Your website or blog is your reputation online. The nice thing to know is that your reputation can be controlled. Don’t allow negative SEO to affect your name or business poorly. Negative SEO is commonly referring to damaging backlinks. However, this article will explore the relationship of on-page optimization and negative SEO. We will talk about how it can impact your blog or website.
The first things to understand is that too much of a good thing can actually be damaging. Yes, search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to the success of a post, page, blog, or website. However, you need to do it in an ethical and natural way.
The search engines are getting smarter and smarter every day that goes by. The best advice I can give you is to always write amazing articles for the reader. Never write for the search engines. When you finish an article, then you can go back and make some minor tweaks to suit the needs of the search engines. However, if any of those adjustments take away from the reader’s experience, don’t do it.
Let’s take a few minutes to discuss some common mistakes that lead to negative SEO issues with the search engines (and readers).
The Overuse of Keyword Density
In the early days of writing for the search engines, many internet marketers would force their keyword phrases into the article. They would even hide keyword phrases throughout their work by coloring the text the same as the background. It wouldn’t be surprising for an article to have a keyword density that exceeded ten percent.
Nowadays, the search engines know better. This doesn’t fool them anymore. Keep it real and write naturally. If it makes sense to work the keyword in here and there, then that’s fine, but don’t abuse your article with keyword stuffing.
The other big question out there revolves around what percentage you should focus on for keyword density. Many still believe that you should be in the 3 to 4% range, while others believe it should be around 1%. Personally, I believe that it should be what works naturally. If you’re under 1%, then consider finding a way to work in the keyword a little more. If you’re over 4%, I’d be careful. Many of the articles that I write tend to be between 1 and 1.5%, when it comes to keyword density. If you’re in this area, you won’t have to worry about negative SEO affecting your search engine ranking.
By the way, if you’re wondering, my keyword density for this particular article is 1.68%. It just happened naturally. I didn’t add or remove anything. I just wrote this article naturally, and it worked out that way.
Negative SEO Caused by Comments
Make sure that you monitor all comments made on your website. The majority of comments made are nothing more than spam; an attempt to steal some of your pages quality and refocus it to someone else’s website. Many of these links that are left on the comments point to low quality sites. When the search engines see this, it will damage your rankings. For this reason, you should only allow high quality comments that are relevant to the conversation to appear on your website.
Always remember that the search engines judge you by the company you keep. They see this by the sites that you link to (as well as the sites that link to you).
Old School On-Page Optimization
There are many articles out there that talk about on-page SEO. A lot of it is outdated. Even worse, some people write articles today that recommend older methods. This will cause on-page negative SEO. Here are a few examples:
- Bold your keyword – Your keyword should only be in bold if it makes sense for the article. Bold is used to make something stand out to the reader, not the search engine.
- Italics – The same thing goes for italics. Only do it if it makes sense to for the reader (not the search engines).
- 500 words – If every article on your website is 500 words, because that’s what’s expected, then you’re leaving too much on the table in some cases and creating fluff in other situations. An article should be as long as what’s needed to talk about that specific subject. With that said, try to stay over 300 words. If your article is less than 300 words, it’s probably a topic not worth talking about.
- Keyword Phrase location – Many old school techniques advise you to stuff your keyword in the URL, Title, H1 header, H2 header, H3 header, alt tags, etc. While these are all good, you need to make sure that it makes sense to do so.
Final Words on On-Page Negative SEO
To wrap things up, I just want to remind you that the search engines are improving what they do every single day. Their goal is to provide the reader with exactly what they’re looking for. Although they may not be perfect today, you can count on them getting pretty close in the very near future. If you write for the reader, you’ll never have to worry about the effects of negative SEO.