Using Negative Keywords For Search Engine Optimization

Clive Lobo

What if the big three searche engines allowed the use of negative keywords for a sites organic search rankings?

Adam Green and I were chatting the other day and he dropped this interesting question on me. What if the big three search engines allowed a webmaster through webmaster tools to specify a set of negative keywords for which the site should not rank for. From a quality and lead generation perspective SEO and PPC are quite similar in that as SEO’s we want to get qualified traffic to our sites – so why not allow us to filter out keywords which we know are bouncing or producing poor results?

For example – site A ranks well for “self storage” and as a result gets traffic for terms such as “self storage backup” or “rv storage” both of which are low quality traffic keywords for site A. Why not specify”-backup” and “-rv” into a list of negative keywords in webmaster tools?

Can anyone see why this would be a bad idea for webmasters, the search engines or the users of search engines? I think it improves the overall quality of the search experience for everyone involved.

Perhaps this has been discussed before, but I’ve not come across it in the context of organic results. Please comment – I am interested in what everyone has to say about it.

Clive Lobo

Spark’s resident boss man, Clive possesses the very nature of an entrepreneurial spirit.

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