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Jenny Halasz: "I was expecting 100% of their pages to be dropped from the Google index."

Murphy’s law applies to SEO too: things will go wrong.

We've asked industry leading SEO specialists for the juiciest SEO fails they witnessed (one person wanted to remain anonymous - that fail is especially painful), and here's what they reported:

  • Location redirection gone wrong (Barry Adams)
  • Canonicals in body instead of header (Patrick Stox)
  • Agency site launched without consulting SEO expert (Gerry White)
  • Let’s redirect all URLs to the homepage (Omi Sido)
  • Canonicalization to development environment (Jenny Halasz)
  • Throwing the baby out with the bathwater using robots.txt (Anonymous)
  • Blocking crawlers from accessing old domains using robots.txt (Patrick Stox)
  • Pagerank sculpting anno 2018 (Jenny Halasz)

Grab some popcorn, kick back and enjoy!

  • PM

    Pete McAllister

    about 1 year ago #

    This is a solid reminder that things can, and will go wrong. Interesting (and entertaining piece). I actually worked on a project that launched a re-design without telling me and it turned out it still had a meta robots noindex tag on it. Happy I check for that kinda stuff regularly, it could have ended badly!

    • SV

      Steven van Vessum

      about 1 year ago #

      Wow, yes that's a nice catch! That's actually a situation we come across quite often over at ContentKing (the benefit of monitoring tens of millions of URLs / day).

  • TC

    Tad Chef

    about 1 year ago #

    Oh my. I thought I have seen enough #seohorrorstories myself but these are simply ridiculous. Also I hate IP redirection so much as a user!

    Tumblr, TechCrunch etc. just do it now with all their content. Just because I'm in Germany I get redirected to their German GDPR disclaimer whenever I visit one of the Oath sites.

    What if you visit or live in Germany as an American? You have to agree to a German document you don't understand?

    • SV

      Steven van Vessum

      about 1 year ago #

      Thanks for your 2 cents Tad!

      I personally hate IP redirection as well. If you think users need to be somewhere else, you can do this with a subtle banner at the top offering that option.

      As for the German GDPR text - that's a great example of where it just doesn't work. I guess you'll have to brush up your German man! ;)

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