This case study was created using an LRT Superhero account. Some of the use cases explained in this case study are not available in lower plans.
Hulu.com losing visibility each week
Our LRT Certified Xpert, Bartosz Goralewicz pointed out a dramatic visibility drop for American online video streaming service Hulu.com.
Hulu.com dropped 56% in their visibility in the last weeks from
The story behind their visibility drop is very interesting, since it doesn't have anything to do with a Google algorithmic penalty, a Manual action or a negative SEO attack.
It's something different this time. Read on and learn what NOT to do to avoid the disaster that Hulu.com is currently facing.
You rock, Bartosz! Thanks for yet another interesting case study!
We look forward to your feedback and help spread the word on this!
- Enjoy & Learn!
Christoph C. Cemper
and the team of
Hulu.com is going down: you can see hundreds of rankings drop
If you are searching for the last episode of Grimm, you won’t find it on Hulu.com anymore.
It seems that Netflix will have a great signup ratio this June. This week, Hulu.com got to the top of the USA Loser list.
With more than 50% of the visibility already lost, the situation for Hulu.com is getting worse every day at a massive, destructive pace.
You can see hundreds of rankings going down each week. These include high traffic rankings, mostly related to the movie or tv-series names.
If that wasn’t enough, Google isn’t even ranking Hulu.com for their own content. After googling one of the descriptions, I’ve found Japanese Hulu in an English version.
If you think that is enough, there is more...
Hulu’s own homepage seems to be COMPLETELY out of the Google index
Googling the content from the homepage returns no results.
If we Google any content from Hulu’s homepage, these are deindexed from Google.
Now here comes the most shocking part
Here is how the Google Cache of one of the biggest loser pages looks like. It looks like Hulu is returning a 404 page for GoogleBot, while still showing code 200 for users.
Take a look at a fresh cache of a “Grimm” TV series page. If you look closely, you can see a 404 page in a background (it didn’t render well).
Also, a “DOH” video from The Simpsons is loaded for a 404 error within Hulu.com.
At the same time, a code 200 page is served for users.
It is like this for tens of thousands of pages within Hulu, including their most popular TV shows and movies.
Now, switching to the text only version, we can see that the problem gets bigger.
This page also returns code 200.
Let me show you a few examples
In the case of Hulu.com, the problems they face can be related to many different factors, from a failed migration to a new platform, to prerender service (e.g. https://prerender.io/) issues.
I know that making mistakes is in human nature. Yet such a huge mistake shouldn’t happen in as well-known a company as hulu.com is. What astonishes me the most is the fact that the drop down started on 29th May. Now, it’s 2 weeks since the problem has appeared and it still isn’t solved.
Two lessons that we all should take to heart:
- If you decide to use a solution that you are not sure how Google deals with - make tests rather than implementing it on the whole website
- React quickly. Almost 3 weeks and counting can be too long to recover fully.
This case study was written by Bartosz Góralewicz, LRT Certified Xpert, CEO at Elephate, and proud user of LinkResearchTools (LRT).
A word from Christoph C. Cemper
You ROCK, Bartosz!
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I look forward to Bartosz’s future work, and I personally recommend working with him whenever you get the opportunity.