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10 SEO Horror Stories: Scary Tales from SEOs

SEO Horror Stories: Scary Tales from SEOs


It’s that time of the year where individuals in outfits wander the streets, kids can consume sweet all they desire, and weird tales are talked over the world. But naturally, it’s not practically ghosts and beasts. Us SEOs have our own “Halloween” minutes that provide us frightens and headaches.

I asked SEOs on Reddit to share their SEO Horror stories and it was a trip checking out all of them. While some are relatable, some are awful, ideal out of an SEO’s Horror worries. Check out these stories from the folks at r/SEO.

The Website Redesign

From Reddit user: Obio1

“SEO Horror story” is another method of stating “website redesign”. Right?

A site redesign needs to not be as frightening as it sounds, however in the incorrect hands, it can result in an outright catastrophe. The SEO and site designer need to constantly be lined up when a site is going through a redesign. You would never ever desire a gorgeous site without any visitors.

Mass Noindex

From Reddit user: imdblars (Lars from Damgaard Digital)

I had a customer whose web designer no indexed the website when upgrading and establishing brand-new things. First time I experienced this the rankings resembled the red wedding event episode of Game of Thrones.”

Noindex is your buddy if you wish to keep unimportant pages from the search results page however putting noindex in the entire site? That is simply a dreadful abuse of it.

Bad Sales

From Reddit user: thedecanus (Dean from Daysack Media)

My old employer offered regional SEO to 3 various avoid hire businesses all within spitting range from each other. They were all from the tourist neighborhood so as not to be tinkered by any methods. We got all 3 organizations to the top of the SERP’s however second and 3rd locations utilized to call grumbling Long story short, one business (#3) discovered, threatened us, informed #2 and they both drove over 200 miles to our workplaces with baseball bats.

Lucky, that got dealt with no violence – the 2 business stopped utilizing us and I’m quite sure the man at #1 never ever discovered.

I have actually fulfilled a lot of SEOs who take customers that are direct rivals with each other and 100% it develops into a catastrophe. Just don’t do it.

The Classic Panda Update

From Reddit user: kris99 (Krzysztof from Pulno)

One of the websites I was a co-developer lots years earlier remained in the top 20 domains struck by Panda/Farmer upgrade and lost 90% of its exposure in one day. As I remember it was a loss over 100k distinct users a day.

This one is a genuine classic. I keep in mind when it was first launched back in 2011. Thousands of sites had the very same experience as this losing a big quantity of traffic overnight. Definitely not an excellent memory.

Ajax Murder

From Reddit user: Ann_Yaroshenko (Ann from Jet Octopus)

AJAX enables websites to be upgraded asynchronously by exchanging information with a web server. This suggests that it is possible to load parts of a website without refilling the entire page. Despite Google engineers have actually considerably enhanced the making of JavaScript for Googlebot, AJAX got its bad SEO track record.

About the site:

Real-estate site 1M+ pages 4,5 M month-to-month checkouts

What was done?

We evaluated log files to see where the crawl budget plan was invested. Logs revealed that Googlebot sent out 38 M demands throughout the month. 23,5M (!) demands were lost on ajax material.

What suggestion we offered:

1. Check material that is offered on AJAX and examine whether it deserves being displayed in SERP. 

2. Close material that supplies no worth in robots.txt for Googlebot.

Key takeaway

Before closing AJAX material in robots.txt, think about thoroughly what material exists. You can mistakenly obstruct the part of your website and the material can end up being useless for bots

This one is rather technical however it’s frightening and it’s a seo horror story you can gain from. When you have a site with a million pages or countless pages, you would wish to have that crawl budget plan invested in crucial pages. 

SEO Karma

From Reddit user: milosmudric (Milos from SEO Brainiac)

Were worked with by a customer, we handled to rank him primary in the nation for among the most pricey services and 2 not so pricey. Somehow we had expert info that they had around 2 sales monthly for this pricey service and after our project, they had 4-6. So they certainly had the ROI after a number of months, however, they were not pleased, so they fired us and worked with another firm (They didn’t even understand about Analytics, and they were looking me like I’m ghost when I informed them that they need to have had more requires those 3 services. They couldn’t think I understood…). So, the brand-new business recommended redesign (most likely since that was the only thing they understood how to do), Totally altered the material, all the page aspects, with no redirection, etc. They lost all their rankings and traffic.

Still, for me, it was more a funny than scary 🙂

This one is likewise timeless. A restless customer who changed to various firms and absolutely ruined. Karma strikes quickly in the SEO world.

Yellow Pages

From Reddit user: emuwannabe (Rob from Purpose Driven Promotion)

They poach customers with impractical pledges and never ever provide.

I’ve recovered a couple of customers from them throughout the years. In reality, I simply got another back this month after being away for about 12 months. HE invested about $300/month and you understand what he got for it? A placeholder page that states “future home of BUSINESS NAME” he’s practically broke now – hasn’t had a brand-new customer in months he informed me.

BUT he’s willing to come back to me since he understands I can provide. He was all over page 1 for lots of searches – numerous in leading 3. All that disappeared with YP

This is more of a redemption story, however, SEOs take a look at organizations that pay a big quantity of cash for directory sites with scary. Luckily for them, we SEOs are here to assist.

The Lovely Visitors (Fictional)

From Reddit user: AtomicMandark

I’m on google analytics, examining my site’s traffic. Even if it just has a couple of individuals visiting it, I’m truly delighted that my site has visitors. But there’s one unusual thing I’ve seen – 1 brand-new user is included each week. I don’t understand why. Maybe it’s since I set aside time each week to head out and attempt to fulfill a minimum of 1 individual that’s willing to listen to me babble on about my site.

This has actually been taking place around a year now. Ever given that I settled in my home, I constantly maintained my routine of heading out each week. And traditionally speaking, the 1 extra user each week hasn’t stopped.

I discovered a method to inspect where the users are originating from. I won’t explain how I discovered, however, I’m gonna do it today…

That’s unusual.

Most of my website’s traffic originates from the very same location… It’s my home. But I shouldn’t be thought about as a brand-new user given that I’ve constantly visited my website. Is somebody getting into my home each week simply to inspect my site? That’s unreasonable.

That’s why I examined what my CCTVs tape-recorded

The corridor cam is broken? It doesn’t matter. There’s just one space at the end of the corridor – my basement.

Here are the important things, the basement is where I take individuals I fulfill each week. Once they get up as I cut into their bodies… I inform them of the story of how I developed my site from scratch. I can’t assist it. I’m so happy with my site and I desire more individuals to understand. It doesn’t assist that they shriek whenever I inform my story. Cutting off their tongues doesn’t appear to shut them up. But a minimum of I got to inform them about my story.

They were all so charming. But they constantly passed away while I informed them about my story. They couldn’t be the visitors, right? That’s difficult. But if they are… I think informing them my story worked.

This one is imaginary however I like the image in the story, it was a roller rollercoaster flight. Pageviews from the dead? No thanks.

Banned from Facebook

From Reddit user: hanouaj

Kept publishing links to my site in numerous Facebook groups till Facebook entirely prohibited the publishing of any link to my site in whole Facebook.

Social media is among the simplest methods for sites to get their name out there. For most brand-new sites, it’s their primary source of traffic. Getting your domain entirely prohibited from the most significant social networks platform worldwide is simply pure fear. It is one of the seo horror story that i got.

Forgotten Landing Pages

From Reddit user: lalapranpriya

A customer had a surprise that it would be enjoyable to erase all the landing pages of the website. When we asked their advancement group about it, they all of a sudden had selective amnesia.

Landing pages are vital for any SEO project. Having a detach in between SEOs and web designers is currently frightening however erasing the landing pages from presence? What a problem.

Key Takeaway

All SEOs have their own stories on the terrible experiences they’ve had whether it’s a broad core algorithm, bad links, and charges. We all can associate with them. At the completion of the day, these scary stories provide us important lessons that can, even more, enhance our work as SEO specialists.

Do you have an intriguing story to inform? Leave a remark listed below and share your seo horror stories with us!


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