Technical SEO Case Study

Tech SEO Strategy Tackles Index Bloat

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The Situation:

A billion-dollar global information and publishing company noticed a heavy decline in their natural search traffic for a specific piece of their business. Greenlane Search Marketing, LLC was engaged to identify the problem and provide solutions to fix.

Identification of Issues:

We recognized an incredibly high amount of index bloat – that is, duplicate content being indexed, and a less than effective crawl rate for a site with thousands of key landing pages. Google makes 400+ changes a year; in this case a couple non-disclosed algorithm update pushed thousands of pages into the supplemental index where they fell out of contention.

The Fix:

A drop this substantial typically signifies either a technical (crawlability) issue or a penalty. After internal interviews, we determined this drop was not a penalty; instead it was an issue with crawlers finally giving up on spending their bandwidth and not discovering new pages. The field had become overrun with weeds (so to speak) due to an older, non-SEO friendly CMS platform.

Greenlane Search Marketing, LLC performed a detailed crawl of the site to locate over 80 duplicate pages for each key landing page – some of which Google indexed, while others were appropriately filtered out. Google gave it a good try, but clearly needed assistance.

We produced a technical audit with detailed recommendations to pull the most overgrown weeds. Additionally, we worked with the client’s IT team to create blocks and consolidations through redirects. Since this was high profile within the company, they implemented our steps quickly.

Within the first day of making the changes live, Google took notice, with crawl budget quickly rising thereafter. Google was not only enjoying a better use of PageRank for ranking, but discovered more unique buried content as well.

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