SEO worst stories

Search engine optimization commonly known as SEO has gained popularity in online marketing. Though SEO has a reputation of being reliable, it is not free from bad things. Have you ever made progress in SEO campaign and suddenly the rankings drops without warning? Many people have horror stories about bad things happening to them during SEO campaign. Luckily, such stories have some things in common, and they are preventable if you know the main causes. Some of the prominent companies have also experienced sad SEO stories. Here are examples of SEO horror stories that have happened to major entrepreneurs and brands in the world.

#1. BMW Uses Doorway Pages

In some years back, BMW used unnatural ways to attract links. It was the first time that BMW was reported to use doorway pages- a redirect specifically designed for search engines. This was considered as a black-hat SEO tactics. However, this technique became more common in 2006, and the search engine did not enforce strict guidelines on the issue. Although the tactic did not make BMW more visible, they got number one ranking for generic keywords. When Google found out the BMW trick, they quickly penalized the site, and the authority domain was brought down to knees.

Lesson learnt

The doorways pages created to inflate your rankings will end up bringing you down in the end. Using this trick may temporarily boost your rankings, but Google will soon find you. In this case, Google will set you back with the algorithmic or manual penalty. This will severely hurt your domain and, sometimes, it can be impossible to recover from it.

#2. Toys R Us Failure to include 301 redirects in their old site led to crashes in search results

This is another major brand that has an SEO horror story. Whether Toys R Us action was deliberate on not, their million dollars investment purchase was not spared. Toys R Us wanted to build their online empire, so they decided to purchase the domain in 2010. The giant company became a victim to Google penalty by failing to make a smooth transition. Toys R Us launched a new website without taking into account the use of 301 redirects in their old website. Building a new domain authority without setting up 301 redirects made Toys R Us go back many years of the progress.

In that case, Google re-indexed the website and denying the rights of the previous site. For Toys R Us, This was an ultimate setback that significantly brought down the value of their investment.

Lesson Learnt

Toys R Us did not use the black-hat tactic, and they had no intention of boosting rankings like BMW. This was just a natural mistake that set them back many years. This is a great lesson for those who want to set up new domains for their site. In this case, you should be careful whenever upgrading your domain to ensure that your old site’s assets are transferred correctly.


The lessons learned from Toys R Us and BMW is precious to any company who want to involve itself in SEO campaign. Whether your mistakes are deliberate or not, Google will penalize you heavily.

One Comment

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