Search Engine Book - Chapter Nine
Negative Ranking Factors
As we've alluded to throughout this book, there are situations, errors, elements, relationships, and strategies that can work against you, ranking-wise. Collectively, we call them Negative Ranking Factors
The most common Negative Ranking Factors include:
- Hidden text and/or links
- Keyword Stuffing
- Buying links from link networks/brokers
- Getting links from bad sites
- Linking to low quality or bad sites
- Over-optimized anchor text
- Low quality content
- Redirecting the user with the intent to mislead
- Server down or connection problems with web site
- Hidden Text and/or Links
Remember in Chapter One we mentioned how webmasters used to stuff web pages with keywords in order to manipulate search rankings? Part of that strategy included hidden text and links that the spiders could see in the source code even though people could not. Well, search engines do not like content that only spiders can see. It's one of the surest ways to get penalized.
For example, take a look at the box below. Inside is a bunch of text and a single link that matches the background color of the page, rendering it invisible. And because the font is set to super-small, we've managed to stuff 1280 "invisible" keywords plus one link into a very small space. You can highlight the text inside the box, then copy and paste it into a text editor to see for yourself what a search engine spider would see.