also started declining due to low user signals and quality.
As a result, Googlebot started visiting old URLs along with the new ones. This further reduced users and lowered user signals. All these issues added to the recovery time for the firm but eventually they were able to recover.
Relevant converting traffic does not depend on the addition of more indexable landing pages. This has the opposite effect on the content. You should focus more on producing gripping content landing pages.
A company aiming to expand the market should always study the market before hand. The expansion of the market should not only be done with content translation. This is because localization is the key to carrying out this process successfully.
Web server logs should always be saved and noted for crawl management evaluation.
MedicineMakesHappy is a leading medical services website with good reviews and services. Some of their services include appointment scheduling which has boosted their position in the market. The company was doing well because of high visibility and increasing recognition etc.
A third-party agency was responsible for taking care of any marketing jobs. Due to the growing demand for cosmetic services the company decided to launch a link building and outreach campaign. With the aim to grow their market to this profitable niche and also address their customers’ needs. The firm started by auditing the backlink profile of past years. The growing backlink profile got a huge boost due to this. The value of existing backlinks shot up from 1 million to 7 million.
A manual action came across because of link building and because of how competitive the market was, a competitor spam report brought this issue to Google’s attention.
This caused visibility and rankings to drop. The SERP condition went downhill along with the collaboration being ended and site releases halted. Various tries of solving the penalty with the use of Google search backlink panels failed.
However, a third party known for penalty recovery stepped in and analyzed fresh and old data. Their analysis showed many legacy backlink risks. With the third parties help the problem was solved eventually after a lot of struggles.
Spam procedures increase risk. Along with highlighting possible Google guideline Violations.
Third-party link building should always be documented. Backlink building should be done for the conversion of traffic, content discovery purposes.
Manual penalties can easily be resolved. Take the opportunity of lowering rankings to aim for an increase in organic search.
Another thing that we learned after analyzing these cases was that all these websites were at a place where they had high chances of recovery. They could fix these SEO blunders.
Any and every website can work on improving their signals. The examples above show how little SEO blunders could turn into huge disasters.