Damaging SEO Mistakes in 2014

Posted on June 5, 2014 under SEO

The practice of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) has been in a state of flux in recent years. The main catalysts were a number of Google’s algorithmic updates, including Penguin and Panda. Both of these updates penalised websites for attempting to manipulate Google’s search results through spammy techniques.

keywords associated with seo

Penguin, which was first rolled out in 2012, penalised sites for over-optimisation and attacked a number of web-spam tactics such as keyword stuffing and overuse of keyword rich text backlinks. The first Penguin roll-out was estimated to have affected 3.1% of English queries and had a considerable effect on many business websites, transforming many page 1’s overnight, and no doubt crippling many businesses that had relied too heavily on Google’s traffic.

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Make Sure You Aren’t Blocking Google

Posted on May 11, 2014 under SEO

Just a quick blog post, unfortunately with another cautionary tale.

Always make sure that your site isn’t stopping Google from indexing it’s pages. This tends to happen when a site has been redeveloped and the restricing code is left in when the development site is moved over to the live site. It’s not uncommon, but usually spotted very quickly, or atleast in most cases it should be.

Last week I was with a company that were unaware that their site had a robots.txt file with the code disallowing Google from indexing ALL the content on their pages. Oops!
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Failed Google Reconsideration Request

Posted on January 23, 2014 under SEO

Ok, takeaways from a failed reconsideration request.

Failed Google Reconsideration Request

  1. All the sample links highlighted in the message are links that Google mentions in the Google Webmaster Tools ‘Download Latest’ spreadsheet. This seems to confirm what John Mueller has stated that going through
    the listed link profile in Google Webmaster Tools before submitting a reconsideration
    request would be enough in most cases.
  2. Took around 4 weeks for a reply from the reconsideration reply, and that’s over the busy holiday period.
  3. 2 are article marketing directories, with keyword rich anchor texts. These links were overlooked and should have been in the original submission.
  4. Google has little tolerance. The vast majority of these website links had been removed or disavowed at considerable time and expense, and removing links didn’t just rely on the limited links in GWT though as stated above this may be enough. Other software such as Majestic SEO was used to identify the link profile.
  5. Google’s Feedback certainly helps.
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A Review of Google Search

Posted on December 27, 2013 under SEO

Here’s a quick review of some (obviously not all) important events over the last couple of years, and the odd link with advice. If there’s anything you think I should have covered then please add them in the comments section.

2011 & 2012 – Google Strikes Back

Following on from 2011 and the release of Panda, 2012 was certainly a turbulent year in search. The Penguin & Top Heavy updates caused mayhem and caused huge traffic drops to those affected sites.

April 2012 saw Google release Penguin that targeted over optimised websites with a heavy reliance on the similar keyword anchor text links, an over optimised structure and poor quality links.

The Top Heavy Alorigthm update of Jan 2012 affected sites with too many banner ads above the fold and little content. Monetizing websites with banner ads just got riskier.

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Free Google Adwords Vouchers

Posted on December 25, 2013 under PPC

As part of the Google Partners program, I now have 30 or so Google Adwords Vouchers. Spend £150 in the first month and get £150 worth of credit free on a new Adwords account. Just get in contact if you would like to use one. Vouchers last until the end of February.


Google were also kind enough to send a set of earphones, that was nice of them & they’ll come in handy.


SEO Thoughts – Summer 2013

Posted on June 28, 2013 under PPC, SEO

Over the last few years I haven’t really had much time to put any effort into any of my own personal sites including this one, so I’m hoping that can change over the next few months with some more content here, and some new development & design work on my other sites.

At the end of May the penguin update was rolled out and hit one of my newish clients that had a pretty poor backlink profile. When I took over the site there was a dilemma as to whether to spend time cleaning the site’s link profile as well as improving the on site over optimisation or just forging ahead with building a better site, with better content, less over optimisation and better quality links. Getting hit by Penguin 2 obviously made the decision easier.

I decided to run LinkRisk, to see if it matched what I thought were the poor links and to see how they scored the site according to their chart below.

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Don’t Just Rely On Your Organic Traffic

Posted on June 1, 2013 under PPC, SEO

I can across a few screenshots I had taken over the last couple of years, so I thought I’d just show a timeline of the changing nature of Google’s search and the danger of just relying on your ‘FREE’ organic traffic to keep on delivering and improving.

Nov 2011

Below you can see the organic listings, with a number of Pay Per Click ads at the top. Great if you’re top of the pile in the organic listings. There’s also shopping results just below the 2 organic listings.

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Is Checking Keywords a Waste of Time

Posted on April 23, 2013 under SEO

Is Checking Keywords a Waste of Time?

For a number of years I didn’t regularly check a large number of keywords for clients. I’d usually dip in and check a few keywords manually to see how things were going. Religiously checking keywords always seems too time consuming, and for smaller projects, regularly looking and studying keywords was time that could be spent building authority.
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Get a New Website Indexed Quickly

Posted on April 12, 2013 under SEO

How to Get a New Website Indexed Very Quickly With Google Webmaster Tools

This took Google about 2 or so hours to index 40 or so pages for a small business website.
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Panda, Penguin, Top Heavy, Confused?

Posted on December 11, 2012 under SEO

The last couple of years has seen Google on the offensive against low quality sites and low quality links.

The algorithm updates have come think and fast, and wiped out money earning sites, businesses and pushed many towards more stable but costly traffic such as pay per click.

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Michael Wall

Michael Wall is an experienced web developer based in Belfast N.Ireland currently running his own web design company.

Michael Wall is available for Internet Marketing, Google Adwords PPC and SEO work. Please call Belfast 02890 923383 or use the contact form.

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