I’ve had the opportunity over the last few months of seeing the direct impact of switching URLs on a site from http to https.

Because we saw such a negative impact from this change, I wanted to share our experience with the greater community to help you avoid the same SEO challenges we faced for about 5 weeks.

The site is a major retailer with their own E-Commerce site and products sold in retail stores & thru many dealer partners.

Secure HTTPs Requirement

This particular client was instructed (read “forced“) to convert some product URLs on their website to secure https format to maintain PCI Compliance. In what appears to be one of the DUMBEST reasons to change to https I’ve heard in recent memory, this changeover led to a pretty significant decrease in SERP visibility and traffic within 2 weeks of implementation (approx. 3/25).

Top 10 Google Ranking Drops after HTTPs Implementation

Top 10 Google Ranking Drops after HTTPs Implementation

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Saw some weird keyword rankings on Page 2 and Page 3 of Google results for some select queries this evening. Wondering if Google is testing limiting the amount of results on secondary SERP pages for increased CTR’s or other purposes.

Here’s an example of one of the searches. You can see from the image it is “page 2” and I’ve included the search box and the recommended searches at the bottom so you can see all 7 results. No other edits have been made to the screenshot.

Google Showing Seven Results on Page 2 & 3 of SERPs

Google Showing Seven Results on Page 2 & 3 of SERPs

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This is a guest post by Julian Hartley…

Gather All The Information You Need

For this to happen, you have to first discuss the basics with the client. You should ask questions like who is the target audience, what message needs to be transmitted, how many pages and what dimensions the layout should have.

It’s always useful to ask for an example of previous designs similar to the one he needs now. Still, note that this can limit your creativity. In the end, it’s up to you if you ask for a sample or not.

Don’t forget to talk about budget and deadlines. If you want a good work relationship, pay attention to these aspects because they are important too.

Create An Attractive Website Presentation

Let’s assume you have to design a website. If you have to create business cards or posters, we are talking about a one-page layout and it’s a lot simpler. However, the same steps are to be followed, since only the complexity of the project changes. Continue reading


A recent website maintenance client of mine redesigned their website. The new website looks really good and I wish them the best in terms of improved conversion rates and user interaction.

Unfortunately, a redesign must involve many more considerations than just a new skin & the same website content. When you fail to consider the impact a new site will have on your search engine rankings, you stand to lose a lot… it’s not an urban myth or a misnomer.

In the following examples, I hope to show those considering a site redesign just how important it is to factor SEO into the design and migration process. And not only after the fact, but from the beginning of the redesign process.

In this example, I knew the client was working on a new website, but because we were only providing maintenance, they did not notify us when the new site was going to launch, nor did they ask us to look at it for any SEO considerations.

How Quickly You Can Lose Search Engine Rankings After a Redesign

Less than a week after launch, the website is already seeing some pretty significant negative search engine results – Google specifically.

Website Redesign Lost Keyword Rankings

Website Redesign Lost Keyword Rankings

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It’s been a hell of a week for search engine optimization professionals and folks who run their own websites. Especially if your website is dependent on Google for a significant portion of your revenue/income AND you’ve done some less than “white” linking strategies in the past.

Google’s plethora of recent algorithm updates has caused confusion, frustration and for some site owners who’ve lost their shirt over the past week, downright anger. Is it justified anger??? That’s another topic for another day (spammers, black hat, content spinners, link buyers, morality, honesty, fair market, etc.).

The updates have been fast and many since April 17th, but once you lay out the timeline and understand what each update was, it should be fairly easy to identify which Google algorithm update(s) you were affected you. Continue reading

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This is an awesome script you can add to serve images on iPads and next-gen high resolution devices dynamically. I’ll let the description of this script tell the story…  Foresight.js

Foresight.js gives webpages the ability to tell if the user’s device is capable of viewing high-resolution images (such as the 3rd generation iPad) before the image is requested from the server. Additionally, it judges if the user’s device currently has a fast enough network connection for high-resolution images. Depending on device display and network connectivity, foresight.js will request the appropriate image for the webpage.


Google announced today that they made approx. 50 unique changes to their search algorithms in March. A lot of them are just small tweaks that help improve how they interpret pages & specific queries – not necessarily making a huge SEO impact.

That said, they have referenced several algorithm updates that should be noted:

  • Freshness of content is more important – There are multiple references in the 50 updates to factors of detecting old/stale content and/or identifying fresh content.
    • An additional update appears targeted at detecting blog/forum post dates more effectively. Continue reading
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Just for fun today, I utilized Google’s external keyword tool for AdWords to search for my name (cory howell) and see how popular (or unpopular) it is from a search volume perspective.

I was pretty surprised to see the results when I left the keyword matching options on default in the tool (Broad Match and not matching only closely related search terms):

Keyword Ideas from Google AdWords Keyword Tool for "Cory Howell"

Pretty spot on if you ask me… “arizona seo“, “search engine marketing phoenix“, “local search marketing company” (& lots more!). Continue reading

Posted in SEO