Sunday, February 10, 2008

Back to the Future SEO

Recently I took on a new SEO client who had a major problem. They had a very popular portal land site in a competitory industry but for 3 calendar months running, their Top 10 hunt engine rankings for major keywords had taken a consistent dive. The place driblets ranged from 1 or 2 topographic points up to 20 places. They hired me to seek and computer address the issue quickly because their advertisement gross relied on the top 10 visibleness of their trade name in the SERPs.

I looked for the usual suspects, a Google penalty, dodgy code, concealed text, new competitors, 404 errors, keyword stuffing, fast acquisition of links, sphere issues, major hosting outages, over-optimization and codification bloat. Nothing - the land site checked out clean. There had been a major Google algorithmic rule update in the past 6 months, but that had occurred hebdomads earlier to the downward trend. So then I asked about the designing history and if any major alterations had been made a hebdomad or so anterior to the sudden ranking drop. The client couldn't remember any major alterations so I went about the concern of improving the land land site as best I could and integrating a nexus edifice political campaign to obtain golf course from high quality land sites in the same industry.

But I couldn't agitate the thought that there must have got been some major alteration to the site that impacted its previously ideal hunt engine compatibility. So I asked for the site's log data files for the past 6 calendar months and imported them into ClickTracks for a near look. I discovered that the land site showed a solid growing in traffic starting in February and continuing until April. It was attracting the most traffic on April 5 and then it suddenly plummeted. The logs didn't uncover much else, except record keyword referrals for the period, followed by record lows.

It was then that the small visible light bulb above my caput switched on. I could utilize the Internet Archive to see what the land site looked like on those dates! If you aren't already familiar with the Internet Archive (affectionately known as the Wayback Machine), it's an online depository of web land land sites in historical timeline formatting so you can see what web sites looked like on different days of the month in their history. Check out Wikipedia's presence page designing from 2001 -
It's fun, and a small embarrassing, to see what certain web land sites looked like many old age ago.

So I pulled transcripts of the client's place page from the archives for the day of the month scope that coincided with the major spike and autumn and studied the hypertext markup language codification of each carefully. When I compared them, I saw one blazing difference. The aged version contained keyword-rich link statute titles for the chief pilotage country while the future version didn't. The golf course were still there, but the nexus statute title properties were not and a speedy bank check of the client's current place page hypertext markup language showed they were still missing. It turns out that the web interior designer had inadvertently removed them during an update without realizing and never replaced them.

Because the pilotage country consisted of a big figure of untitled links, the consequence was a driblet in the place page keyword denseness for the client's major mark keywords, allowing their rivals with higher denseness to force them down the SERPs. I presented my find to the client and they were somewhat relieved to have got an account at last. The nexus statute titles were reinstated and the client's rankings have got been climbing back ever since.

The whole experience got me thinking: the Wayback Machine is really the SEOs secret weapon. It's Back to the Future SEO! Here are just some ways SEOs could utilize it:

1) To descry major hypertext markup language cryptography alterations on your ain land land land land land land sites or client sites that may have got got impacted rankings (as per my lawsuit study).

2) To survey the designing and hypertext markup language history of your client's sites and their competitors.

3) To descry if a web land land land land site have been optimized inch the past.

4) To analyze the designing and hypertext markup language history of the web sites belonging to your major SEO competitors.

5) To descry if a web site have used dodgy optimisation tactics in the past.

6) To see what keywords your rivals targeted in the past versus the 1s they now target.

7) To compare designing and usability alterations made over the old age by large trade name sites (and copy them).

8) To deliver hypertext markup language codification and mental images for sites that have been hacked or wiped without back-ups in place.

9) To track content duplicate or right of first publication misdemeanors where the site proprietor have already removed the offending material.

10) To check up on the true age of a web site and see if it have been used for a different intent or company in the past.

These are just utilizes I came up with from the top of my head, but I'm sure there are plenty more. Some of these usages are not SEO specific, but utile to webmasters in general and particularly to people looking to purchase an existent domain.

Then there are the merriment utilizes - awkward your couple by emailing them a transcript of their old land site complete with frameworks and blinking graphics. Having a laughter at the first designings rolled out by some of the major hunt engines. The possibilities are endless.

So what are you waiting for? Use the Wayback Machine - and Get Back to the Future!

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