Recently I was training a very impressive young woman by the name of Jane. Jane is a recognised expert and keynote speaker in authority marketing and personal branding for experts, professionals and influencers.
We arrived at the part of the course where we played with the Google Keyword Planning tool. I entered her web site home page address into the the keyword tool to find out what Google thought the page was about. It was not what we expected, in fact it was tagged for search terms that are not relevant to her existing business or web site.
The interesting thing was the search terms that Google threw up were relevant to one of her other old web sites, a web site for a business she is no longer active in.
I know what you’re thinking, no, the sites are not linked, the only commonality is that the sites are on the same hosting.
Something was not right. I could see the tears well up in her eyes as we talked about it, there was over three years of wasted SEO effort 🙁
Later on in the day we then ventured into the Google Webmaster tools account to get a backlink analysis and to see what pages Google has indexed. Nothing. No errors reported, robots.txt file ok, site not hacked, no traffic. This was getting weird. And it’s not as if she has cheap hosting either, her sites are hosted on a dedicated Australian server costing over $140 per month. And the web server is very slow too even though Jane has caching enabled and Cloudflare set up.
I still do not know exactly what is wrong, but I suspect there is something broken with her web hosting. The planned fix is to move her site to new hosting and put it on a brand new domain name and then start again with the SEO. We will also set up a few 301 redirects for some of her pages. Then we will keep a close eye on it using Google’s free tools.
The moral of the story is that you should use the free Google planning tool to discover what Google believes your web pages are about. You may be surprised or even shocked.
The other takeaway is to learn how to use the Google Webmaster tools to discover any problems with your web site.