Case Study


 When MessageMedia got in touch with iProspect in April 2014, organic traffic was down 82% year on year, top 10 visibility for generic rankings had plummeted and the AU website had been hit by a manual Google penalty.  In addition to this, there were various competing MessageMedia domains in Australia which were causing duplicate content and keyword cannibalisation.  

In the ever changing SEO landscape, manual Google penalties are becoming increasingly more commonplace as Google’s Webmaster Guidelines have been updated making previously accepted link building tactics obsolete.


Because of the nature of a Google penalty, our first aim was to pinpoint the key areas which were affecting performance from an off-site perspective.  By utilizing best in class technology from Link Research Tools we were able to classify all external links into 3 defined groups – toxic, suspicious and healthy.  Toxic links were identified for immediate removal, suspicious links were to be investigated manually to determine their toxicity, and healthy links were left alone.  
To encourage more immediate results, iProspect opted to manually get in touch with webmasters to remove offending links and used the disavow method as a last resort.  
Once all key external linking issues had been identified and actioned, the next stage was to identify all MessageMedia web-properties within the Australian market and consolidate these onto a single clean domain.  This would allow us to focus all on-page SEO efforts into one area and remove any issues with keyword cannibalisation. 


We conducted an in depth external linking audit and analysed all aspects of MessageMedia links including anchor text, link type, domain authority, IP range, domain age and site type.  Our key aim was to highlight link schemes which were negatively affecting performance including link networks, use of over optimised anchor text, and site wide links.  With this in mind, we created a spreadsheet with full webmaster contact details and requested that the most toxic links were removed.  Where we were unable to have links removed, we created a disavow file which we submitted to Google.
Once the backlink profile had been cleaned up, we conducted a site wide migration to consolidate MessageMedia Australia web properties and created a central domain for all authority to be housed under.  


The link detox and migration was a great success for MessageMedia Australia and paved the way for us to replicate the same activity in international MessageMedia properties including NZ, USA and the UK.  Key achievements include the following:
- Reclassified MessageMedia Australia’s backlink profile from Deadly Risk to Healthy.
- Increased organic traffic by 374% month on month after completing the migration in June 2014.
- Organic traffic increased 1956% year on year from September 2014 as a result of the Google penalty being removed.  
- 54% of the generic keywords we are tracking have increased significantly in ranking within Google.