This past week, we had 3 different prospective clients contact us for 3 precarious reasons. All 3 companies had serious issues that needed to be dealt with immediately. We love these challenges because they really separate the SEO company men from the boys and I love to watch Mike and Alan dig into tough issues and come up with the answers.
Here are the problems we encountered and the solutions we provided:
This Connection is Untrusted – When you clicked on the domain name url, you were greeted by the following message, “You asked Firefox to connect securely to (pullingmyhairout.com) but we can’t confirm that your connection is secure.” You can imagine the concern of having hundreds of visitors see this message when trying to visit your website. We usually see this type of error message when a website is hosted on the same ip as hundreds, if not thousands of other domains.
In this case, we simply contacted the hosting company, advised them of the issue and within a couple of hours, the “Untrusted” splash page disappeared when you tried to surf to the prospective clients website. Most hosting companies already know that there is an issue and its not just with your website, its an issue with hundreds of websites that they host. It doesn’t always happen that quickly but the key is knowing where to start the investigation.
Massive Decrease in Traffic – We get more of this type of call since the Panda update. A recent website we looked at had over 40,000 auto generated pages. This type of tactic had its day but sooner or later, Google catches up to you and you get bounced from the rankings. More often than not, if you have been adding garbage content to your website over the past few years, your website took a major hit from Panda. Its the old theory (GIGO), garbage in, garbage out.
Here, using Google analytics, we picked out the forty or fifty of the best pages on the site (traffic, conversion) and PageRank and then re-built the site in WordPress. Of course, we maintained the same urls where possible and 301’d (permanent re-direct) others but only after completing an in-depth site review.
Banned from Google – We rarely get a call in this circumstance because usually websites that get banned are owned by black hat webmasters and they know what the issue is right away. However, occasionally, a prospective client unknowingly uses a black hat technique, outsources their search engine optimization to an amateur seo company or unknowingly hosts their domain on the same ip as thousands of suspect websites and gets banned simply for their association with a “bad neighbourhood”.
In one case, we reviewed the website itself as well as outside influences only to discover that the webmaster had 3 websites on the same IP and one of them had been banned earlier. Its like dominos, once Google bans one of your sites, they start looking for more:).There is not much we can do it this case except contact Google and try to find an empathic person behind the blue door.
However, there have been occasions where we take over a suspended website, fix the issue (usually removing spammy content or internal linking) and then asked Google to reinstate the website through the owners webmaster central account.
There you have 3 uncomfortable issues that we handled this past week. If you have seen similar issues or have come across problems that you have solved or been unable to solve, drop a comment, we would love to her about them.