Does this look right to you?

by on 22nd April 2015

A few days ago I was at the Inbound Conference in Dublin.

At the bar after my session, a junior digital marketer asked me a really interesting question:

“What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone who’s currently learning SEO?”

My answer: always ask yourself, does this look right?

Be Curious

The SEO industry encourages curiosity in everything we do. Learning how things work and how things are built is an important prerequisite to unlocking a level of experience enough to effectively diagnose problems in organic search.

I’ll give you one example – indexed pages in Google Search:


Should you have 23,000 indexed pages according to the site: operator?

When you drill down by using the inurl: operator, and you find things like this, it’s a dead giveaway that there’s a problem. Repeating the search with the omitted results included yields 2,300 pages with just a single parameter value. There are many, many more.


This is a problem.

Often, SEOs forget that the best SEO tool they could start with is Google’s index. So, my answer to that question: when you’re poking around always ask, “does this look right?”.


  1. Hi Richard,

    Some really great advice! I agree I think the human eye test is a great shout. I also think many marketers underestimate the value of the Google’s index. The site search can be used for multiple purposes including helping with compromised websites.

  2. Hi Richard, Correct me if i am wrong, the problem with Clarins is that it has indexed 23,000 pages and not all the pages indexed maybe be relevant to the company or for the users. Is that correct? It took me a little while

  3. As someone searching for Clarins, I find it very frustrating to get this type of results where by the second page, there is usually no mention of anything related to the search topic! Thanks for pointing out the problems and giving some great advice on how to prevent it from happening to my site.

Comments are closed.

Get insights straight to your inbox

Stay one step ahead of the competition with our monthly Inner Circle email full of resources, industry developments and opinions from around the web.