10 anti-cases in 10 years in SEO: from canonical to management

How can SEO errors be measured? In the drained budgets, consequences, and other parameters.

Let’s start with a story that has little to do with SEO or internet marketing in general, but rational conclusions can be drawn from it.

The Queen of England opened Heathrow Airport on 13 March 2008. What could have gone wrong?

The same airport looked like this two weeks later:
Heathrow.  28.03.2008.jpg

At that moment, the volume of luggage at the airport was about 40,000 suitcases – due to the fact that internal services were not synchronized, people flew away, but their luggage remained. This went on for two weeks. This happened because when we synchronized after the first baggage stagnation, we forgot to restart the server. After revealing the error, the airport held the title of the best in the world for 5 years, from 2011 to 2016.

The cost of the terminal is $ 8,000,000,000. The cost of the fakap is priceless.

Let’s move on to SEO mistakes.

Technical errors

Use black methods at work

Black methods can lead to the loss of a total of 1,200,000 rubles on the withdrawal of two projects from Minusinsk and Baden-Baden. This case was turned for the better:


However, IT-Agenty concluded that links cannot be purchased.

Of course, you need to build up links, but not referring to link exchanges. How to do it? Let’s say there is a site with excursions. For each information request (for example, “what to see in Tbilisi”), the search contains about 10 similar sites. These are travel blogs and other sites with photos and interesting content. And from each such resource, a link can go to our site as part of an affiliate program.

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Spread changes, especially in the framework of large projects, on holidays

Incorrect canonical from the parameter closed in robots.txt and resulted in the loss of 200,000 clicks. And about 1,000,000 lost rubles.

One of the projects had a page with a GET parameter that brought in a lot of traffic and was perfectly indexed. We decided to glue it together through canonical. After re-bypassing Yandex, it turned out that Yandex first takes into account robots, then canonical. At the same time, while there was no canonical on the page, Yandex did not take into account robots.


Conclusion: it is necessary to carefully study the materiel and principles of work of search robots.

Do not substitute regions when detecting by IP

If, when entering the site, it is proposed to automatically transfer users to a regional subdomain, you need to disable all robots so that they do not go through IP. Otherwise, you may face the fact that a redirect to a regional subdomain will give a 302 error if the region page is not indexed.

We learned this when we set up an automatic redirect for people from another region, but not all robots were excluded. Lost about 20% of communications for a month.


Errors in client work

Do not communicate or sell in person

If this is not done, part of the profit is lost.

Letter to the client.jpg

Conversion per deal with standard sales – 19%, with personal – 31%. Hence the conclusion – the leader must be able to sell.

Do not close food on time

And get minus 1.4 million rubles.

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In client work, it often happens that something goes wrong and needs to be renegotiated. This can happen several times. During this time, a lot of money and resources are lost. Hence the rule was born – to agree on the rules of parting “on the shore”, to clearly spell out the risks and budgets.

Don’t fire clients

In one of the projects, we were faced with the fact that our employee left SEO for a year and a half due to the fact that the client was constantly dissatisfied, despite the fact that the project was successful.

Management mistakes

Do not count numbers in contracts

The amount in the contract is always indicated with or without VAT. If you do not allocate VAT and simply send the amount under the agreement, then by default VAT will be deducted. So you can lose 408,000 on one contract.

Launch products that don’t fire

We at IT-Agenty have launched an SEO course for clients.


But it did not pay off, and we lost 500,000 rubles for organizing training. We concluded that the situation cannot be changed and that the real needs of people must be looked at. Even the coolest idea should be tested.

Overload to chronic illness

Do not look for the cause of problems only in yourself, and do not overwork. It was necessary to start going to the therapist the day before yesterday.
Do not recycle.jpg

DO NOT draw conclusions from your mistakes, do not measure them in time and money

It is worth creating two tablets or two files, where you can write down all the fakups, successes and new decisions.

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  • Establish feedback on projects in both directions. Sometimes it is better to abandon a project, or to radically alter something, than to pull the rubber.
  • It is important to analyze the success story and repeat positive experiences.

Now – about the successes.


This is an informational project. Until some time, the client did not use it. We decided to include the site in all handouts, brochures and other channels. We connected marketing to it. And now traffic is growing due to an increase in search due to different channels of attracting visitors, and not due to the optimization of the technical part and content.

The report at the Optimization 2019 conference was read by Konstantin Solodyannikov, CGO & Head of SEO, IT-Agency.

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