“I know before the cards are even turned over…” – Mike McDermott, Rounders
When Mike McD was called by Teddy KGB in a huge No-Limit Hold’em poker pot, he didn’t have to see his opponents hand to know that KGB had two aces, the only hand in the deck that could beat his nines full of aces (if you have seen Rounders, feel free to skip over the video below, if not, you probably should get on that). This was the same feeling I had when we got “SERP a DERPd” via accidental noindexation of 9,000 of our most important pages….
I am an in-house SEO and customer Canada Business Fax List acquisition marketer at SeatGeek.com, a NYC tech startup. Our site is a ticket search engine for sports concerts and theater tickets (i.e. “a Kayak for event tickets”).
On Monday 8/1, I was searching Google for ‘mets tickets’ and saw that SeatGeek had slipped from page 1. Worse, we weren’t even on page 2. I tried a few more queries that I knew we should be on page 1 for and still nothing. My heart was beating. Had we been Panda’d? It didn’t make sense, but I was panicked. Then it hit me. I opened up our New York Mets page, but, just like Mike Mcd, I knew before I even clicked view source…content=”noindex” on all of our product pages.
I have only been doing SEO for ~2 years, so I had never directly experienced an accidental noindex situation. So even as I read reports of these Dd Leads not having an impact on rankings and knew this wasn’t as bad as an accidental canonicalization problem, I couldn’t help but envision the worst case scenario…9,000 of our most important conversion driving pages would be out of the index for weeks and would not have their same rank when they got back in.