Image shows a hand holding an iphone open on the Instagram app. The phone is being held up to the sky with skyscrapers and colourful advertisements in the background.

Mackerel Media’s Search and Digital Marketing Roundup – February 2023

Social Media Marketing takes the stage in this month’s roundup. While TikTok continues to soar in popularity, Meta riles creators with a new subscription model. 

Explore the full updates below, as well as our take on Bing’s adoption of AI-assisted search. 

Meta introduces subscription service, Meta Verified 

This month, Meta introduced a paid subscription service, Meta Verified. For $15 a month for iOS users, subscribers can gain access to the highly sought after blue verified tick, as well as extra customer support, account protections and increased reach. 

Pitched as a solution to ‘increase security and authenticity’, the announcement comes hot on the heels of similar models implemented by Twitter, Youtube and Snapchat. As advertising revenues continue to fall against increased competition from the likes of Amazon and TikTok, subscriptions are quickly becoming the go-to revenue booster for global social platforms (while Twitter’s attempt has taken a nosedive, Snapchat has already reached 2 million subscribers)

While it’s true that government-backed identity checks are likely to improve security and privacy on the platform, creators view the model less positively. As platform updates have reduced the amount of customer support available, and algorithm upgrades have limited organic reach in favour of recommended content and sponsored ads, many creators view the change as a crass attempt to make a profit from services which were once fundamental to the platform (just browse the comments on Mosseri’s post below…)

The model will launch in Australia and New Zealand initially, with a view to expand globally if successful. We’ll be interested to see whether resistance from creators will affect this expansion, especially as Meta’s biggest rival, TikTok, continues to prioritise organic growth and creator features (more on that below). 


‘New Bing’ gets people talking 

After much anticipation, Microsoft has launched ‘New Bing’, a new and improved version of its search engine with the addition of the AI-powered chatbot, GPT-3.5

Surpassing 1 million sign ups in just 48 hours, New Bing is still accessible via waitlist only, with plans to roll out more widely in the coming weeks. 

Screenshot of the New Bing homepage. Includes a link to join the waiting list as well as prompts for the new chatbot.

Screenshot of the ‘New Bing’ homepage

So far, reviews have been mixed. On one hand, the new GPT-3.5 overcomes some of the previous limitations of its predecessor, ChatGPT. It is no longer refined to web data until 2021, so is able to source up-to-date answers from across the internet – including from social media platforms. It also has an impressive crawl time for newly published content, and includes citations for all answers – overcoming previous attribution concerns. 

However, the AI-powered search function comes with its fair share of drawbacks. For one, it has the ability to spit out some pretty scary answers, including false claims, accidental racism and concerns about its own memory… To combat, Microsoft has introduced daily chat limits, but we imagine reaching the core of these issues will take some time.

Despite these initial challenges, overall feedback has been positive. Users are pleased with the new speed and showing greater-than-expected interest in ‘chatting for fun’. As Microsoft continues to streamline and overcome initial challenges, we look forward to monitoring these updates in real time – and keeping tabs on how Google’s AI equivalent, Bard, measures up. 

Browse our initial thoughts on ChatGPT and SEO here. 

TikTok introduces Promote tools

The world’s most popular social media platform has introduced a variety of new features to help brands promote their content and creators. 

To increase visibility and engagement, brands now have the ability to add CTAs to their sponsored posts, encouraging either profile visits or direct messages depending on their goal. 

Screenshot of two TikTok sponsored ads side by side. One ad includes the call to action 'View TikTok profile' and the other reads 'Send message'. The ads show the side of a phone and the call to actions are in bright red boxes at the bottom of the screens.

Examples of TikTok’s new Promote tools

They also have the option to magnify influencer-generated content by turning organic creator posts into ads. Similar to Meta’s branded content ads, this function allows brands to maximise the visibility and reach of content which is already performing well. 

These are the latest of a slew of new platform upgrades from TikTok, which is continuously improving its user experience, while elevating the opportunities available to both creators and brands. 

For example, new updates to the TikTok’s Creative Center allow brands to browse the most popular products being sold on the platform (even more invaluable in the era of ‘TikTok made me buy it’. The TikTok Insights tool also enables marketers to dive into trends and shifts across industries. 

Fundamentally, TikTok is the one to beat when it comes to social media marketing. While engagement across all other platforms continues to fall, TikTok achieved a stellar 5.69% in 2022. Offering competitive ad rates, and allowing creators to protect their organic reach without having to pay a premium, it’s time for Meta to tread carefully if it wants to compete…


Looking for more insights on your search and social media strategy? Reach out to a member of our team today.

5 SEO ‘green flags’ for an effective website migration

Q1 is a popular time for website migrations. 

Refreshed from the festive break and fuelled by the rewarding ‘clean slate’ mentally of a New Year, we see many organisations turn their attention towards ‘bigger picture’ projects during this time – with new websites being a popular choice. 

At Mackerel Media, this has certainly been the case for 2023. We’re currently supporting a number of web development projects for our clients, in sectors spanning real estate to payments systems and marketing technology. 

As we reach the midpoint of Q1, and with a very gentle nod to Valentine’s Day 2023, we are reflecting on the biggest SEO ‘green flags’ we love to see for a successful website migration. 


1. SEO involvement from day one

Launching a new website is exciting. You have complete creative freedom and a blank canvas to create a truly engaging user experience (UX), not to mention a chance to address all those pet peeves from your previous site. 

While it can be tempting to jump straight in and treat SEO as an afterthought, this can be detrimental to your site’s overall performance. Effective SEO weaves through your entire website, from the initial sitemap and information architecture (IA) to page layout decisions and SEO style guides – did you know some sites aren’t even built with the capacity for editing titles and H1s? 

Aside from offering guidance in the set-up and overall planning of your site, engaging an SEO expert early also allows you to:

  • Maintain domain integrity, existing visibility, rankings and traffic acquisition, and ideally improve them 
  • Update and streamline existing content
  • Revise the existing IA and sitemap to maximise any unrealised SEO opportunities
  • Ensure all existing urls are redirected efficiently (we’ll come back to this shortly)

2. The right expectations 

It’s a common misconception that a drop in organic site performance is to be expected from a website migration, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Done properly with effective SEO planning, site migrations are actually a chance to improve organic SEO growth by identifying content gaps, smoothing technical issues and enhancing site performance. 

Put it this way – when looking at your analytics in the days, weeks and months after migration, it should be impossible to tell the exact date and time it took place… 

3. A perfect date 

Speaking of date and time, getting this right is another integral component of a successful website launch – and a huge green flag if we see it planned well. 

Ideally, you should opt for a time where website traffic is low but when key team members are available to address any issues. For this reason, it’s generally best to avoid weekends and instead opt for weekdays (we always recommend Mondays and Tuesdays). Additionally, aiming for the afternoon/early evening allows a good amount of time to ensure everything is running smoothly before traffic picks up again in the morning. 

4. Effective planning

The hallmark of any successful website migration is a comprehensive redirect plan. We mean it – this is the absolute bread and butter of a successful migration and a crucial step in ensuring SEO equity is maintained when the new site goes live. 

This plan should start with a complete crawl of the website to collate all urls. From here, we recommend sorting by the highest performing pages, which is a prime opportunity to identify outdated or lower-performing content that’s in need of an upgrade. 

Importantly, this process offers an opportunity to identify the content which is no longer bringing value to the site and remove it as part of the migration (we call this our sunset list). This list might include duplicate content, out of date content, or content that is directly competing in the SERPs. Weeding out these pages not only makes for a better user experience, but streamlines the size of the site for better technical performance. 

Our top tips for an airtight redirect list: 

  • Start planning the list early, while the new site is still being built
  • Prioritise 1:1 mapping – not only is redirecting to general category and homepages sloppy, but it makes for poor user experience too. Ensure all URLs are mapped to the correct locations (correct being the most relevant and/or similar to the original URL)
  • Ensure all redirects are permanent, not temporary – we’re talking 301s over 302s 
  • Minimise change wherever possible – if it’s possible to keep the URLs of your blog and news the same, or similar, then do 
  • Always consider and include external platforms such as customer support and resource pages. These are often left behind in a migration and it can be surprising how much organic traffic they attract
  • Ensure you have a custom 404 page setup to avoid losing customers if they land on a page that doesn’t exist 
  • Don’t forget to redirect internal links – while it can be tempting to leave links as they are in the knowledge that they’ll be taken care of by 301s, this can cause excessive site bloat. Use a tool like Screaming Frog to identify all internal links and update them to the new domain urls. 

5. Consistent check-ins 

The migration process doesn’t end when the new site is live – far from it. The days and weeks following site launch are crucial in ensuring everything is running optimally. 

Using the preliminary site crawl as a benchmark, full crawls should be carried out consistently after migration – we recommend the day of launch, 24 hours after, 48 hours after, 72 hours after, 7 days after, 14 days and 28 days after. This not only allows your team to combat any issues, but allows you to ensure all redirects were set up correctly and that no URLs have been lost in the shuffle. 

Alongside site crawls, this is also the period where you can start to monitor the site’s wider performance in Google Analytics and Google Search Console. As we said, if all has been done correctly, you shouldn’t see any drops, but you may start to see some improvements in visibility, traffic and organic ranking – true markers of a website migration done well. 

Top tip: If you’re planning on updating to Google Analytics 4 and launching your site in the next four months, you’re in luck. A site migration offers the ideal opportunity to coincide the update with your site launch, to start fresh with a brand new and fresh configuration.

And that concludes our list of top SEO ‘green flags’ for an effective website migration. There are many more steps in the process, but these are some of the most important, and the ones we most often see overlooked. If you’re looking for more advice on maintaining your organic SEO performance during a website migration, upgrading to Google Analytics 4, or just about anything else related to technical SEO support and organic SEO growth, get in touch with Mackerel Media.

Mackerel Media’s Monthly SEO Roundup – January 2023

Hello friends – and a very warm welcome to our first monthly SEO roundup of 2023. 

Only 4 weeks into the new year, we’ve been spoiled for choice on news, updates and product launches that are seriously changing the industry as we know it. 

From the future of AI to Google updates and growing competition in Search, here are the top stories that have got us talking this month: 

All eyes on ChatGPT 

We couldn’t kick off a January 23 roundup without mentioning the AI tool on everyone’s lips (and desktops). The AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT, has dominated headlines with its ability to generate human-like responses to a whole range of questions and prompts, from maths equations to conversation starters – it can even pass an MBA exam

Source: ChatGPT

Surpassing 1 million users in just 5 days, it’s fair to say that the tool has captured people’s attention. And for good reason. A program this powerful (albeit with its self-proclaimed limitations), raises a whole variety of concerns around the impact of AI on our work, society, education, not to mention our general way of living. 

So, what impact does ChatGPT have on SEO? There are a few different strands to this – each worthy of its own blog – but the central focus lies on content generation.

The debate around AI-generated content creation in SEO has been around for some time. While the ability to churn out high quality content in minutes would save brands and marketing teams a whole lot of time and money, the emphasis here is on ‘high quality’, which is where AI tools just haven’t been quite hitting the mark. There’s also the small hurdle of AI content being viewed as ‘spam’ by Google’s own webmaster guidelines… preventing these tools from hitting the mainstream. 

But does ChatGPT represent a step forward? Maybe. While the content produced still displays some of the telltale signs of AI generated content, it’s certainly a step up from existing content writing tools out there. 

Source: Search Engine Land

We can see from this example: the detail, grammar, syntax is there. It does feel a little too structured, formulaic, repetitive in parts, but it’s not terrible

Putting style and form to one side, we also have the issue of credibility. One of the most significant drawbacks of ChatGPT is its propensity to generate incorrect information, and present it in a highly plausible and convincing way – not great for boosting trust in online audiences and limiting the spread of misinformation (just ask CNET). 

Ultimately, there is still some way to go before ChatGPT is writing content for search, but can the tool support SEOs in other areas? Search Engine Land has tested out its ability to support keyword organisation, link building and code generation, with generally positive outcomes. Overall, the tool showed itself to be a great asset to get the cogs turning, but without being trained as an SEO tool first and foremost, ChatGPT is unlikely to take over from the likes of Ahrefs and SEMRush in the near future.

The bottom line? While ChatGPT represents huge strides forward for AI (and is a fun tool to mess around with in the name of ‘research’), we don’t see it becoming the new sidekick of SEO teams anytime soon. A case for the future of AI-generated content though? Let’s put a pin in that one.  

Google experiments with Continuous Scroll

Google is changing what it means to rank on page one with the introduction of continuous scroll. Moving away from viewing search results as ‘web pages’ – as if appearing on paper – the new feature is designed to create a more seamless experience for users, more akin to the ‘infinite scroll’ models adopted by popular social media platforms.


As an opportunity to maximise Google’s existing SERP features, such as People Also Ask, Shopping Ads, Image Search and Related Searches, the new design is hoped to create more interaction within the SERPs, with more scope for inspiration and discoverability as users browse results. 

So what will this mean for organic SEO efforts? Well, it goes without saying that ranking page one won’t carry the weight it once did… but it is likely that the feature will encourage more results to be viewed, increasing the chances of your page being clicked even if you aren’t quite hitting the top spot.

We’ll know more about the true impact of this feature when it is rolled out more widely, but for now, brands can help enhance their visibility in this new format by: 

  • Focusing on content which is already ranking (we’re talking pages 2-5) and optimising for key search terms to enhance discoverability
  • Getting creative with headings to help content stand out from a larger crowd
  • Play into the new format by targeting ‘featured snippets’ and People Also Ask 



Competition in the ads space gets hotter  

In our November roundup, we covered increasing competition in search with the launch of Shopify’s universal search feature. This month, temperatures continue to rise as Microsoft invests significantly into its Ad Business, doubling the size to $20 billion.  

While the ads space has been dominated by Google and Meta for close to a decade, the industry is changing. The combined market share of these ad giants fell below 50% for the first time since 2014, leaving more room for newer players to grab a slice of the pie. TikTok, Amazon and Instacart are frontrunners, and Elon Musk is on a mission to ensure Twitter isn’t far behind.  

So, what’s the case for Microsoft Ads? It’s true that Bing holds a minute market share compared to its competition, but it is growing significantly year on year, along with annual revenues. Owing to smaller audiences, the platform is also cheaper than Google Ads, offering more audience targeting capabilities at a lower cost per click. 

Honestly, we’re not sold on this one just yet, but we will be keeping a close eye. The recent $10 million investment will bring a slew of new features, including better data visualisation, extended shopping campaigns and even a brand new retail marketplace, all of which we look forward to checking out for ourselves. 

Microsoft’s performance aside, we’re glad to see more competition in this space. It encourages greater innovation, increased investment in better features. And, if it results in more competitive pricing from the likes of Google and Meta – well, that’s a welcome bonus.

Mackerel Media – A look back on 2022…

2022 has been a hugely exciting year for Mackerel Media. From growing our team to bringing back in-person events and expanding our client base across the pond, we’ve seen a whole lot of achievements in a short 12 months. 

As we officially close up shop for the festive period, we’re reflecting on our biggest highlights of the year. Enjoy! 

Client wins 

Sponsorship of the Ryan Turbidy show 

Kicking things off with client wins – our year got off to a strong start. In January, we were delighted to secure the prime sponsorship spot on the Ryan Turbidy radio show on RTÉ on behalf of our client Elavon Europe. With a huge and loyal listener base spanning the whole of Ireland, this campaign helped extend Elavon’s awareness and reach in the country – elevated by a radio spot campaign. 

Known for our work in search and digital marketing, this was a great opportunity to show off our skills in media planning and buying too, while supporting one of our longest-standing clients to elevate their presence in their home country. 

Expanding our U.S. client base 

As well as pushing the bar for our existing clients, we were very excited to welcome some new ones to our roster too. In March, we were thrilled to partner with Aspire, a major SaaS player in the influencer marketing space.  

Based in San Francisco, this partnership not only allowed us to continue expanding our experience in the U.S. market, but enabled us to get really strategic with our approach – after all, competing in the ‘influencer marketing’ space in 2022 is no mean feat!

With a heavily content-led approach, supported by robust technical SEO and strong product marketing-led thinking, we have thoroughly enjoyed sinking our teeth into this project this year. Writing on everything from TikTok trends to brand ambassador campaigns and everything in between, we’re excited to continue researching and producing the best content out there to set Aspire above the rest. 

Disrupting the baby furniture market 

We pride ourselves on generating brilliant results for our clients, but one of our biggest client success stories of the year has to be Tutti Bambini. With an aim of disrupting the baby furniture market and competing with an immensely busy market, this ongoing campaign spanned a whole range of our agency services, from paid search and social to organic SEO and content optimisation. 

Off the back of a new website launched in March last year, Tutti Bambini has gone from strength to strength in 2022. With amazing ROI on paid promotions alongside exceptional improvements in organic SEO, Tutti Bambini continues to exceed revenue targets every month, including record level Black Friday sales. Watch this space! 

Growing our team 

Of course, as our clients and projects grew in size, so did our team! Over the course of the year, it’s been a pleasure to welcome Adam Lyall to our team as our Digital Marketing Executive, Andrew Temple as Digital Marketing Consultant and Alice Roberts as Digital Content Strategist. 

Bringing new skills and fresh ideas, our newest recruits have enabled us to expand our agency experience, particularly across paid social, content and PPC. We hope to continue this team growth over 2023 to support an exciting selection of (top secret) new clients and projects we have lined up for the New Year. 

Getting back to normal

Alongside client wins and new faces, by far the biggest highlight of the year was getting back an (almost unfamiliar!) sense of normality. With mask wearing and distancing behind us, it’s been a joy to watch our industry bounce back to its full potential. 

We’re seeing the return of fully integrated digital campaigns spanning radio, display ads and OOH. We’re helping clients raise their profiles at significant in-person industry events. We even got to weave in a few meetings abroad – not only great for reconnecting with our clients in-person, but gaining inspiration for future campaigns too…

However, the biggest benefit of this return to normal has been getting the team back together. As well as a gradual return to the office, we were also able to run several team get-togethers, including an evening of drinks, bowling and mini-golf in October and a delightful festive gathering just last week. 

Altogether, 2022 has been a hugely positive year for the Mackerel Media team. We want to extend a huge thank you to each one of our clients for giving us such exciting projects to work on every day – it’s truly a pleasure to help you grow your brands and businesses. 

Our office will be closed from Friday 23rd December until Wednesday 4th January, but until then we wish all of our clients and partners the very best for the festive season and look forward to kicking off lots of exciting projects in the New Year.


Mackerel Media November 2022 Search & Digital Marketing News Roundup 

With Christmas trees popping up in Zoom backgrounds, and festive party planning well underway, it’s safe to say all eyes are firmly on the Christmas break. As the three-week countdown begins, we welcome you to our penultimate search and digital marketing roundup of 2022.

It’s been far from a quiet year in the digital marketing space, with plenty of new algorithm updates, ad formats and shopping tools for marketers and webmasters to get their heads around. 

Of course, this month is no different. Covering everything from Google Shopping upgrades to a reflection on Black Friday performance, here’s a roundup of our biggest trends and updates from November 2022. 

Search On 2022 updates go live

In September this year, Google announced a host of new updates for search, shopping and maps at its annual #SearchOn event. Now, just two months later, we’re beginning to see these updates going live. Let’s recap:

MultiSearch Near Me

Google is enhancing the discoverability of local restaurants with its MultiSearch Near Me function. Users simply need to add a photo of their desired dish, plus the words ‘near me’ to find local vendors that offer exactly what they’re looking for. 

Launched in the U.S. on 17th November, we’ll be interested to see the uptake of this tool by users and the impact on website traffic and impressions for local businesses. We imagine SEO techniques for these queries will angle towards ensuring each individual menu item is listed on the website alongside high quality (ideally mouthwatering) photography. 


AR shopping features

Google has been making big moves in augmented reality (AR) over recent years. This was particularly accelerated throughout the pandemic, as retail businesses moved almost entirely online and consumers no longer had the ability to ‘try before they buy’. 

This was particularly prevalent for the beauty industry, which relied heavily on testers and the in-person shopping experience to drive sales and customer loyalty. Now, Google has harnessed AR to make it easier for consumers to colour-match beauty products at home. 

With a photo library of over 150 models, representing a diverse range of ages, genders, face shapes, ethnicities and skin types, the tool allows customers to test thousands of foundation shades from a wide variety of brands. 

A similar approach has also been applied to footwear brands. Using images of shoes from different angles, consumers can now browse 3D mock ups of new footwear and even use AR to see them in their own space

Both of these tools also launched in the U.S. on 17th November. We look forward to seeing consumer response to these features and how effective they are in boosting customer trust in purchasing online – particularly in the case of beauty products which are so dependent on great quality colour-matching. 

Competition for search hotting up 

It’s no secret that Google and Amazon have dominated the search and ecommerce industries for the last 10+ years. But recently, we’re seeing competition heating up as bigger players move into the space. 

As Shopify has continued to grow its market share and revenue, there has been increasing speculation around its plans to go head to head with Amazon. While Shopify maintains a greater focus on the merchant – as opposed to Amazon’s acute focus on the customer – the main differentiator of these platforms is Shopify’s lack of a marketplace feature for customers to browse and shop products. 

That is, up until this month. Despite denying plans to become a marketplace in 2021, as of 15th November 2022, Shopify has started testing a universal search feature, enabling customers to browse all 4M+ merchants on the platform. The ‘search for anything’ tool will allow users to search by product and merchant keywords, as well as browsing previously purchased items. 

It’s not yet clear whether this will be rolled out globally, but if successful, this could create some significant changes in the ecommerce industry, particularly where Amazon is concerned. A Shopify Marketplace would also raise a number of SEO questions, such as how merchants will be ranked in search? What Shopify ads might look like? And how a ranked marketplace would affect smaller merchants? 

As Amazon’s ad business reaches $31 billion and growing, Shopify has some strategic decisions to make if it does have plans to grab a slice of the global marketplace pie. 

Reflecting on BFCM 

The lead up to Black Friday was met with a great deal of speculation this year. Concerns around inflation, postal strikes and the distraction of the World Cup were met with optimism around the return to a ‘pre-pandemic’ in-person shopping experience, free from any Covid restrictions. 

Just two days after the last of the Cyber Monday deals, initial figures are looking positive. eCommerce performance was generally on the up, with data from national banks showing a 3.2% increase in online transactions since Black Friday 2021, and a 35% increase compared to the same weekend in 2019. 

Brick and mortar transactions were also up from 2021, but lower than 2019 levels. This could reflect overall changes in consumer behaviour since the pandemic, with a greater affinity for the ease, speed and convenience of the online shopping experience. 

Regardless of the reasons prompting this change, Back Friday is a huge opportunity for eCommerce brands to gain a significant amount of data on their customers and the ways they are interacting with their website during this period. Did a particular promotion generate much higher demand? What products were the most popular? Was there a marked change in source traffic for certain pages? 

These insights can be invaluable for guiding and shaping digital marketing strategies – particularly for identifying areas which would benefit from extra investment. Was there a significant uptick in conversions on PPC? Paid social? Sponsored posts? Taking note of these changes will not only help brands to boost performance for next Black Friday – but for every trading day until then. 


Need some help delving into your data or creating your 2023 digital marketing strategy? Speak to a member of the Mackerel Media team

Two skeletons in a room with pink fairy lights in the background. Skeletons looking at each other, one has mouth open in surprise.

5 SEO Nightmares To Avoid This Halloween

Colder nights, crunchy leaves, and copious amounts of pumpkin-picking posts can only mean one thing: spooky season is well and truly upon us. 

Sidestepping any office decorations or pumpkin carving parties of our own, our team at Mackerel Media decided to mark the occasion with a round of scary stories: SEO edition.  

From content catches to dev debacles, we share five of the most hair-raising SEO setbacks that we’d glady drive a stake through this Halloween.  

1. Comment Spam  

Comment spam is still happening in 2022? Frightening, we know. 

Comment spam involves placing comments on reputable blogs and online articles filled with keywords and links in an attempt to improve the backlink profile of a website. It’s spammy, outdated and a downright no from all credible SEO specialists. Don’t do it.

2. URL Parameters

While a necessary and useful tool for tracking, searching and filtering content, URL parameters can cause some serious SEO issues if they’re not kept under control. 

With the ability to inadvertently generate hundreds of thousands or even millions of extra pages, excessive URL parameters not only present an issue for duplicate content, but impede Google’s ability to effectively crawl and index your site (sometimes they find so many URLs they simply stop!). 

This kind of site bloat can be detrimental to your overall SEO health, undoing any great work you’ve done in terms of content and ranking. While it can take some time to rein them in, getting on top of URL parameters will do you many SEO favours in the long run. 

There are a few different techniques available to combat URL parameters – this article by Search Engine Journal gives a great overview. 

3. Keyword Density 

Another SEO discussion we thought (or perhaps hoped) would be long since forgotten: keyword density. 

Now, keywords are, of course, a crucially important component of SEO. Content needs to be aligned to search demand in order to rank and perform well, and ensuring keywords are included in Meta Tags, Page Titles and internal links can help make this happen. 

But, when it comes to the content itself, prioritising ‘keyword density’, or trying to weave in a certain number of keywords to meet a target quota, detracts from the true aim: creating high quality content that is genuinely relevant and valuable for the reader. 

This is something that Google continues to emphasise, particularly through the release of its helpful content updates, which prioritise the quality and relevance of content over the writer’s ability to strategically place keywords. 

Top ranking positions are achieved by content which is written for people, not search engines. If achieving #1 is your aim, killing ‘keyword density’ as a metric is a great first step. 

4. “I’ve cracked the algorithm!” 

Anyone with a Twitter account and an interest in SEO will have undoubtedly come across these four words before: “I’ve unpicked Google’s algorithm!”

It’s a statement which has graced our inboxes and social media feeds many times over the years, so let’s clear this up nice and simply: they haven’t. 

Nobody has ever cracked Google’s algorithm, and nobody ever will. Even if there is just one (which is highly unlikely), it’s infinitely complicated and constantly changing – even Google’s own engineers can’t unpick it. 

Sure, someone may have found a way to improve the ranking performance of their own content, or seen the intersection of various well-established SEO techniques come together at the perfect time, but have they been able to outwit the skill and decades of work by thousands of the world’s best software engineers? Absolutely not.  

5. The Myth of Organic Traffic Loss Following Site Migration

Businesses migrate their websites for many reasons. Perhaps a brand refresh, an investment in UX or a need for better accessibility and cybersecurity features. Either way, a site migration should be a positive and exciting time for brands, paving the way for better customer experience and improved site conversions as a result. 

Despite this, time and time again we hear of experienced web developers and agencies warning clients of a 20-30% drop in organic traffic following a site migration… 

…truly horrific

Our take – unless you have made a strategic decision to remove content that drives your existing level of organic traffic, there’s absolutely no reason you should see any drop-offs at all.

Proper, detailed, strategic SEO research and planning, delivered well should ideally mean the opposite happens, that your organic traffic starts to rise following the migration to your new website. Surely the point of investing all that money in the new website was to make it better, more visible and more effective for you…wasn’t it?

And that concludes the chilling SEO setbacks that continue to haunt the team at Mackerel Media. What nightmares would you add to the list? Let us know over on our socials