In a time when the industries are becoming more and more reliant on the opportunities that the digital space offers, it cannot just be avoided to run into several unfortunate events. Knowing how the Internet works, we all know that sky is the limit—the limits today are the only breakthroughs people have achieved. With this, many SEO strategists and others in the industry experiment on this or that as they weave through the workings of the digital space.
Some of these heroes have gone through tough challenges and have survived to tell us their tale about the SEO horrors they have met. More than this, they have also shared with us how they have survived the frightening ordeal.
Before we delve into this, let us not forget that SEO has been an important tool that businesses use to market their brand online. The Internet is used not only by businesses but also by professionals, students, and others around the globe. The Internet caters to all our daily needs and recreations. Businesses see these people and the number of activities they do as the perfect conditions for them to introduce their brand. Most of the time, they get it right and hit the pot of gold.
Sometimes, their strategies take the road to the hunted woods and things just take a darker turn. Here are some of their tales:
Paid Links Losses
Google works hard to keep the surfing experience more optimised and efficient for users. With every algorithm updates, they always keep in mind to clear the digital space from bugs, spams, and other things that will hamper the users’ experience on the platform. Case in point here is what happened with Overstock.com which, in 2011, offered discounts to students and teachers who can provide a link if they link their Edu domains to Overstock.com. During these times, search engines put high regards on Edu domains. A few of these links can make a site outrank others in the SERPs. As a result, Google penalized Overstock.com when they have traced this activity which made Overstock.com suffer drastic losses reaching about $1.5 billion revenue drop.
Our takeaway? It is always, always, better to practise white hat SEO and create content and strategies that offer organic content.
This SEO horror story, in turn, features Toys R Us. Toys R Us in 2010 bought a particular domain Toys.com and start launching their new site. The catch here is they did not set up 301 redirects from their old URLs to new ones. What happened is that Google re-indexed the site without its previous link equity. This made Toys R Us start from scratch as it destroys all the hard work they have done and set them back by years. They lost all valuable backlinks along with link juice. In the prior tale, we told you that it is necessary to practise white hat SEO. Well, Toys R Us did that but because they failed to set up 301 redirects, which was an unintentional mistake, it costed them dearly.
The only thing we can say here is to always check and make sure with all your SEO activities. Especially with this situation where they switched domains, much like a family moving out of their house, they must check if they already have what they needed.
Losing SEO Traffic From Practising Black Hat SEO
We have told you something about white hat SEO earlier. This time, someone named Andrew Youderian shared his own story about how, after a Google Penguin update, he has lost about 80% of his organic traffic. It turns out that the SEO company that handles his site, Trolling Motors, practises black hat SEO. He has outsourced his cite’s SEO services, fully trusting that the agency uses white hat SEO. Trolling Motors was not the only one who fell off the rankings with Google’s release of Penguin. On top of this, some were also penalised.
Link Schemes was at its prime back in the day and although they have fallen out of favour in the last few years, some SEO strategists still use them for getting links. On top of these link schemes becoming less effective, relying on decade-old tricks, Google also penalises those use this outdated solution.
Surely, many SEO horrors have already happened. Everyone in the industry must also have their own SEO horrors but for what it’s worth, we all learned something from it. All these SEO horror tales have something in common: using black hat SEO.
Black hat SEO attempts to gain traffic with ways that violate the search engine’s terms and conditions. Google and other search engines today have become more strict with the SEO activities that practitioners do. If you are looking for an SEO company in Singapore, make sure that it uses white had SEO, like OOm!