August 27th Update

Hi Everyone,

It has been a while since I last posted in here but feel I need the help of the SEO community on this one…

As I am sure you are all aware, there was a relatively large update on 1st August affecting, predominantly the ‘Medical Sector’, among other verticals.

I look after the digital side of an online chemist / pharmacy and following 1st August, seen a healthy 20% increase in organic traffic which myself and my team were very proud of, considering many of our competitors had seen a significant fall.

The work we have being doing as a team has been the best quality work in my career and focuses solely on experience and trust.

As a chemist, our customers are looking for authority, a trusted website and a friendly experience, just like they would when they walk into their local chemist.

Our content on products has never been better, it is approved and accredited by our in-house pharmacists.

We have introduced many features to help support our customers, such as helpful guides and advice that we reference on all relevant products, we have become a company to comment in the press on health related issues earning us natural links back to our site. We conduct studies for the medical industry too.

Any legacy ‘bad links’ that occurred before my team begun have been well and truly disavowed too.

As of 27th August, Google rolled out another update that, in many ways, looked like a partial reversal of the 1st August update and this update hit us incredibly hard, seeing a 60-80% drop in Organic traffic bringing our site to it’s knees.

In all my years in this industry, I have never before been so confused about an update and now I am looking to the wider community for support on this one.

I work for Chemist 4 U (I won’t post the link in here, but please go and find us in search.)

We are fully regulated in the UK also and have been for many years.

If anyone can shine any light on this for us, I would be most appreciative.

We are now focusing on on-site trust more than ever and have many new ideas that we will be rolling out almost immediately.

Many thanks in advance,


Multiple Canonicals

Due to dev error we currently have multiple canonicals on our product pages.

Although this is being fixed I wondered what the latest is on how Google handle multiple canonicals.

My gut feeling says that Google either ignores or chooses the most appropriate.

The issue is that one canonical points to http and the other points to https (obviously the preferred option)

As we have just switched to HTTPS, I don’t want to submit a new site map until I know how Google will treat these canonicals as I don’t want Google to crawl the HTTPS version from the sitemap, find a canonical to the http version and get confused resulting in Google not indexing the new HTTPS version.

On top of all of this, there is a redirect put in place for all http urls to https versions – however Magento has generated a 302 rather than a 301 – another problem.

**Mind F**k!!**

Any advice guys?

Segment Google Shopping Traffic in Analytics

Hi Everyone,

Long time no speak!

I’ve come across an issue…

I need to segment my traffic in analytics by sessions that only came from a Google Shopping ad.

The only way I can think of doing this currently is adding UTM tracking parameters onto my destination URLs so I can then create a custom segment in analytics.

I need this so I can view product sales performance through Google Shopping specifically.

Acquisition currently allows me to see the session generated though Google Shopping and Revenue but I can’t see which product were purchased, where as ‘Conversions > Ecommerce > Product Performance’ does this, but I can’t filter by Google Shopping…

Any ideas guys?


Handling Unpaid Invoices as a Freelancer


Please move this to the most appropriate area if it isn’t already.

I have an issue with a client that is currently refusing to pay an outstanding invoice for SEO work for September 2016 and October 2016 for £1245.00

The work had been agreed over an email, outlining the tasks that would be complete for this amount that was predominantly to be done on local pages for their Estate Agents businesses where they have many local landing pages as they are a Nationwide company.

The work has been completed and a ranking report has been sent over showing great improvements on their previous positions against the keywords we have chosen to target.

The September invoice is now 73 days overdue and the October invoice is 43 days overdue and the company are currently refusing to pay until they receive more and more data, even though the work agreed has been complete, can be proven and has had a positive impact.

Does anybody have any advice they can share here to help me have my invoices settled as this is causing me a lot of daily stress and frustration – especially with the run up to Christmas and a new baby on the way!

Thanks in advance,


Homepage dropped in organic search

Hi Guys,

Our homepage has suddenly dropped from organic search, even for branded terms.

We were ranking in the top 3 for ‘trouser braces’ and our homepage was certainly ranking number 1 for our brand name, British Braces, however it seems to have disappeared.

I can’t see anything out of the ordinary in terms of technical setup – just wondering if any of you guys have any ideas?

Trouser Braces & Suspenders for Men & Women | British Braces



No manual action but huge drops in traffic from Penguin

Hi Guys,

Working on a site that has had huge losses in organic traffic at key dates over the last 4 – 5 years.

The big drops all came in line with penguin ( see attachment )

I have submitted a disavow file but can’t a reconsideration as there is no manual action on the site – any advice?


HJJScreen Shot 2016-09-19 at 14.30.03.png

Attached Images

Big Duplicate Issue?

Looking at the 301 file of one of our sites that was done a while back, all the redirects ( following a move to a new website ) are as follows… to

Missing the www. from the new URL.

Is this causing us a huge duplicate issue?

Looking at analytics data from go-live date, the site plunged to almost zero organic visits per day from a consistent 3/400 and I am trying to get to the bottom of why,

I am currently going through the outstanding 404′s ( over 1,000 of them! ) and getting appropriate 301s put in place, but I am concerned that the www. missing form the new URL is causing a massive duplicate issue as both www. and non www. versions work and aren’t forced either way.

Any ideas?


Filters, Facets, Pagination!

Hi Guys,

I am looking for some advice,

This is our site, Trouser Braces & Suspenders for Men & Women | British Braces

Here’s what we need,

– Correct rel=next/prev implementation on product category pages
– Indexing on colour filters URLs ( due to colour search queries )
– No indexing of price filter URLs ( even if a URL contain both a colour and price filter/facet it would be noindex)

For the outcomes,

– Correct, efficient indexing on categories and products
– To reduce the index due to price filter URLs
– To avoid duplication issues
– To target colour search queries by indexing colour filtered URLs
– To have good practice of rel=canonical

Here is what I have sent to our developer – and this is what I need advice on to ensure I have this correct,

I need the following,

Rel=next/prev should be referenced in <head> NOT <body>

For example,

On the first page,, you’d include in the <head> section:
<link rel="next" href="" />

On the second page,
<link rel="prev" href="" />
<link rel="next" href="" />

On the third page,
<link rel="prev" href="" />
<link rel="next" href="" />

And on the last page,
<link rel="prev" href="" />

URLs including a ‘Price’ filter (min=, max=) must be: <meta content="noindex,follow" name="robots"> and have NO canonical

For example this URL,

X Style Trouser Braces & Suspenders | British Braces

Would be “noindex, follow”

URLs with ONLY a ‘Colour’ filter must have a rel=canonical to page 1 and be <meta content=“index,follow” name=“robots”>

For example this URL,

X Style Trouser Braces & Suspenders | British Braces

Would have a rel=canonical to the following URL

X Style Trouser Braces & Suspenders | British Braces

Please can you give me your thoughts on this,

Many thanks in advance.