It’s been a while since I bashed the Mall of Scandinavia website. When working in the SEO industry I come across a variety of odd implementations and ‘bad habits’ now and then, but nothing comes close to the abuse that this – the largest mall in northern Europe – has to endure.

I’m glad to see that they actually got their act together and started using some kind of tracking on their site. Turns out to be Google Analytics, which doesn’t really come as a big surprise.

It seems like the implementation is being done in France, due to the comment they left behind in the analytics tracking code on the site

(window,document,”script”,”//”,”ga”); ga(“create”, “UA-27904582-3”); // Remplacer par l’identifiant de votre propriété ID.

I’m so eager to find out who’s behind all this…

The thing is, I’m living close to the mall so me and my family tend to go there quite often. Once in a while we need to check up things before we go, like “do ‘this particular brand’ have a store there?“, which is just what happened this weekend.

So, I went to my trusty friend Google and did a search for a “particular brand name + mall of scandinavia” but didn’t find anything. Bearing in mind that their SEO is the worst thing I’ve seen in quite some time I rephrased the query and looked for “stores mall of scandinavia” (‘stores’ in Swedish is ‘butiker’).


Clicked the first organic result shown at the bottom of the screenshot above and ended up here:

Screenshot 2016-02-09 11.01.57

Yep, that’s a 404.

I clicked the paid result as well, ends up at the same 404 page!

This is the moment where my wife ask again, “well, can we go there or should we go somewhere else?”. I’m just sitting there staring into the void answering her “well to be honest, I’ve got no f*cking idea what they have and don’t have…”

Then I noticed this.

Since the Mall of Scandinavia was opened in November last year, a review has been made of the project, and a write-down has been made with SEK 800 million.


With this in mind, it should be kinda in their interest to make sure that people online can find them, right?

Did a new query today.

mall of scandinavia, really?

Clicked on the only paid ad available to me, the branded one at the top asking me if “I’m going via commute or by car”? Guess where I ended up?

Screenshot 2016-02-09 11.01.57


So, where is the page I’m looking for?

Going into their site I found that they’ve now changed the URL for their shop landing page to, which is fine. But the problem is that they haven’t taken care of redirecting traffic properly from the old URL they have been using since they launched.

$ curl -I ""
HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Cache-Control: private
Content-Length: 198
Location: /404?item=%2fshoplanding&user=extranet%5cAnonymous&site=MallofScandinavia
Server: Microsoft-IIS/8.5
Set-Cookie: sc_expview=0; path=/
X-Powered-By: ASP.NET
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 2016 10:23:46 GMT

Their old landing page is being temporarily redirected to a 404 page, giving instructions to the search engines that they should keep visit this page and keep it in their index, because “the page will be back”. I think not.

And if they intended to keep, they could at least have redirected the old page to the one they are using now.

I also noted while doing research a few days ago that they used yet another URL this weekend, and this URL is still up and running for the same information:

No canonical tag, no nothing.

mall of scandinavia stores serp

So, by now they have like a bunch of pages in the Google index competing with each other for the visibility. Just like in the old wild west.

And as a side note, that Google Tag Manager container you’ve inserted on the page isn’t published either, generating an unnecessary 404 response too…

Mall of Scandinavia GTM 404

You need help, badly.

It seems like while you do know how to run a mall (if we disregard that news with the recent write-down…) you have no idea on how to work in the digital space. I’ve still just scratched the surface and I’m certain that full audits (both SEO and Analytics) of your site would yield incredible uplifts for your online presence, and presumably your bottom line.

You need help, badly. Get in touch with me and we’ll set up a meeting. Coffee is on me.

At least you’ve given me great things to showcase regarding “how NOT to do it” during the lectures I’m holding. Thank you.