SEO Report Card: Offers Retro Fashion, Retro SEO

Our “SEO Report Card” for this month is The CEO of Moodswings, Elizabeth Bighorse, requested this review, and she told us that the company has just finished a re-launch of its “multiple sales channel” site. Moodswings focuses on urban, rockabilly, tattoo and alternative styles and seeks to expand its market of trendy clothing, gifts, and accessories. Bighorse says they are currently halfway through a search-engine-optimization initiative, but she could have fooled me! With that, let’s take it away.

Home Page

Starting at the Moodswings home page, the title tag is devoid of any effective keywords. Furthermore, there is very little in the way of body copy, as evidenced by the tool. So in all, the home page is very weak and does not convey much in the way of keyword themes.

Title Tags

Other pages also suffer from poor title tags. Most lead with “,” which is not exactly a great keyword. Title tags are often missing important keywords. The vegan wallets page, for example, has a title tag of “ Non-Leather”. Where is the keyword “wallets?”

Meta description tags on many internal pages are not sensical phrases and sentences, but instead spammy keyword lists (see the above-mentioned Vegan Wallets category page, for example). The meta keywords tags (which are not supported by any of the three major engines, I might add!) are overly long and look spammy. (I counted 68 words on the Vegan Wallets page).

SEO Report Card Graphic

The site has canonicalization problems as well. (Canonicalization refers to having a single URL for each web page.) For example, both and load as unique but duplicate pages. One should redirect to the other.

Secondary Page Content

The Moodswings blog, located at, is on a domain the company does not own. So if the company decides to change hosted blog services from to, or if Moodswings decides to host the blog itself on a WordPress installation, it will have to abandon the blog at belongs to Blogger. Moodswings could have signed up for the free “custom domain option” with Blogger and then gotten its own domain name. and also offer custom domain options, but they both charge a small ongoing fee.

Further issues with the blog include no good keywords in the post titles, and misdirection when clicking on the titles. Specifically, clicking on any blog post title listed on the home page leads to the Moodswings home page instead of to the post’s permalink page.

Inbound Links and PageRank

The PageRank score of 3 out of 10 is poor. Inbound links are poor. The Yahoo! Site Explorer tool shows 603 links to the site, but many of those supposed links are false positives and not links at all. For example, Site Explorer reports that many dozens of links are coming from, but only has an img tag (to manage images) with a URL, which loads (“borrows”) Moodswings’ images.

More accurately, according to the Linkscape tool from SEOmoz, there are only 28 domains linking to the home page. With so few inbound links to the home page, it’s unlikely search engines will put much trust in the site.

Keyword Choices

For the good news, there is decent body copy on category pages (e.g. on the Vegan Wallets page), and the “Our Brands” mouse-over navigation on the left column is search engine friendly, using CSS and “LI” (list item) tags, rather than JavaScript. Thus, spiders can see and follow the links to all 52 brands listed underneath the mouse-over. These look like text links in “LI” (list-item) tags.

HTML Templates and CSS

Finally, the site has an XML sitemap as well as an HTML site map. The XML sitemap is set up for auto-discovery in the robots.txt file, which is good and means they don’t have to keep submitting the XML file URL to the engines. URLs are search engine friendly, use hyphens to separate words, and have the product or category name represented in the URL. Kudos for that.


From the sounds of it, Moodswings is motivated to improve its SEO performance, so hopefully this site critique will be well received and the staff there will act on it quickly. Moodswings has a ways to go, but much of this is easy to address. Drop the meta keywords, stop keyword-stuffing the meta descriptions, do some keyword research, put good, relevant keywords in the title tags, H1 headers, and body copy, do some link building (send out some free product samples to bloggers, for example, to consider a review), and 301 redirect the non-www URLs to the www versions.

SEO Report Card

Home Page Content D
Inbound Links and PageRank C-
Indexation A
Internal Hierarchical Linking Structure B-
HTML Templates and CSS B-
Secondary Page Content B
Keyword Choices C
Title Tags D


Stephan Spencer
Stephan Spencer
Bio   •   RSS Feed