The SEO Tactics That Damage Your Reputation

SEO Tactics that Damage your Reputation

SEO is an ever-changing beast, and improving your rankings on search algorithms is an art form with its own set of unique challenges, opportunities, and best practices.

And while the rules and etiquette of SEO change, some businesses refuse to keep up or play fair. There are all kinds of SEO tricks that will actually damage your brand and, ultimately, do you more harm than good when it comes time for Google’s algorithm to rank your site.

Here are four outdated – or downright nefarious – SEO tactics that will damage your brand’s integrity and actually hurt your site’s SEO:

1.) Bad Back-Links

It’s fine to back-link to your own content or to other sites; in fact, building relationships through linking has long been a key part of successful content marketing for SEO.

The problem comes with sites that run like link farms, stuffed with too many links to be readable or consistently sending readers to disreputable or poor quality sites. Instead of  linking to every site you can, focus on building authentic relationships with other high quality sites who will in turn share and link to your great content.

2.) Duplicate Content

Google’s algorithms are keenly designed to weed out sites that simply repost the same content over and over again.

Instead of creating a catch-all blog template and simply tweaking a few words here or there, focus your efforts on consistently generating new, original content. This will make your site more attractive to Google’s algorithm. Plus, the more unique pages on your site, the better the chances that your pieces will show up in more search rankings, giving new audiences searching for content a chance to engage with you.

3.) Keyword Stuffing

One of the most sacred relics of SEO past is the keyword. And while they still have their place in search engine marketing, the practice of keyword stuffing – inflating your article with attractive keywords to bolster your search ranking – should be dead and buried.

Search engines are now designed to care about quality, rather than merely quantity. Spend your time creating attractive, helpful content, rather than inundating a post with duplicate keywords. Quality, not puffery, is the best way to ensure that your rankings improve. 

4.) Fake Reviews

More and more audiences are doing their research on social reviewing sites like Yelp, Amazon, or even YouTube. And while it may seem easy to pay a few people to write positive reviews improve your business’ standing, that could backfire in a major way.

Besides being deeply unethical, writing fake posts under phony usernames doesn’t pay off: Increasingly, sites are getting better at spotting and deleting fake reviews, and being the subject of a scandal could permanently damage your brand story.

Instead of posting fake positive reviews, forge the sort of high quality relationships that lead to real positive reviews. Send out samples of your product or reach out to social media influencers. Encourage your satisfied customers to send in testimonials or spread the word about your product on social media.

With the right reputation and high quality content, your organic results will improve without having to resort to any tricks or traps.

Ready to start improving your site’s organic search results with content marketing? Drop Geek a line! We have the team and the experience to help with all of your social media, SEO, and email marketing needs!


Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).