Irwin Mitchell Suffer Google Whiplash As Google Penalty Knocks Them Out of Index

by Alex Graves
Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency

Google have been firm and consistent when it comes to taking action against sites that have broken their guidelines and once again there is another large scale company that will be waking up with a headache as soon as they realise the fact that Google have once again flexed their search engine muscle.

Irwin Mitchell are considered to be one of the biggest solicitors in the UK today but that hasn't stopped Google from doing something that we have seen happen countless times over the past few years, completely eliminate a brand from their organic rankings.

After the following tweet was fired over to Dave, we took a deeper look into the situation to see what we could dig up and it seems that Irwin Mitchell have a huge headache coming their way…

On taking a look at the organics surrounding the company, we can quickly see that the main domain that the brand use (www.IrwinMitchell.com) has been removed from the organic rankings, even for direct brand search terms.

gone-brand

On sifting through the various tools and checks that we undertake, we noticed that there was something strange going on, there were some occasions that IrwinMitchell.co.uk was appearing within the search results, a secondary domain for the brand which has been 301 redirected into their main site, meaning that you would expect Google to respect the request and present the .com version of the domain, however they are now ignoring that and showing the .co.uk domain to users in a strange state of affairs.

uk-domain-present

With Google showing the UK version of their domain to some searchers and not others, we began to wonder whether this was something that was going on with the domain itself, so proceeded to check whether Irwin Mitchell were aware of the issue and were trying to reverse their de-indexation, so we checked the header status of the UK site.

header-301

As you can see above, the UK extension of the branded domain is still rendering a header 301 redirect into IrwinMitchell.com, the site that is now clearly being placed under penalisation.

Fluctuations within the Google search engine seem to be a regular thing in the present climate, so you could understand the fact that the sites rankings were dropping for keyword terms that they were ranking for previously but that would not tend to affect brand term rankings, that is an indication that the site has caught the eye of Google and had an infraction placed over it.

With the brand term ‘Irwin Mitchell' no longer displaying their main domain even on the first page of the Google search results, we decided that we would take a look at some of the keyword terms that they have been affected on too.

Entering IrwinMitchell.com into SearchMetrics, we are able to see the rankings that the tool had recorded, showing proof that not only has the site lost their branded rankings but they have lost all of their keyword terms too!

rankings-gone

A quick look at the keyword positions mentioned on the report from SearchMetrics shows that the site has taken a hard hit from Google as they take action against the site, so let's take a look at what the issue could be…

anchors

A look at the link profile above seems to show that the site has been focused on making sure that they have a large scale brand focus on the links that they have placed but sometimes a link profile can look better than it is when you don’t take the time to take a look at the placements themselves:

paid post
paid post2

Okay so we have 2 instances of paid blogposts there…

guest-blog1

Oh we have instances of guest blogging too, with keyword anchor text and everything… Could this be about to get worse for them? I mean its not like they have comment spam in the mix too is it…?

comment-spam

Oh… Guess we can call it a full house now then!

duplicate-content

You can see above that the content that has been taken from the IrwinMitchell.com site to perform a check on the content shows that the site is no longer ranking at the top of the results and that means only one thing… Google don’t trust you!

Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency
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