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I am working on a second personal website listing my job experience and skills. The first website included the name of my last employer in a few places and started competing for the ranking of the company I worked for and I removed the website from existence after I started beating the companies website. I made no efforts to increase it's visibility (using it as a keyword in meta or something similar) and have tried several variations of using a highly styled <p> tag instead of a heading to avoid the search bot from assuming that higher <hX> tags were more relevant.

I no longer work for this company and wish to build a similar site, but want low to no ranking when somebody searches for "My old company". This isn't a problem for other items in my resume since the other places I have worked for have done minimal SEO.

I have thought about using an image to replace the text, but that would prevent the search bots from indexing the page and possibly showing bad information in the small text that sometimes comes up with the web search.

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1 Answer 1

I think you're going backwards. Search engines try to rank pages for different keywords based on the relevance of the content. To do this, they have to determine what the topic of the page is, and what the target audience (based on search keyword) is. So it's hard for a page to rank well on a bunch of completely unrelated keywords unless those are just really rare keywords that few indexed pages contain.

So what is the topic of each page on your site? If you optimize your content to rank well specifically for those topics, and the name of the old company is unrelated to those topics, then your page will naturally drop in ranking for what search engines perceive as an unrelated search term (while simultaneously rising in ranking for the targeted search terms).

Now, if your old company's own site is so poorly optimized that they get beaten in ranking by an unrelated page that simply lists its name in passing, then that's their issue, not yours. They probably have really low quality/spammy/inaccessible content, or are being penalized for spammy link structure. Short of removing their name from indexable content or intentially doing negative SEO on your site so you lose site authority and trust, you really can't do much more about it.

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I wish to do specific negative SEO on my site at the risk of losing site authority and trust. I realize this is a negative step. Their site is an epitome of how not to do things. No <hX> tags. No meta tags. No alts for images. Tables used for alignment and display (not displaying tabular data), static content despite having a news feed. Embedded javascript code in the html with links to other javascript code. –  user21006 Dec 28 '12 at 1:27
    
@Kafuka: Other than adding more content to de-emphasize the company name as a keyword, there's nothing you can do that will specifically lower your ranking for that search term instead of just hurting your site's search ranking as a whole. It would be simpler to just have the company name inserted via JavaScript. Though you'd have to do it in a way that Google won't index the keyword, since Google does parse JS now. –  Lèse majesté Dec 28 '12 at 2:35
    
meta tags and other tags are not used at all on google anymore, and they are the lowest priority on Yahoo. The crawlers base the SEO on the actual content of the site now. –  ekaj Dec 28 '12 at 7:37
    
A company name is usually quite a unique phrase and for another (portfolio) site to rank at all for that phrase could be undesirable. –  w3d Dec 28 '12 at 10:18

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