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Negative SEO Techniques That Harm

Negative SEO Techniques That Can Hurt Your Website

Greedy SEO agencies and unscrupulous web masters often deploy SEO tactics that attempt to trick the search engines in the vain attempt to achieve ranking positions. Along with doorway pages, thin and/or duplicate content pages, poor search engine optimization may also use the following negative SEO techniques to sabotage a website:

1. Poor quality backlinks

The first negative SEO technique that people may use is to point a large number of poor quality backlinks to your site. They pay for huge number of spam links and point them to your website. This is intended to negatively affect your site’s link profile so that you get penalized by search engines. Search engines usually penalize sites that receive a sudden rise in backlinks. Since you cannot stop people from sending poor backlinks, you should monitor your site’s backlink profile regularly to identify any spam links. If you identify unnatural links, take down those links or contact your webmaster to do so. If this fails, use Google’s Disavow Links Tool to address the problem.

2. Duplicate content

Duplicate content can attract severe penalties from search engines. Crooked competitors may duplicate your content even before it is indexed. Their intention is to convince search engines that you are stealing content from another original site. Conduct a quick Google search of any sentence from your site in quotes to know if your content is being stolen. Prevent your site from this evil activity by maintaining an up-to-date sitemap. Additionally, include the rel=canonical tag on your webpages to establish you as the original author of that content.

3. Hacking

If your site has loopholes, then it might be at a risk of being hacked. The intention of hackers is to either take your site down or make it impossible for Google to crawl it. Hackers will use the loopholes in your site to add malicious codes or links. Denial-of-service attacks are also propagated by hackers. Hacking can severely affect your site’s ranking. Therefore, scan your website regularly for any changes in the site code.

4. Fake reviews

Customer reviews are important in determining search engine ranking. Your competitors may use fake reviews to bring down your site. Their ultimate goal is to have your site punished by search engines. You can prevent this damage by reporting fake reviews to Google. Additionally, plug the loopholes in your site before they are noticed by other people.

5. Evil crawlers

The speed of a website is important to customers and search engines. A fast site gives its users a good experience. People might sabotage your site by using crawlers to crawl your site continually. As a result, it will become slow to load and use. This in turn will worsen your SEO campaign and also affect your site’s conversion rate.

More Negative SEO Tactics

In some industry verticals, rank chasing is common and does more harm than good to the brand and the business. Frequently city or location pages with duplicate and thin content are created to influence local SEO and local rank. This tactic eventually gets caught up in spam filters and can lead to a significant decline in organic search traffic and a potential for the the domain being banned by the search engines. This is one negative SEO tactic to avoid at all costs.

SEO Tactics And Link Building Tips


Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process by which webmasters and online business owners get their websites to rank highly in SERPs (search engine results pages) for keyword phrases that are both heavily searched for and related to their industry or niche. Two of the biggest types of SEO tactics are keyword optimization and link-building (increasing the number of incoming links to a website or specific page).

Here are a few SEO tips to keep in mind when thinking about keyword optimization for a new website or online business:

1. Use keyword suggestion tools to research keyword phrases related to the website’s or online business’ industry or niche topic.

2. Don’t focus exclusively on very general (often one-word) keywords or keyword phrases that would be very difficult to earn a high search engine placement for. At the same time, don’t focus on keyword phrases that no one is searching for. It’s sometimes better to be a “big fish in a smaller pond” than a “little fish in big pond” where you can’t likely rise to the top.

3. Include keyword phrases throughout a page, with particular emphasis on titles, highlighted subheadings, and early in any text areas.

Building incoming links to a website or online business is also an important part of SEO and improving search engine rankings. This is because search engines look at incoming links almost like a “vote” where another website is saying the site, or some page within the site, is of high enough quality to recommend to its visitors. Obviously, link-building can be manipulated in many ways that don’t equate to “votes” (such as by purchasing banner ads or text links on another website). For this reason, some incoming links are considered more valuable than others. Here are a few link-building tips to keep in mind, to build higher quality incoming links:

1. Try to achieve incoming links that are one-way, rather than reciprocal (a one-way link looks more like an honest “vote” than a trade does).

2. Build incoming links from relevant websites (of a similar topic or niche), rather than from generic link farms.

3. Get incoming links from “authority websites” (high quality and popular websites) whenever possible.

4. Look for one-page content-based text links if purchasing links, rather than site-wide banner advertisements (makes the link seem more natural).

5. To get a specific article or internal Web page to rank well in SERPs, build links to that page rather than only the site’s homepage.

These are just some basic ideas to get your grassroots SEO efforts underway. The are plenty of SEO tactics available online, or try some innovative tactics yourself to learn search marketing and SEO even faster.

Internet Marketing Basics


Here’s some old school information on internet marketing basics, or grassroots seo 101. Online advertising offers advertisers, both online and offline, an opportunity to reach very specific niche audiences and target markets that wasn’t previously possible outside of perhaps the niche and trade magazine market. The biggest difference between niche online advertising and niche print advertising is often cost. Online advertising options are often more affordable, and with new niche websites launched every day, online advertising opportunities are almost endless.

There are many different types of online advertising, from blatant advertising to subtle, seemingly natural links. Here are several common types of online advertising currently used:

1. Banner Advertising – Banner ads are image ads with a company’s or website’s logo, slogan, and advertising message (or something similar) included. Banner ads come in many different sizes, which would be determined by the space available on the publisher’s site where the advertising space is being purchased. Some banner ads are animated.

2. Sponsorships – Advertisers regularly gain exposure in online sponsorships, whether that’s sponsoring a site blatantly for a site-wide text link or banner ad, sponsoring online videos (or even limited commercial sponsorships with major TV networks offering videos online), or sponsoring something such as a free Web template, where the sponsorship link stays in tact every time a template is used.

3. Text Link Advertising – Text link ads can work similarly to banner ads, they can be site-wide links in the sidebar, footer, or other area of a publisher’s website, or they can be a text link worked into the content on one particular page on a publisher’s site.

4. Video Advertising – Video advertising can be done similarly to banner advertising using various video screen sizes, or can involve blatant advertising in essentially Web commercials released with some kind of entertainment value to video sharing sites, hoping for a viral effect of the video being shared to increase exposure.

5. Email Advertising – Email advertising is essentially purchasing banner or text link ad space within email newsletters reaching a certain target market.

6. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising / Search Engine Advertising – Pay-per-click advertisements can be purchased in text or image / banner formats, often through search engine advertising (to place in sponsored results for certain keyword phrases) or through ad publisher networks such as Google Adsense, where ads appear on publisher sites relevant to chosen advertiser keywords.

7. Online Classifieds – Online classifieds advertising works much in the same way as offline classifieds, where products, jobs, and more can be advertised to a more general market.

8. Pop-up / Pop-under Advertising – These are online ads that open a new window on a browser’s computer screen when they enter or leave a Web page or click on something. They’re often considered intrusive, and blocked automatically using pop-up blockers by many users.

Long Tail Search And ROI

Impact of Google Changes on Long Tail Search and Website R.O.I.

Search results page have changed dramatically since 2007, and this past year 2011 saw many big changes continue. 2012 is off to a ridiculously fast start of algorithm changes and enhancements. If you struggle to keep on top of the many changes in play, or if you chase the SEO tactic of the month, you will be in trouble in no time.

In May 2007, Google launched universal search, which added new searchable content such as news results, images, videos, local business listings with maps and a variety of other content types beyond the traditional 10 blue links on a page. In 2010, Google added Instant Search, a feature that changed the search results page while users typed in the search box.
Both of those, along with countless other feature enhancements, have changed the way in which Internet users interact with search results.

These three major changes really change the landscape for search marketing strategies;

  • Google Instant
  • Google Panda
  • Google Encrypted

Change number #1 – Google instant

What is Google instant? Google Instant is a new search enhancement added in September of 2010 that displays search results while you type. The intent of Google instant is to display better search results, faster. The impact of Google Instant means that a user can scan search results page while still typing in their keyword query.

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The primary visual difference is that users dive right into content much faster than before basically because a full search phrase is not required to display results. While this improvement has been pitched as a user benefit, remember that Google is a business and they see an enormous benefit to their data centers processing time.

What does Google Instant mean for long tail search?
Simply stated, it means that search engine optimization methodology must change to accommodate Instant results. Usually, internet users tend to skim Meta descriptions to verify the relevancy of the search results to their intended search query. A common SEO tactic was to place strong calls to action in the Meta description to grab searchers’ attention and stand out from the other results and get the user to click on the website. With the advent of Google Instant, more emphasis is now placed on the Title Tag because it is something the users can review quickly for relevance to their intended search. However, with results changing so quickly, we see calls to action potentially moving into the Title tag as users spend less time examining the results and will rely more on those parts of the result they can examine quickly.
Root keywords in the Title Tags
Since Google Instant presents results before the search user even finishes typing them in, root keywords of long tail terms becomes more even more important.
Take for example a keyword like lawyer and its derivates where the root is the first word of the phrase (ex. lawyer for business, lawyer in Los Angeles). Using Google Instant, the organic results for the keyword “lawyer” will be displayed when users start typing any derivative. What’s the impact? The exact match volume for “lawyer” is 353,000,000. Google Instant increases that exact match volume to (353,000,000 + Exact volumes of all keywords that start with the word “lawyer”).
Long tail traffic:
Long tail keywords that contain a root word at or towards the beginning of the phrase will see a decline in traffic. If you optimized your site for “lawyers” this is a positive for your SEO program. If you optimized your site for long tail legal terms on the other hand, this would hurt your strategy significantly.
Click through rates:
All results including top paid positions and organic listings are pushed further down the page with the inclusion of Local. Instead of 4-5 listings being displayed above the fold you’re looking at 1-2, depending on your resolution. This change in CTR will impact how much effort SEOs are willing to put towards ranking for a particular keyword. Just like with paid search where you weight the CPC of the position against the business impact, SEOs have to weight how much additional effort it would take to increase a keyword one position versus the business impact.

Change #2 – Google Panda

What is Google Panda aka “Farmer”?
Panda refers to the 2011 changes to the search algorithm used by Google to improve search engine results pages (SERP’s). This change was made to reduce the rank of “low quality sites” in the search results and return higher content quality sites to Google’s users. While most SEO’s believe that Panda is a content quality element within the search algorithm, it also appears to score link quality as well.
How Panda Works
Google Panda was constructed using an algorithm update that includes artificial intelligence in a more advanced and scalable method than was previously possible. Google’s machine learning algorithm searches for similarities between Users found websites of high quality and low quality. Numerous fresh ranking factors are brought into the Google algorithm, severely diminishing the value and importance of older ranking factors such as PageRank.

Content quality becomes even more important in a post-Panda world. The meaning of quality content changes quite a lot. Content written strictly for SEO purposes with correct spelling, good grammar, and appropriate keyword density is the cost of entry but this content does not really make a dent in the Panda metrics that indicates great unique on page content. The bar is raised to content that makes everyone who reads it say “Wow, I want to engage with this and to share it with others”.  High quality content triggers user engagement signals onsite and via web 2.0 properties like Facebook or Twitter. These user metrics are totally different social signals to optimize, instead of optimizing simply for keywords.

Key user metrics and relevant engagement signals.

Comparing how a website functions relative to other sites in the same niche produces a different set of important metrics for post Panda performance. These newer key metrics include;

  • Click Through Rate. If your CTR in the search results is low, the site is likely to suffer in traffic and rankings. Is the domain name relevant to the search query? Does it inspire user confidence or does it appear “spammy” with multiple hyphens and stuffed keywords?
  • Bounce Rate. Are they bouncing or are the browsing?
  • Time On Site. Do users visit and spend some time on your site, or do they go away immediately?
  • Browse Rate. If users are reading more than one page, the content might actually be engaging, but if no one clicks on a second page the site is in serious trouble.
  • Linking Root Domain Diversity. Are you getting visitor traffic from a number of different sources and distinct areas locally, regionally or nationally? Link diversity and quality of the links is more important than simple link quantity.

All of these data point as well as others are captured in the Panda intelligent learning machine protocol and the results are added into the algorithm for updating. This helps to explain the frequency of the Panda updates and is why you do not see daily or weekly updates.

What does Panda Mean for content?

Change #3 – Google Encrypted

What is Google Encrypted or “SSL Search”?
Google Search Encryption is a procedure that facilitates secure connections for Internet services such as web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, and other online data exchanges. When a user logs into their Google account before doing online queries, their searches are completed via SSL.  That logged-in users search queries and search traffic are then encrypted so third parties that might have easy access to that information can no longer easily see the encrypted queries.

They way this process works under most circumstances is, a logged in user now sees when performing search queries. These search terms become encrypted and are excluded from the referrer headers that are sent to the sites you visit on the results page. The header data is not passed and the visited websites can see that a visitor came from Google, but they can no longer see which keyword term was used in the search query that produced that particular results page.

How does Google Encrypted impact search marketing?

Not all keyword data will be blocked from third party reporting tools. Search engine advertisers (Google Adwords accounts) in other words people who pay Google, will still have access to all of their individual keyword referral data. Google makes an exception to how they handle secured search for people who pay for the data via advertising. While the official explanation is that SSL search is all about “privacy” it is simply Google monetizing all of that data they capture from free Google analytics. The impact has been downplayed with Google indicating expected single digit percentages of “not provided”, but initial results tend to be much higher depending upon the industry vertical. Many websites see 12% to 18% of their keyword data as (not provided).

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Keyword (not provided)

What does this mean for keyword focused search?
While striving to increase visibility for the “long tail”, it will not be wise to encourage organic keyword targeting as a performance metric.  With an ever increasing volume of “not provided” terms it becomes even more challenging to prove or disprove what keyword phrases actually account for specific organic search traffic.

So just why are these changes important to understand?
With all of the feature changes to the SERP’s including Local results displayed, user behavior has changed and is continuing to transform. Click through rates are dropping on Page 1 results, as the query results evolve.
One recent study by Slingshot SEO shows compelling data suggesting only 52% of internet users on Google even click on page one results. This falls even further on Bing, only 26% of users click on a page one Bing results page. (from Slingshot SEO study on click through rates)
CTR study on 1st page behavior 


As more and more Rich Snippet data is pulled from websites and then displayed on the results page, it becomes increasing important to incorporate micro-data schema into the coding of web properties to maintain relevance in the search results.

The Bottom Line

The pace of search engine changes is increasing, so successful digital marketing strategies must be nimble and quick to response to market dynamics. However, with a strong base of optimization building a site from the ground up with basic search engine optimization blocking and tackling done correctly, strong online performance can be generated. Chasing after the “SEO tactics of the week” is a time waste. A great SEO strategy with proven optimization tactics will never go out of style and will always deliver rewarding results.

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Start Affiliate Marketing?

Which Is Better: Being an Affiliate or Product Owner?

Many online marketers are earning a lot of money strictly selling other people’s products as an affiliate.  They never own their own information product – they just drive targeted traffic to a site and earn a commission for each sale.

So what are the pros and cons of launching an Internet marketing career as an affiliate versus a product owner?  As an affiliate, you don’t have to worry about  the product creation phase or the expenses involved in setting up your systems for shopping cart technology, list-building, and other aspects of Internet marketing.

But a major drawback is that you aren’t in control of the product itself.  You have to scour the ‘net to see if there’s a product you feel confident promoting.  You can do this through ClickBank and other third party affiliate networks, but you’re always going head to head with competing affiliates for a piece of the Internet marketing pie.

As an affiliate, you can’t control the sales copy or bonus items. If the product owner fails to provide good customer service, it could damage your reputation as the one who referred the visitor to the site in the first place.

As a product owner, you’re chained to the entire process from start to finish.  You have to develop a unique idea, create a product or pay to have it created using an outsourcing service, and then get everything up and running if you want your Internet marketing venture to be a success.

You also have to recruit an army of affiliates and provide an ample toolbox filled with strategies they can use to help promote your site.  But you retain control over the details of each site and can test and tweak sales copy for higher conversions and deliver any sort of product or bonus that you feel is worthy to your customers.

Is one particular choice better than the other for the Internet marketer who is considering all of their options?  They each have their attractive qualities and their drawbacks.

In fact, most marketers do a combination of both.  They’ll create their own information product in the form of an eBook and then hyperlink recommendations back to affiliate products that they promote.

This increases the profitability of each product they create and generates even more passive income each time the eBook is promoted by an affiliate for the product they own.

Email Marketing for SEO


Email marketing includes much more than just sending email newsletters to website visitors. Email marketing is an important type of Internet marketing, and allows webmasters and online business owners to use inexpensive direct marketing and relationship marketing tactics quickly and efficiently.

Here are some uses for email marketing:

1. Email newsletters
2. Email offers and coupons to past customers or visitors
3. Email surveys for market research and to measure customer satisfaction
4. Additional income stream with email advertisements or email list rentals
5. Marketing through ads purchased in others’ email marketing campaigns

Spam laws put restrictions on email marketers, from how email marketing lists can be built or gathered to the rights of email list subscribers to unsubscribe from future mailings. Follow these email marketing tips to stay out of trouble with anti-spam laws, and to build an email list with the best potential for conversions to sales, ad clicks, or more, by focusing on subscribers genuinely interested in the message.

1. Make the email list double opt-in (subscribers will sign up for the email list from a form on the website, and will have to confirm the subscription through an email before the subscription becomes active).

2. Include an ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email sent to the email list. Never make it difficult for someone to unsubscribe from the list.

3. Try to gather the email marketing list independently, through on-site subscription forms or subscription options being included in the online order process for customers.

4. If purchasing or renting an email marketing list, purchase only from reputable email list distributors, and purchase lists highly targeted to the site’s target market to improve the rate of interest in the email campaigns.

5. If subscribers are slow to come naturally, offer an incentive, such as a free e-book, articles, reports, software, or something similar of interest to the target readership that can be included with a welcome email or in a download.

6. To increase the probability that email newsletters and similar mailings will be read, offer both an HTML and a plain text version to account for readers who use non-HTML email providers or programs.

7. If using email newsletters for email marketing efforts, try to keep email campaigns regular, but not so often that they become a nuisance to the subscribers.