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There’s a saying you’ve certainly heard before, especially if you work in an industrial environment that goes:

“If it’s not broke Don’t fix it!”

This piece of popular and very down-to-earth common sense recommendation is especially relevant to the ultra modern and technologically evolved web story I’m about to tell.

Here’s the story.

A few days ago I was approached with a “new job” by my web design partner. He sent me an email: “I was contacted by this agency for a quote to get their website indexed”.

I was travelling on my way home from Bologna where I had been in a conference. WIFI on trains is always a complicated issue but I gave it a try and ran a few of the typical checks.

When non tech savvy people request a site to be indexed they mean, “we would like to appear in the SERPs for relevant keywords our target audience is using to identify companies such as ours”. After a few minutes I realized they actually meant what they had said – their website wasn’t in any search engine Index.

Incredible – I hadn’t seen anything similar in many years.

There were plenty of healthy looking html links pointing to content rich pages, all hidden in the shade of the invisible web.


As I’m not a coder most of the scripting of the home page header didn’t mean very much to me so I turned to my friend BrowSEO for an opinion and I nearly couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this …

The mumbo jumbo. Home page text and links were unreadable code.

I sent this screenshot back to webmasters with the question: “what gives here guys??!!” – within minutes they came back and asked me to run the page again and the home page with BrowSEO was looking like this

Quite a difference.

The following day the website was showing up in the Google Index and found its way into Bing as well.

What They Had Done …

Something had gone wrong with the way they applied file compression. I don’t know exactly which technique or how it was applied but the end result is what you see in the first screenshot of this post. So clearly something went wrong with the way they applied it, because if implemented correctly this is not a problem.

Your Takeaway

Do you basics first. Clean up styles and javascripts, test your site for speed, and only then proceed to a further implementation to increase performance. Always test and check what you’re doing. You never know when you’re going to make your next mistake.


Sante Lives and works in Italy out of L'Aquila a small medieval town close to Rome. He has an engineering degree, has worked for major aerospace organizations including the European Space Agency (Noordwijk - Netherlands), and has been working on the web since the very beginning of the commercial World Wide Web in 1994. With over 15 years of hands on experience, Sante has reviewed and optimized hundreds of websites and successfully cooperated with small local companies and large muti-national corporations, offering a wide spectrum of expertise essential to the success of a project. Sante is a seasoned bi-lingual web marketing consultant capable of finding the right solution for you and your company, knowing that one size does not fit all. As a professional search marketer Sante offers consulting services and provides an array of web marketing solutions in organic placement, paid search, and content creation, in both English and Italian. Sante has spoken at a variety of international conferences such as Search Engine Strategies, RIMC, International Search Summit, Convegno GT (leading SEO conference in Italy), he teaches Web Technology at the Accademia di Belle Arti of L'Aquila, and web Marketing in the framework of the Master in Multimedia Content Design at the University of Florence (Italy), and has recently been appointed Web Marketing Consultant to WE TECH OFF a business incubator supporting the creation of new and innovative enterprises in Emilia Romagna where he is coaching new companies and supporting their efforts in the web marketing arena, and gives seminars on how to build an effective online presence for high tech B2B start ups. In 2012 Sante joined the MajesticSEO group as Ambassador to Italy. Sante has contributing writer for the book Global Search Engine Marketing by Anne F. Kennedy & Kristjan Mar Hauksson. Sante regularly participates in conferences, events and debates on Web Marketing, not only in Italy but also internationally and is available to speak at conferences and seminars. Sante runs a popular blog at blog.achille.name. Follow Sante on Google+ and Twitter.

4 responses to “Website Over Optimization Pushes into the Darkness of the Invisible Web”

  1. Great example – and nice use of this site.

    “You never know when you’re going to make your next mistake.”

    You also never know when someone else is going to make your next mistake. As an example, one of my clients had a hosting company change their PHP setup (running as a module vs CGI). No issue occurred at the time. But 3 months later, when we upgraded some WordPress plugins, ecommerce functionality was broken completely. Diagnosing the problem was difficult because the environmental change that was the cause happened some time ago.

    Anyway, I’ve added Browseo to my list, great stuff 🙂

  2. Jup, Browseo.net is my first choice for a couple of tasks. For example in competitor research. Within a few seconds you can get a pretty good look at their onpage skills. If they screwed that up, they can’t be that good 😀

    I also use it to check problems in themes. Developers often forget to use alt tags and stuff like that. With browseo… DONE.

    Many greetings from Innsbruck, Austria!

  3. Nice post, thank you. On Page SEO is a keyfactor for good SERPs. You can have the best linkbuilding strategy, but if you on page seo is bad, you wont see good results at all. Browseo can help here!

    Best regards!