SEO Horror Stories

SEO Horror Story #9

Back in 2001 I emigrated from the UK to Australia and found work at a search marketing agency (name withheld to protect the, umm innocent). These were the days when the line was not clearly drawn in the sand for webmasters, so *ahem* innovative practices were alarmingly successful. Our client list included some of Australia’s [...]

SEO Horror Story #8

The rebranding that went horribly wrong
We had 3000 pages of content that, despite our complete lack of attention to SEO details, had managed to rank well and drive about 120,000 pageviews per month from search. Unfortunately we didn’t realize how much traffic we were getting from search until after we’d changed every URL during a [...]

SEO Horror Story #7

A few years back we were in a meeting, discussing upcoming campaigns and projects for the e-commerce site, when the President walked in. By his side was a SEO consultant he had hired to increase traffic to our website. The pres has listenend to our conversations about needing to increase traffic and that SEO was [...]

SEO Horror Story #6

An SEO volunteered to “help” our web strategy firm in a trade-out. (I know, I know!) We had the talk about “white hat only” and transparency.
Our friend the SEO posted false reviews, causing one competitor to start a flame war about that. Our Local listing was pointing to an address that wasn’t ours, and our [...]

SEO Horror Story #5

How about getting sued for outranking someone in the search results? Well, not a suit, but a 30+ page document threatening a lawsuit, and seeking “an injunction” which purportedly would require a cease and desist of our SEO efforts? I still don’t really understand it all, but I do understand the reality of the legal [...]

SEO Horror Story #4

My nightmare is never ending. The ghoulish developers for a company I work for can’t understand that their dynamically driven web pages are creating SEO chaos. In addition to the “correct” URLs being generated and spidered, hybrid URLs which contain the header for one category and the body of a different category are being generated [...]

SEO Horror Story #3

A few years ago I was hired to do reputation management / SEO for an industrial supplier to the hospital industry. This ($50M) company had serious problems with SERPs on Google. 6/10 listings were slanderous rants by previous salespeople hiding behind anonymous personas in powerful forums. It was a mess and I wanted a challenge.
My [...]

SEO Horror Story #2

We started a craft content site in December 2008. Our editors create original content and work with craft designers and manufacturers to get similar projects. Our site is a ‘how-to’ site for crafters.
In early February, we had about 100 organic visitors per day to our site. And, by Valentine’s Day, we had about 200/day from [...]

SEO Horror Story # 1

We contracted Company X to provide us with SEO services. We did our homework before hiring this company. Because they had Brazilians in charge of their SEO, and our biggest market is in Brazil, we made the decision to go with them. It was a love story in the beginning. After the first couple weeks, [...]