Search Marketing

Google Webmasters Scared the Crap out of Me!

We’ve been working day and night preparing MarTech for an upcoming design change. Work has included going back through 4,000 blog posts – ensuring we have featured images, the content isn’t out of date (like platforms that have gone out of business), and ensuring we don’t have other strange problems… like about 100 posts that I messed up the html encoding for code snippets, and much more. We also did a backlink audit and disavowed a ton of crappy spam sites that were pointing at us.

One additional enhancement was that we installed an SSL certificate in preparation for some lead generation and ecommerce options we’ll be adding to the site. Not to mention that Google hinted that having a secure site may have a positive impact on rankings in the future. All the changes I’ve been making have definitely had an impact. In fact, in the last month our search engine traffic has doubled. Here’s a screenshot from SEMrush:

semrush-marketingtechblog

We honestly don’t have a lot of time to work on MarTech like this since we’re working to ensure all of our clients’ sites are optimized. As part of our process, I’ve been using a number of tools to scrape the site looking for issues, and I’ve corrected some weird issues that Google Webmasters has revealed… like duplicate titles, etc.

So… imagine my reaction when I logged into Google Webmasters this week and saw this:

google-webmasters-non-ssl

I checked for errors in Webmasters and errors were down significantly. I checked and re-checked my CMS SEO checklist – robots.txt file, my sitemaps, my redirects… everything! I checked for any messages (e.g. a penalty) and there were no messages sent to me. Even though I’m freaked out, I can’t help but wonder if something went wrong with Webmasters.

And then it came to me… what if Google Webmasters required the secure path to the site? So I registered https://martech.zone instead of https://martech.zone. I actually didn’t even have to change the header tag. Here’s what popped up:

google-webmasters-ssl

Google… you absolutely scared the crap out of me. I thought I had done something so bad to my site that I was blocking search altogether. Whew!

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