June 14, 2012 | By:

SEO: Keep Your White Hat On

Positive and Negative SEO: Keep Your White Hat On

Experts in the online media blogosphere have been spending a lot of time on what’s being called “negative” SEO tactics and Google’s attempts to counter them (see our previous blog, “Of Penguins and Pandas: The Future of Google Search Rankings“, as well as how to stick to “positive” SEO tactics, both for ethical reasons and to keep your own search ranking safe. We thought we’d filter some of this discussion for you so that you understand what positive and negative SEO are, and how they impact your business.

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the practice of implementing keywords strategically into your website, blog articles and social media posts. It’s a useful tool in a marketer’s toolbox. At Ilfusion, we place a higher value on creating content for the human target audience first. Why do we care about the human audience? Because Google is more concerned with bringing back relevant content for the person searching. Check out our blog about the Google Knowledge Graph.

What is Negative SEO?

You may have heard the phrase “black hat” in reference to online marketing and the term applies here as well. Negative SEO tactics are the ones that are designed to circumvent search engines’ rules to increase its page ranking without actually providing valid content.

These include spamming popular sites with links to their own site so it appears that site is linked to them, commenting on competitors’ sites in an attempt to make Google think those sites are spam, striving to duplicate content before it’s indexed so Google thinks the plagiarist’s site is the legitimate one and many, many more. Be wary of marketers that refer to keyword stuffing, link-building, link farming and hidden text.

What is Positive SEO?

Positive SEO can be defined as best practices designed to work with Google so the search engine can find legitimate, high-quality content more easily. This includes spending time in the Google keyword search tool to research what words and phrases people use when looking for specific content, and easily incorporate these into your own blog articles and tags. You can also submit your sitemap to Google so it will know which pages to index on your site.

How Do I Defend Against Negative SEO?

If an unscrupulous competitor (or a legitimate competitor’s less-scrupulous employee or agency) targets your business with negative SEO practices, there’s good news: Google is constantly updating its search algorithm to try and counter these tactics. However, that doesn’t mean you should sit back and let Google do all the work because your search ranking could be damaged in the meantime if it’s not at least monitored for any suspicious shifts in site performance.

Google provides a number of tools for webmasters. If you’re having trouble making sense of it all, give us a call at 888.420.5115 or get in touch with us.

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