Search Engine Deoptimization

The blog Live at the Witch Trials proposes a method for harming the search engine rankings of any companies you feel may be deserving. To abbreviate:

  • Look through your target websites terms and conditions to find a clause that prohibits linking. Ryanair’s site has the following T&C:
    “Links to this website. You may not establish and/or operate links to this website without the prior written consent of Ryanair. Such consent may be withdrawn at any time at Ryanair’s own discretion.”
  • Search for all the websites that do link to them anyway.
  • Find contact information for those sites and send them strongly worded cease and desist notices that look official, but make no false claims.

This should have a pretty big impact on how important search engines feel your targets site is, and they’ll soon start to drop in the rankings accordingly.

Fun!

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Posted in SEO

A Posterous SEO issue you should probably be aware of

Posterous places nonremovable canonical URL tags on its posts. That tells the search engine to assign all the “link juice” to the Posterous-hosted page no matter where else the content may exist.

I do not want the Posterous version of the document to be the official URL for much of my content.

(via Why I’m dropping Posterous this weekend – forums.posterous.com)

I hadn’t spotted this, but I’m glad I know now.

This could be a problem for you if you duplicate your own content on a Posterous blog, but you don’t want Posterous to be the main home for that content. It is very likely that your Posterous blog will rank higher than the other place, whether you want it to or not.

In truth, it’s probably not an issue for most users. Better to know and not care than to care and not know.

Further reading: Learn about the Canonical Link Element in 5 minutes – mattcutts.com