What is Negative SEO? (All You Need to Know)
Negative SEO sounds scary and it is, given the fact that a strong competitor could potentially hurt your site rankings.
But Negative SEO is usually not something you should be worried about (snail) unless you are in a very competitive niche.
What is Negative SEO?
Negative SEO involves activities that are aimed at decreasing the ranking of a competitor on SERP.
A negative SEO attack can take many forms, such as building spam links to the attacked site, removing good links from it with the help of link removal tools, or copying content from it and posting it on other websites to make Google think that the original website is plagiarizing other resources.
Negative SEO is illegal and unethical, but still remains one of the most popular black hat SEO practices.
The main reason why negative SEO exists is that this industry is very competitive. Regardless of business niche, there are always at least several websites fighting for top positions in SERPs. And while some of these sites are more successful than others, nobody likes to lose customers to competitors.
Types of Negative SEO
- Unauthorized content copying
This can be performed using various methods, such as stealing a site’s content and re-posting it on other sites without permission in an attempt to get the original site negatively affected by Google for duplicate content.
- Link bombing
This involves building hundreds or thousands of spammy links to a target site. In the past, this was a very effective tactic for decreasing site rankings because Google and other search engines were heavily relying on link signals for ranking. However, now that Google uses hundreds of other factors for ranking, link bombing isn’t as effective as it used to be. Keep in mind that Google’s Penguin algorithm is designed to detect and penalize sites with link bombs and other types of spammy links.
This involves hacking into your competitor’s site and manipulating its content or structure to make it less visible to search engines. This tactic is also not as effective as it used to be because major search engines are now capable of detecting hacked sites and excluding them from their indexes. Often, these sites are flagged with warnings on the search results pages, which further decreases their rankings.
- Malicious content injection
Hackers get into your site through loopholes in themes and plug-ins and inject malicious code into the site’s pages and files. This affects user experience and also causes Google to flag the site as compromised and deindex it from search results.
- Google My Business (GMB) spamming
This involves creating fake GMB listings for local businesses under fraudulent names and addresses and then reporting them to Google.
- Forceful crawling
This involves sending an enormous number of requests to the target website. This can be achieved by a single bot, or a bunch of bots crawling the site simultaneously. The crawling alone is not enough to cause serious damage (unless it’s done on a small and weak website), but when combined with other methods, it can be very effective against a site.
How to Handle Negative SEO?
If you think your website is hit by negative SEO, your course of action will depend on the method your competitor has used. In general, there’s very little you can do proactively in combating negative SEO. Moreover, it takes the needed expertise and proficiency to maintain your ranking on SERP after negative SEO.
In general, it’s recommended to work with experts and seek their help in getting your site bounce back.
A good SEO company Canada or India can help you with this. Agencies that offer the best SEO services in India have extensive experience in helping their clients tackle negative SEO. So, leverage their experience and expertise to counter negative SEO and hold your position on search engine result pages. So, hire a reputed SEO company and work with them.
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