Hello, intrepid internet marketers, and welcome to Internet Explorers for the week of August 15.

This week, we’re talking negative SEO, crippling insecurity, and product listing ads. Let’s get to it.


"Hello. Read this email very carefully. This is an extortion email."

Thus began an email we received yesterday, which went on to demand that we pay fifteen hundred dollars or else have twenty thousand bad links pointed at our site, thereby “knocking us off Google’s SERPs forever.”

If you’re watching, negative SEO company, know this: we do NOT negotiate with terrorists.

Really though, if you’re ever threatened with negative SEO, or the victim of a negative SEO campaign, don’t negotiate. And if you don’t want to manually disavow 20,000 links, link analysis tools like Cognitive and Majestic can help you automate some of the process.

Oh and, the extortion email is pretty funny, so we’ve posted it for you to check out for a laugh.


Feeling a little insecure lately? Don’t worry, Google’s got you covered.

Google is starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal in their search ranking algorithms. This is their not-so-subtle way of steering website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS, with the belief that it'll keep everyone safe on the web.

Google is going to publish a "best practices" guide in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, some basic tips to get you started include:

  • Deciding what kind of certificate you need
  • Using 2048-bit certificates
  • Using relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain, and
  • Using protocol relative URLs for all other domains.


And because we love talking about Google, it’s PLA time! Google is retiring Product Listing Ads on August 31st, which means that every advertiser using PLAs will need to upgrade to Shopping Campaigns.

So if you advertise on Google, then get out there and start testing and getting used to shopping campaigns ASAP.

If you’re using custom attributes, make sure you update your product feed. There are several cool new options available, and it’s much easier than before to select how you’d like to structure and prioritize your advertising. But it’s best to do this on your own terms rather than trusting Google with the nuances of your products and your business and your profitability.


Well, that’s it for this week, Make sure you subscribe for future episode, check the descriptions for links to our stories for today, and don’t forget - never negotiate with terrorists. Thanks for watching.

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