This is a brief explanation of different ways you can destroy the rankings of a site. I’m hoping that people aren’t looking for this information specifically to do negative SEO on their competitors, but to get an idea of what to avoid doing on their own sites.
The first and most obvious thing is link building, and while this was for many years the number one way to get positive rankings, it is now the easiest way to permanently ruin the rankings of your site.
Since the latest algorithm updates on Google, (I’m writing this post in mid 2013), a vast number of link farms and content farms that Google decided were solely built for the purpose of making links to sites have been punished badly, and not just that but any site that links from them also gets a nasty slap from Google.
How do you determine which sites these are? You can use the domain authority checking tools developed by Moz, or also find a free domain authority checker on Moonsy.com.
Authority has long since replaced page rank as the main determining factor in rankings, and there are various things that go into what makes an authority site which are probably too numerous to mention.
The hilltop algorithm has something to do with it, as this identifies authority pages as those who have “expert” pages linking to them. These are pages written on fairly well respected sites that link out to multiple authority source sites as well as your target site.
If you have a back link site that is made with a few pages that only link to your site and nowhere else, and you don’t update it regularly, or publish a post on a free blog like Blogger, and then don’t update the blog, or even worse, use any number of outdated link building techniques that you can build using software, then you will get bad rankings.
If you continue to build links from hastily put together directories, social bookmarking sites, low quality forum signatures and profiles, blog comments, RSS feed submission sites, auto-approve article directories, blog networks such as Build My Rank, Buy Blog Reviews, Link From Blog, etc, bought links from .edu or .gov sites, or PR 9 home page back links, you’re kidding yourself.
The odds are if you do anything that seems like Google wouldn’t like it if they were looking directly at you doing it, then it will probably permanently ruin the rankings of your site, and you will either never get the rankings back, or have to fight tooth and nail to get them back by publishing quality content and building true quality links.
So What Does Work Then In SEO?
By building a link pyramid of long, high quality, well written articles, posts, and guest posts published on authority sites that also link out to authority source sites in the text, continuing to publish high quality content regularly on your site that has good on-page SEO and good internal linking, and having a strong presence on social media, you can easily rank a site for most searches.
It is also possible to rank a Facebook page, a You Tube video, a blog post, or even a forum thread using these same techniques, in fact in many cases, it’s easier to rank a Facebook page using these same techniques, or an article published on a high authority site.
Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, eBay, Amazon, Wikipedia, and other sites that are the most visited, most linked to, highest authority sites in the world are so easy to get ranked on these days.
The simple reason why is that everyone who is anyone is on Facebook, and on Twitter, and is publishing You Tube videos. People love videos, they love Facebook, and they love Twitter.
To some extent maybe Google Plus, Instagram and Pinterest may also start to get higher rankings in the future, but at the moment, the sites I mentioned are easier to rank than your own site, if you’re starting from scratch with a domain and a WordPress template.
How To Destroy A Competitor’s Rankings
I don’t even like putting in this section of the post, because it’s not something I would wish on my worst enemy, having the rankings of your site permanently destroyed because of some terrible person seeking to do whatever it takes to reach the top.
But, in the current SEO environment, it is possible to do negative SEO on your competitors, quite easily. I was doing an SEO campaign for a client, and I had built up her site to first on the first page of Google for a buyer keyword with about two thousand exact match searches a month.
The product when sold made her about a hundred dollars on average per sale, and there were repeat customers. I slowed down my link building, because I didn’t know where else to link to the small amount of pages on the site from, and I stressed the importance of publishing on the site.
She didn’t listen to me, and did nothing at all in terms of maintaining the site, it wasn’t really built for blogging, it was a shopping cart site, and for some reason she had real trouble just writing something good once a week.
So, the rankings started to slip, and I lost interest because she wasn’t listening to me, and then she went and made the most monumental error you can possibly make.
She hired a cheap SEO from Odesk to build hundreds of links to the site for a very small amount of money, like fifty dollars. You get the same deals on Fiverr for five dollars, and it has the same effect, it completely ruins your rankings, permanently.
Two years ago, the same thing would have worked as a positive, even though the links were utter trash without any original content on them at all, from sites with no domain authority or page rank.
These days, that’s all it takes, one slip of the mouse and that’s it. It’s been months now, I’ve tried continuing to build links, I’ve tried using the Google disavow tool, and that actually seemed to make it worse, although I have heard it can just take time.
What you will find is that more than half of all SEO “experts” out there are still using a lot of these push button techniques of throwing spam links at a site, even though they probably know full well that it will work in reverse.
They simply don’t know what else to do, they don’t speak English very well, and never learned how to do anything else but push a button on software to make money, so they keep doing it.
So that’s how you destroy the rankings of a site, hire a cheap SEO who can’t show proof of his claims of being able to rank sites, and who isn’t showing you individual articles of 500 words or more published on high quality, relevant, authority sites with source links, photo attribution, and all of those other things that are so important.
Even the quality of the writing itself is important as Google hires tons of quality checkers who slap down pages that look like they were written by monkeys, (no offence to cheap writers who can’t write, and have nothing to say). Quality content is king, it’s not really rocket science.
If you need help with any of the things I’ve discussed here, such as hiring me to write SEO articles for you, or helping you with your social media campaign, social sharing, advice, help setting up a website, get in touch with me via the contact page.