In late 2015 we had the opportunity to work with an amazing individual who owned a really cool website / blog in his industry.
With respect to their anonymity we aren’t going to name them in this post, but it is a well-respected website in a competitive niche.
In the title we say “un-SEO’ing” because this client had hired so many different SEO’s and website consultants over the years that there was more to be removed than there was to be added.
On the front end, it was a normal WordPress blog.
All of the title tags and meta-descriptions were in place, and from a quick glance it almost seemed to be a normal website.
But once we opened the hood and really started taking a look we found some extremely concerning characteristics of this website, namely:
- the website was hacked
- there were multiple (4+) live versions of the website indexed
- it had the most comment spam I have ever seen in my life
- it was “broken” in many different ways plus had over 50 WordPress plugins enabled
- several other consultants had access to this website
- the website host was trying to upsell our client due to all of this
- blackhat backlinks pointing to the website
- it had evidence pointing strongly towards someone who had access to this site in the past selling links for profit.