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Why listen to me?
Who am I?
Who am I?
• VP of Community at ContentKing 2015 - now
Who am I?
• VP of Community at ContentKing
• Previously: ran an SEO agency
2015 - now
2009 - 2015
Who am I?
• VP of Community at ContentKing
• Previously: ran an SEO agency
• I ❤ to write and talk about SEO
2015 - now
20...
Who am I?
• VP of Community at ContentKing
• Previously: ran an SEO agency
• I ❤ to write and talk about SEO
2015 - now
20...
Real-time SEO Auditing and Content Tracking
Why SEO Disasters?
• I love hearing and reading about them
Why SEO Disasters?
• I love hearing and reading about them
• Makes me a better SEO
Why SEO Disasters?
• I love hearing and reading about them
• Makes me a better SEO
• Helps me teach others
Why SEO Disasters?
SEO Disaster: post-mortem
What happened and what was the result?
SEO Disaster: post-mortem
What happened and what was the result?
Why did it happen and 

how could it have been prevented?
SEO Disaster: post-mortem
A note on laying blame
A note on laying blame
SEO Disasters are caused by developers :(
A note on laying blame
SEO Disasters are caused by developers :(🚫
A note on laying blame
SEOs love to blame developers
SEO Disasters are caused by developers :(🚫
A note on laying blame
SEOs love to blame developers
Sometimes rightfully, often not
SEO Disasters are caused by developer...
A note on laying blame
SEOs love to blame developers
Sometimes rightfully, often not
Take responsibility!
SEO Disasters ar...
Redirects gone wrong
Yours truly
What happened
Redirects gone wrong
• Multi-lingual site
What happened
Redirects gone wrong
• Multi-lingual site
• HTTP —> HTTPS migration done on Friday afternoon
What happened
Redirects gone wrong
• Multi-lingual site
• HTTP —> HTTPS migration done on Friday afternoon
• We redirected the EN and DE versions to NL ¯_(ツ)...
The result
Redirects gone wrong
The result
• Everyone freaked out (incl. client)
Redirects gone wrong
The result
• Everyone freaked out (incl. client)
• Fixed it within 3 hours
Redirects gone wrong
The result
• Everyone freaked out (incl. client)
• Fixed it within 3 hours
• It didn’t have a noticeable impact 😅
Redirect...
How could it have been avoided?
Redirects gone wrong
• Better test process
How could it have been avoided?
Redirects gone wrong
• Better test process
• Monitoring
How could it have been avoided?
Redirects gone wrong
• Better test process
• Monitoring
• Not rushing important updates
How could it have been avoided?
Redirects gone wrong
• Better test process
• Monitoring
• Not rushing important updates
• Limit release window to Mon - Wed
How could it have b...
Canonical to dev environment
JLH Marketing
Jenny Halasz
What happened
Canonical to dev environment
• New “Press” section was added
What happened
Canonical to dev environment
• New “Press” section was added
• Press release sent out, got lots of links!
What happened
Canonical to dev environment
• New “Press” section was added
• Press release sent out, got lots of links!
• None of these pages were

indexed by Google...
The result
Canonical to dev environment
How could it have been avoided?
Canonical to dev environment
• Education on best practices
How could it have been avoided?
Canonical to dev environment
• Education on best practices
• Testing
How could it have been avoided?
Canonical to dev environment
• Education on best practices
• Testing
• On-page SEO monitoring
How could it have been avoided?
Canonical to dev environm...
Pagination gone wrong
Anonymous
What happened
Pagination gone wrong
• New JS-driven pagination system was rolled out.
What happened
Pagination gone wrong
• New JS-driven pagination system was rolled out.
• “More user-friendly”
What happened
Pagination gone wrong
The result
Pagination gone wrong
The result
Pagination gone wrong
• A massive change to internal link structure
The result
Pagination gone wrong
• A massive change to internal link structure
• Indexed pages went down
The result
Pagination gone wrong
• A massive change to internal link structure
• Indexed pages went down
How could it have been avoided?
Pagination gone wrong
• Education on best practices
How could it have been avoided?
Pagination gone wrong
• Education on best practices
• Testing
How could it have been avoided?
Pagination gone wrong
Canonical in body
StoxSEO
Patrick Stox
What happened?
Canonical in body
JavaScript magic was used

to modify <head>
What happened?
Canonical in body
The result
Canonical in body
The result
Canonical in body
• Google ignored the canonical URL
The result
Canonical in body
• Google ignored the canonical URL
• Duplicate content frenzy
The result
Canonical in body
How could it have been avoided?
Canonical in body
• Education on best practices
How could it have been avoided?
Canonical in body
• Education on best practices
• Testing
How could it have been avoided?
Canonical in body
Disavow like goody two-shoes
Anonymous
What happened?
Disavow like goody two-shoes
Gullible SEO disavowed all links

that looked “unnatural”.
What happened?
Disavow like goody two-shoes
The result
Disavow like goody two-shoes
How could it have been avoided?
Disavow like goody two-shoes
• Critical thinking
How could it have been avoided?
Disavow like goody two-shoes
• Critical thinking
• Discuss with peers
How could it have been avoided?
Disavow like goody two-shoes
Minimizing SEO Disasters
Minimizing SEO Disasters
1. Education on best practices
Minimizing SEO Disasters
1. Education on best practices
2. Involve specialists early on
Minimizing SEO Disasters
1. Education on best practices
2. Involve specialists early on
3. Testing
Minimizing SEO Disasters
1. Education on best practices
2. Involve specialists early on
3. Testing
4. On-page SEO monitori...
Keep learning
Keep learning
Want to learn more about SEO disasters?
• contentkingapp.com/blog/seo-fails/
• contentkingapp.com/blog/seo-f...
Don’t let SEO Disasters
surprise you!
contentkingapp.com
Thank you for your attention — let’s keep in touch!
Steven van Vessum
stevenvvessum
linkedin.com/in/stevenvanvessum
steven...
Exclusive offer for SearchNorwich
We’d love to help you prevent SEO Disasters
First 6 weeks for free
Create a trial accoun...
SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum
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SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 1 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 2 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 3 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 4 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 5 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 6 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 7 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 8 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 9 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 10 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 11 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 12 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 13 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 14 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 15 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 16 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 17 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 18 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 19 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 20 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 21 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 22 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 23 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 24 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 25 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 26 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 27 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 28 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 29 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 30 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 31 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 32 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 33 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 34 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 35 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 36 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 37 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 38 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 39 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 40 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 41 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 42 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 43 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 44 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 45 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 46 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 47 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 48 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 49 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 50 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 51 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 52 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 53 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 54 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 55 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 56 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 57 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 58 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 59 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 60 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 61 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 62 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 63 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 64 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 65 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 66 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 67 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 68 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 69 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 70 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 71 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 72 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 73 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 74 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 75 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 76 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 77 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 78 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 79 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 80 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 81 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 82 SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum Slide 83
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There’s huge taboo around sharing SEO disasters. No one wants to look bad, so everyone shares graphs showing organic traffic going up on social media. SEO disasters happen though, more often than you think. If we’re not open about the things that go wrong, how can we improve ourselves and help others improve? Others will make the same mistakes as you did, while you could have helped them prevent it.

Steven wants to break this taboo by documenting and analyzing devastating SEO disasters he comes across. The topic of this talk is both educational and funny. It’ll inspire people to do better, and (hopefully) help break the taboo.

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SEO disasters: the good, the bad and the taboo: Steven van Vessum

  1. 1. Why listen to me?
  2. 2. Who am I?
  3. 3. Who am I? • VP of Community at ContentKing 2015 - now
  4. 4. Who am I? • VP of Community at ContentKing • Previously: ran an SEO agency 2015 - now 2009 - 2015
  5. 5. Who am I? • VP of Community at ContentKing • Previously: ran an SEO agency • I ❤ to write and talk about SEO 2015 - now 2009 - 2015
  6. 6. Who am I? • VP of Community at ContentKing • Previously: ran an SEO agency • I ❤ to write and talk about SEO 2015 - now 2009 - 2015
  7. 7. Real-time SEO Auditing and Content Tracking
  8. 8. Why SEO Disasters?
  9. 9. • I love hearing and reading about them Why SEO Disasters?
  10. 10. • I love hearing and reading about them • Makes me a better SEO Why SEO Disasters?
  11. 11. • I love hearing and reading about them • Makes me a better SEO • Helps me teach others Why SEO Disasters?
  12. 12. SEO Disaster: post-mortem
  13. 13. What happened and what was the result? SEO Disaster: post-mortem
  14. 14. What happened and what was the result? Why did it happen and 
 how could it have been prevented? SEO Disaster: post-mortem
  15. 15. A note on laying blame
  16. 16. A note on laying blame SEO Disasters are caused by developers :(
  17. 17. A note on laying blame SEO Disasters are caused by developers :(🚫
  18. 18. A note on laying blame SEOs love to blame developers SEO Disasters are caused by developers :(🚫
  19. 19. A note on laying blame SEOs love to blame developers Sometimes rightfully, often not SEO Disasters are caused by developers :(🚫
  20. 20. A note on laying blame SEOs love to blame developers Sometimes rightfully, often not Take responsibility! SEO Disasters are caused by developers :(🚫
  21. 21. Redirects gone wrong Yours truly
  22. 22. What happened Redirects gone wrong
  23. 23. • Multi-lingual site What happened Redirects gone wrong
  24. 24. • Multi-lingual site • HTTP —> HTTPS migration done on Friday afternoon What happened Redirects gone wrong
  25. 25. • Multi-lingual site • HTTP —> HTTPS migration done on Friday afternoon • We redirected the EN and DE versions to NL ¯_(ツ)_/¯ What happened Redirects gone wrong
  26. 26. The result Redirects gone wrong
  27. 27. The result • Everyone freaked out (incl. client) Redirects gone wrong
  28. 28. The result • Everyone freaked out (incl. client) • Fixed it within 3 hours Redirects gone wrong
  29. 29. The result • Everyone freaked out (incl. client) • Fixed it within 3 hours • It didn’t have a noticeable impact 😅 Redirects gone wrong
  30. 30. How could it have been avoided? Redirects gone wrong
  31. 31. • Better test process How could it have been avoided? Redirects gone wrong
  32. 32. • Better test process • Monitoring How could it have been avoided? Redirects gone wrong
  33. 33. • Better test process • Monitoring • Not rushing important updates How could it have been avoided? Redirects gone wrong
  34. 34. • Better test process • Monitoring • Not rushing important updates • Limit release window to Mon - Wed How could it have been avoided? Redirects gone wrong
  35. 35. Canonical to dev environment JLH Marketing Jenny Halasz
  36. 36. What happened Canonical to dev environment
  37. 37. • New “Press” section was added What happened Canonical to dev environment
  38. 38. • New “Press” section was added • Press release sent out, got lots of links! What happened Canonical to dev environment
  39. 39. • New “Press” section was added • Press release sent out, got lots of links! • None of these pages were
 indexed by Google?! What happened Canonical to dev environment
  40. 40. The result Canonical to dev environment
  41. 41. How could it have been avoided? Canonical to dev environment
  42. 42. • Education on best practices How could it have been avoided? Canonical to dev environment
  43. 43. • Education on best practices • Testing How could it have been avoided? Canonical to dev environment
  44. 44. • Education on best practices • Testing • On-page SEO monitoring How could it have been avoided? Canonical to dev environment
  45. 45. Pagination gone wrong Anonymous
  46. 46. What happened Pagination gone wrong
  47. 47. • New JS-driven pagination system was rolled out. What happened Pagination gone wrong
  48. 48. • New JS-driven pagination system was rolled out. • “More user-friendly” What happened Pagination gone wrong
  49. 49. The result Pagination gone wrong
  50. 50. The result Pagination gone wrong • A massive change to internal link structure
  51. 51. The result Pagination gone wrong • A massive change to internal link structure • Indexed pages went down
  52. 52. The result Pagination gone wrong • A massive change to internal link structure • Indexed pages went down
  53. 53. How could it have been avoided? Pagination gone wrong
  54. 54. • Education on best practices How could it have been avoided? Pagination gone wrong
  55. 55. • Education on best practices • Testing How could it have been avoided? Pagination gone wrong
  56. 56. Canonical in body StoxSEO Patrick Stox
  57. 57. What happened? Canonical in body
  58. 58. JavaScript magic was used
 to modify <head> What happened? Canonical in body
  59. 59. The result Canonical in body
  60. 60. The result Canonical in body
  61. 61. • Google ignored the canonical URL The result Canonical in body
  62. 62. • Google ignored the canonical URL • Duplicate content frenzy The result Canonical in body
  63. 63. How could it have been avoided? Canonical in body
  64. 64. • Education on best practices How could it have been avoided? Canonical in body
  65. 65. • Education on best practices • Testing How could it have been avoided? Canonical in body
  66. 66. Disavow like goody two-shoes Anonymous
  67. 67. What happened? Disavow like goody two-shoes
  68. 68. Gullible SEO disavowed all links
 that looked “unnatural”. What happened? Disavow like goody two-shoes
  69. 69. The result Disavow like goody two-shoes
  70. 70. How could it have been avoided? Disavow like goody two-shoes
  71. 71. • Critical thinking How could it have been avoided? Disavow like goody two-shoes
  72. 72. • Critical thinking • Discuss with peers How could it have been avoided? Disavow like goody two-shoes
  73. 73. Minimizing SEO Disasters
  74. 74. Minimizing SEO Disasters 1. Education on best practices
  75. 75. Minimizing SEO Disasters 1. Education on best practices 2. Involve specialists early on
  76. 76. Minimizing SEO Disasters 1. Education on best practices 2. Involve specialists early on 3. Testing
  77. 77. Minimizing SEO Disasters 1. Education on best practices 2. Involve specialists early on 3. Testing 4. On-page SEO monitoring
  78. 78. Keep learning
  79. 79. Keep learning Want to learn more about SEO disasters? • contentkingapp.com/blog/seo-fails/ • contentkingapp.com/blog/seo-fails-bigseo-community/ • contentkingapp.com/blog/five-seo-disasters/
  80. 80. Don’t let SEO Disasters surprise you! contentkingapp.com
  81. 81. Thank you for your attention — let’s keep in touch! Steven van Vessum stevenvvessum linkedin.com/in/stevenvanvessum steven.land
  82. 82. Exclusive offer for SearchNorwich We’d love to help you prevent SEO Disasters First 6 weeks for free Create a trial account and ping me at steven@contentkingapp.com

There’s huge taboo around sharing SEO disasters. No one wants to look bad, so everyone shares graphs showing organic traffic going up on social media. SEO disasters happen though, more often than you think. If we’re not open about the things that go wrong, how can we improve ourselves and help others improve? Others will make the same mistakes as you did, while you could have helped them prevent it. Steven wants to break this taboo by documenting and analyzing devastating SEO disasters he comes across. The topic of this talk is both educational and funny. It’ll inspire people to do better, and (hopefully) help break the taboo.

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