How to React to SEO Disasters Part I

I’m starting this as a series of blog posts for how to handle SEO disasters. There are many types of SEO disasters. 90% of the time I would say that SEO disasters are caused by internal factors, meaning someone on a company’s internal team made a mistake that damaged them in the long run. I’d say that a lot of the disasters I see in the SEO world are related to on-site link rot, meaning that content gets moved without having a 301 redirect set up. Rarer SEO disasters I’ve seen happen with bad inbound links. Those are the kind of disasters I am going to talk about today.

I have a client in the northern part of the country who recently had their homepage de-indexed. This was a situation where I found out about it before the client. I google their money keyword at least once per day. One day, I noticed that their homepage was no longer there.

I quickly pulled up their spam report in Moz and found a new link that had a very high spam score. I submitted a disavow to search console and the homepage was reindexed within the hour. Another one of my clients was in the automotive space. There were a lot of things going on with this website both on and off page. One of their internal pages was deindexed for a very high-volume keyword. The client noticed this before I did. Even though their search term was only on the 2nd page, they noticed a substantial enough drop in traffic to go investigate. I looked in Moz once again and ran a spam analysis. In this situation, I noticed that the client, an auto parts manufacturer, had some significant issues with links from their dealers. All of their dealers (wholesalers of their parts) had early 2000 style sites with anchor text links. Imagine if you have a bunch of links to your website from old, antiquated sites with the exact anchor text. Once again, a disavow of high spam links saved the day.

Believe it or not, this is the only situation where I’ve seen disavow make an immediate impact. Some SEOs think that disavow has been obsolete for quite some time. I am not sure where disavow is going to be in the new search console, but it is an important feature that in, even the rarest of circumstances, can make an immediate difference.

Tomorrow, I am going to talk about the dangers of on-page SEO disasters, mainly the incorrect setup or failure to set up of 301 redirects, and one of the weirdest issues I’ve ever seen when it comes to redirects a page on your site to a new URL.

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