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Negative SEO Factors

Find out some of the factors that will harm your web presence and SEO efforts.

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Updated July 2, 2021

If you have invested in a website for your business, you want potential customers to be glad they visited your site. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important part of managing your online presence and increasing your website's visibility on the net. Unfortunately, some companies use shady tactics to try to move their website up in search engine rankings, but there are penalties for using bad practices. Your website might get moved down in the results, or removed from the index all together. SEO has also changed over time so things that have worked in the past, might not work today, or can harm your site. Make sure you're not following any of these practices:



Too many ads on a websiteHaving ads on your site is not usually a bad thing, except when you go overboard. Too many ads is not a user friendly experience, especially if they appear before the user scrolls down the page. If ads are popping up constantly, or flashing on the screen, a customer will probably look elsewhere so they aren't bombarded. Ads also might make your readers less willing to trust your content so it is wise to make sure they are relevant to what your website is about instead of promoting anything and everything just because of the revenue benefits.


Hidden dogWebsites sometimes use false colors or images to hide text or links in order to rank higher in search engine results. Google views these deceptive practices as a violation of their guidelines. Your website should be designed for readers, not for search engines, so make sure nothing is hidden.


Site speed is a signal that search engines use to rank pages in their indexes, and it also affects your users' experience on your site. The slower your site, the less time a user is likely to spend on it, which could potentially mean missing out on leads or sales. Make sure you are constantly evaluating the speed of your site and improving it as much as possible so that your users don't waste time waiting for pages to load and so that you can possibly rank higher in the search results.


Websites that use content that is duplicated or even stolen from other sites can be penalized. Websites should provide value to users, not just repeat what other sites say. Some sites even use randomly generated content that is sprinkled with the keywords they are trying to rank for. This does not look good to users, and will not gain your site any points with search engines.


Stuffed peppersAll of us have probably seen keyword stuffing on a website before. It was a normal practice even just a few years ago, but things have changed. Stuffing keywords into content is cheesy and not good for the user experience. It will also harm your website ranking, so just don't do it!



Link building is a major part of SEO, but pretty difficult to do. Some site owners have decided to pay for links to their site in the hopes that it will help their rating. It is true that any links were a huge boost to rankings in the past, but things have changed. Google has listed paid links that aren't used for advertising as a violation of their webmaster guidelines. If you buy or sell paid links, you are almost certain to suffer the bad consequences so make sure you absolutely avoid this.


Another bad link building strategy is to spam blogs, forums, and site owners in the attempt to get them to link to your site or even posting your own links in the comments sections. This strategy is also known as a link scheme. Unless you are making a legitimate comment about a question related to your business, you should avoid this practice at all costs, or it will cost you. If you have a website with a comment section, be sure to use a spam filter and moderate your comments so that your website isn't negatively affected by this poor behavior.


If you are wary and avoid these practices, you'll be making quality content and web pages that people will want to visit, which will increase your rank naturally. Alt Media Studios offers SEO services that use approved techniques according to Google's webmaster guidelines. Make sure any SEO techniques you use will help your website, not harm it.

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