Negative Effects of SEO

Seattle SEO
6 min readApr 26, 2021

With more and more websites being created every day it is vital to understand what affects the websites and what can cause harmful effects to the website. It is crucial to understand how websites work and what causes these search result issues to occur using SEO. There are lots of questions one might have such as, “What is SEO? What are the purposes of SEO? What causes SEO to be a negative factor in website development? Also, what is stopping people from applying SEO?”. These questions will be answered here…

What is SEO? Well, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is used to increase the quantity and quality of user traffic to a website through a search engine. Search engines such as Google have a “crawler”. This crawler goes through tons of information about the content then sends 1s and 0s to an index. Which then is put into an algorithm that Google manages. Then this algorithm spews out data about the input of words you are trying to find information about. People who use SEO for websites are trying to create favorable keywords that will get picked up by the algorithm, and this is how SEO targets an audience. Because the people who search for the topic are generally going to get websites that are related to it.

More SEO Information

Though I touched on the topic of how SEO targets an audience. What does this mean? This means that SEO is used to target keywords or phrases that will increase the relevance of your website because of them. The main reason SEO exists is to help a website create organic traffic so that users are more likely to see the site appear on the first page of the search results. So essentially the purpose of SEO is to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website. This method is beneficial for both the consumer and business because it helps the user find what they are looking for. This causes the website to attract traffic and exposer.

Harmful SEO

Now there are lots of positive things about SEO. But nothing is ever perfect and especially when it comes to using SEO. There are a good amount of drawbacks that can occur from using SEO. The really bad thing that can cause your website to be blocked by google is by people using SEO bots. These bots can harm your website. This is due to the fact that bots can spam comments across tons of websites per day. For example, bots attempt to create backlinks that can increase the flow of traffic to other websites. Even if the links that are being spammed aren’t being used, this can still cause your website to rank poorly. And in the eyes of Google’s algorithm, this can hurt the website’s “ranking” or “credibility.”

Real Life Negative SEO Example

For example, as a website developer if I create a website that is about certain cooking recipes. I do everything in my power to create an organic traffic flow through SEO, and I allow comments on my website so that I may receive feedback from my viewers. All of a sudden I receive lots of comments that may seem a bit fishy that can lead to other sites. Now I can choose to remove them or leave them. Now I choose to remove them, that great! Until the next day, another comment appears just like the first one did with the same link. For weeks this issue occurs and because of this I have noticed there has been a slow increase in visitation to my website because Google picks this up as inorganic or forced traffic flow. Another way to prevent this is by incorporating a spam filter.

Other SEO Issues

  • A major factor that affects your website is the loading or page speed. Because no matter how great of an SEO you have nothing is going to help the websites if the speed of the site to load is far too slow.
  • Broken/dead links or images on the website. As mention previously google has certain “crawlers” which are used to grab information about websites. And if the website has an image that is broken or links that are broken. Then the crawler won’t want to give that information to the people who are searching for the topic that the website is about. F
  • Duplicate information. This doesn’t even have to be your own doing. The competing websites or simply hackers can try to sabotage competitors by using duplicate meta information. Someone can create a complete duplicate which can then make Google’s algorithm think the site is fishy. In fact, it can involve malicious intent. Hence, why it is important to have content as well as meta tags. Because it can affect the website’s standings. Since the SEO isn’t specific and it broad/ generic this causes other websites with better SEO’s to outperform those who are just starting out or those whose websites aren’t already performing well by using SEO.
  • Website structure and quality off-page SEO are a must! Buy backlinks will only hurt a website’s ranking, hence only related websites should be used.
  • Quality content without spelling errors or grammatical errors can cause your website to rank better. Usually, websites that rank high have great grammar which boosted their standings. If an individual has good grammar or has a high vocabulary there is a greater chance that Google would recognize this
  • Having an SSL will help hugely! This basically means that your website is official and is legit. SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer.” SSL is a secure protocol developed that sends information securely over the internet. Websites use SSL for security for the sites.

Thoughts on SEO

Is SEO worth it? Well, this simply depends. If you are creating a website for a specific company or product, then SEO can be beneficial. As a DIY it is hard to perfect SEO as it takes time and lots of trials and errors. But, hiring an SEO expert will speed up the process! Most importantly if you are trying to reach an audience for something particular then SEO is a must!

The challenge with SEO is to constantly update your website. Lack of content addition and update will only result in loss of ranking. Remember, outdated content will only have people immediately leave your website.

Negative SEO can affect your website far more negatively and be much more destructive to your site than one might consider. Reasons can be so simple as having issues with a broken link, having spam comments, or even having multiple images.


I wouldn’t say that the negatives out way the positives even if it may seem that way. If you create a website that you don’t want to monitor and prefer for it to just do its own thing, then SEO is not for you. But if you are willing to put in the effort and try to increase your website traffic naturally without any shortcuts or methods that can penalize you then SEO might just be for you.

SEO is only going to be useful or good depending on what you do with it. It all comes down to what you are trying to accomplish and what methods suit you as a company, individual, or business.



Seattle SEO

Seattle SEO Now is a local Seattle SEO Agency. We specialize in driving traffic and maintaining a good website ranking, standing and reputation for businesses