Negative SEO Ranking Factors

Negative SEO Ranking Factors

Date: 28-Feb-2011

Search engine optimisation is a multi-layered procedure. Obviously, sorting out the negative SEO practices on your site is every bit as valuable as implementing the positive one’s. Many sites fall foul of the search engines by committing some of these common SEO blunder; site cloaking, keyword stuffing, canonicalization and downtime of your web server. It is in your interest to confirm you don’t commit these mistakes and to correct them if you are.

Site cloaking is the process of presenting the search engine spiders an unlike page from the one that actually exists, for the purposes of boosting that page’s ranking. It is achieved by the use of a variety of scripts and programs. It goes without saying that if you are cloaking your site, then you are almost certainly aware that you are breaking search engine ‘law’. If discovered, the penalties are an instant blacklisting, which will make happen your site to drop down the rankings and in some cases vanish altogether. Quite simply, if you desire for your website to have a long and productive existence on the web, then don’t go anywhere near website cloaking.

Keyword stuffing is another big no. First used in the early days of search engines like Google, cunning web masters used to stuff their web sites meta tags full of alike keywords, in effort to boost their websites outcome. While successful at first, Google and others cottoned on very quickly and dropped meta tags as way of calculating search engine ranking. Over the past few years however, some website owners have sustained to employ this technique in relation to their title tags and main body copy. Such a technique will serve to damage your ranking and could even get your site blacklisted all together. Don’t do it!

Duplicate content is not as big of a problem as some other SEO experts argue. However, there is one issue to be aware of when it comes to duplicate content on your website which can obstruct your SEO efforts, canonicalization. In simple terms, canonicalization means having more than one URL for a specific web page. For example redirects to and many people may view these as the same URL. In the eyes of the search engines however, they can be viewed as diverse and having both URLs available to access can lead to problems. The search engines can view these as the same but different pages and start dropping these pages from the results altogether. It is therefore vital that you always use the same type of URL structure consistently across your website. It’s also best to use a permanent redirect (known as a 301 redirect) on any URLs which don’t follow this structure, to one’s that do.
Finally, your SEO efforts can be effected very much if your web server is prone to prolonged downtime. If the search engines software bots come to crawl your site and find it no longer online they may eliminate it from the rankings in total. Even once the site is back up and is re-crawled, the damage is done and it can take months to recover your earlier ranking. Always take care you select web hosting with a proven track record and if you are experiencing problems with your current hosts then move your site to a new one.
Keep in mind, taking care of these negative SEO practices is just as valuable as implementing the positive one’s.


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