BrightHaus Digital Marketing Agency

Google’s Top Negative Ranking Factors for SEO

November 29, 2010

There are probably hundreds of different things that SEO companies can do to improve the rankings on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for their clients.  Unfortunately, there are also hundreds of things they can do to pull those rankings down, and even get their clients blacklisted.  Poll after poll has been completed by top SEO agents across the globe, and we’ve gathered the top negative ranking stunts that Google will do more than shake a finger at when it comes to SEO:

1.     Acquiring Links from Known Brokers and Sellers

One of the worst things that SEO companies can do is rustle up links from sources that are not “genuine”.  We all know that Google and the other large search engines poo-poo the fact that people are able to purchase links.  Many specialists in the field advise for SEO companies to avoid buying links from these websites, especially those that advertise it.  If those search engines, including Google discover your linking shopping spree, you’re going to see it in your rankings.  Just don’t buy your links- earn them, exchange them, ask for them.

2.     Cloaking with Malicious Intent

This is probably the number one negative ranking stunt SEOs can pull.  It basically is cloaking a website so that search engine bots or crawlers see different results than an Internet user would.  Normally, this is done by hiding text on Web pages so that users don’t see it but the search engines do.  Placing keywords around your page and changing the background color of the text to match that of the page body are two such practices.  As far as the actual Web page is concerned, that text is there, it exists; bots will see it but users won’t, since it’s the same color as the page itself.

3.     Placing Outbound Links to Spam Websites

Google understands that a webmaster has no control over who links to his site; and it’s ok to get backlinks from many websites.  If a spam site links to your site, it would just become devalued and that backlink would not get counted.  However, it is a different story when you are doing the outbound linking.  Google knows that the webmaster is the one who has to place those links, and the last thing you want Google to see is that you have outbound linked to a bunch of spammy websites.  When this happens, you will know that Google has discovered it when you look at your rankings.

4.     Site Accessibility and Server Downtime

Everyone wants to be able to visit a website, but if a site is always down or there is a lot of down time, it should be no surprise that Google will pick that scent up like a hound dog.  It is critical that you get a host that will provide uptime 99.9% of the time.  The good news is that this is fairly easy to do.  Having too much server downtime and your visitors not being able to access a website is a silly and unnecessary way to destroy your SEO efforts, so get a move on and make sure your site is going to always be on!