TheHighlander

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Hi, I ran into something yesterday and was curious if anyone has encountered similar incidents.
temp-gsc2.jpg
We started onboarding a new legal client, and before gaining access to their GA/GSC properties I started my own audit. After screaming frog everything appeared normal, their site had some broken pages, unoptimized images, a lot of redirects to clean and some other relatively minor stuff.

I ran a search operator query and got 0 results which also helped explained the 0 ranked keywords SEMrush reported.

When I finally did get access to search console is when I noticed the clients website, domain and a site directory had been added to the 'Remove URLs' list.

Has anyone run into this before?

temp-gsc2.jpg
 

heckler

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When did that client stop working with their previous SEO? Was it around Jan 4, 2017?
 
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That's my questions too, looks like someone tossing a monkey wrench into the machine on their way out.
 

TheHighlander

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Spoke with the client more; around that time there was a prominent legal agency with a not-so-shiny reputation hosting it and another middle man that is no longer in the picture.

Could be either but Gyi Tsakalakis has a blog post dedicated to this agency and their tactics in an older blog post I found on his site. (Thank you, Gyi!)

Things are starting to make sense now :)
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks so much for not mentioning their name. Appreciate it!
 

JoyHawkins

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Wow that is super shady! Were you able to fix it pretty quickly?
 

TheHighlander

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Yes!
From the time we discovered it we jumped ahead in our sprints just to get them live and indexed again. The custom theme could wait.

There was plenty of red bull that night, but once we relaunched we canceled the requests, resubmitted sitemap, and fetched as google for desktop and mobile. With a clean robots and sitemap we were back in the index almost overnight and ranking again within a week or two

A good reminder from the google support forums, check all versions of the website in GSC.

Fortunately in this case they only monkeyed with one version :)
 

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