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How technology impacts SEO: Case Study

Background: A few months ago, we optimized a client’s website for a few keywords. Within 3 months, it was on Page 1 of the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP). No, it wasn’t a fluke as not only did it just stay there, we eventually reached the top spot (yes Rank 1) for those keywords in the next few weeks.

What happened: Last week I was doing some research and figured that our top rankings were gone. In fact, forget the top spot, we were wiped off from the first page itself! Wait, what? Not. On. First Page? I just couldn’t believe it!

The fix: Immediately I went back to the brand owner and intimated. (Yeah, a typical agency doesn’t do that. But then that’s how we are work, over honest :P) The next few minutes we spent figuring out what has changed. Content, no. Strategy, no. Some new competitor, no. Website, yes! We had rolled out a new feature and updated. I had written the changes that had to be integrated. The techie, while copy pasting from the document, accidently missed ‘one’ word. And that miss made its way to the site. An important word (or keyword) removed from the site and boom! Our rankings plummeted. Thankfully we had noticed it within a week of the change and immediately got it fixed.

The result: 3 days later, we’re back on Page 1! And hopefully will be back to the top spot in the next couple of weeks!

Inference: Although in cases of the rankings being affected, the SEO/digital marketing agency should be questioned but, do note, the impact is because of a technical error/change. And this is why it becomes important for the SEO team to understand technology. Technical SEO is nothing new, but a lot of people tend to ignore it, make sure you’re not making that mistake.

Have experienced such cases? Do share what happened and how it got corrected in the comments.

Originally posted on Niswey blog

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10 Comments

  1. Hi Abhinav

    We also faced similar issues during the initial stage of our website launch. Our issue was basically canonical issue where http://www.thesouthindianstore.com and http://thesouthindianstore.com were two different URLs and they didn’t resolved to a single domain. Now we have fixed the same and it helped us rank better in terms of SEO.

    Thanks!

    Anoop Nair (Co-Founder | The South Indian Store, Selling South Indian Snacks online )

    TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle+

  2. Short and sweet with happy ending :-).

    We at drivekool.com are looking for SEO, can you please send your number to mahesh@drivekool.com ?

    Thx

  3. Nice to hear that it has got resolved, but I think its a common mistake which startup do? Can you please share how to fixed these things in terms of SEO.

    Thnaks

  4. Hi Abhinav,

    Thanks for sharing the article but I couldn’t understand what technical change effected your SEO. Since you only mentioned that the tech guy missed a keyword, if a keyword was made it was primary the content, what is technology to do with it.

    If would be nice if you could be more detail view what did you roll out and how did it effect.

    Yes, I agree technology plays a critical role and as a SEO guy one should understand and know how does it work.  We have experience similar issue with one of client http://www.printawallpaper.com since in last 6 months we have launched few new products and within 6 months the client asked us to remove it so there was lot of shuffling on the website which impacted our ranking. Now after couple of months of identifying the gap we are back on track. We could see improve in our results and increase in impression. 

  5. Gaurav, it depends on which server do you use. Like Linux has a different code and windows have different. You would need to make necessary changes on web.config for windows and .htaccess for linux

  6. Anoop it still doesn’t get resolved.. You need to fix it.. Let me know if you need help with your SEO and Marketing. Call me at 9811122212 or email me at amit.shroff@72interactive.com

    Sorry, it did but you should use the the extension with www instead of http://southindianstore.com/ its most preferred option.

  7. Hi Mahesh,

    Thanks for connecting. Mailed you.

  8. Hi Kumar,

    It will help if you can share the exact problem you are facing.

  9. Hi Amit,

    First of all I never said ‘keyword’. I just said ‘word’, there’s a difference 🙂

    As far as the detail is concerned, there was 1 particular word that was part of a phrase (call it keyword if you like that) that we were targeting. We have architected the site in a fashion that the phrase automatically generates URLs, titles, meta descriptions containing that phrase, every time there is content written around it, even on user-generated content. Since one of those words was accidently removed by the techie, it got removed from everywhere. And hence we had lost our rankings. It’s about 2.5 months since I wrote this article, we’re in the top 3 now 🙂

    Trust this answers your question.

  10. Hi Abhinav,

    Yes this give more detail about what happened and how.. Thanks. I completely agree that you need to understand technology in today’s time if you want to effectively use SEO.

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