What Is Negative SEO?

SEO is an extensive industry you need to learn to keep up with. Ranking high on a Google Search page is impressive today, meaning you need to learn more about SEO. However, some sites still rank high by using .

Negative SEO is when groups use to remove the competition from the top spots on Google Search pages. These strategies use deceit and other unethical practices. You should always avoid using them to keep your website’s reputation up.

This article contains everything you need to know about negative (or Black Hat) SEO. That way, you can avoid it and know when others try using it against you.

Define Negative SEO

Negative SEO is standard “search engine optimization” practice that uses malicious tactics. Those using this method tarnish the reputation of other sites to steal their spot on the Google Search page.

One common method was filling a site with inappropriate banners and ads. However, negative SEO is much more complicated than just that.

Negative SEO Examples

You’ll want to familiarize yourself with negative SEO. Here are some common examples that you might run into.

  • Malware attacks: Malware on the site causes Google to give users a warning, so many leave the page before it can even load.
  • Click fraud: a bot repeatedly clicks on your site listings after coming through the Google Search page. Google flags this and drops your ranking.
  • Forced crawling: Slowing websites down to a crawl crashes the site.
  • Fake accounts: Others publish fake, negative reviews about your site on social media. They also may create accounts that copy you but post harmful or low-quality content to hurt your site’s reputation.
  • Copy and paste: Copying and pasting your content, then publishing on many different sites.
  • Link farming: Pointing from spam websites.

Google and Negative SEO

Google recognizes that negative SEO is an issue. However, Google says it’s tough to succeed with negative SEO, so don’t need to worry about it.

This tactic is much more common in niche markets where many big businesses compete heavily.

Does Google Do Anything About Negative SEO?

Google knows about negative SEO, but does the company do anything? While they don’t reveal their search algorithms, Google still tries to punish those who use SEO in this way.

Google offers a webmaster tool that you can use to receive alerts for spammed links and other unnatural activities. You can deny others from linking to your site when it seems they have bad intentions.

Plus, Google keeps an eye on SEO, so it’s unlikely that those using it will succeed with their own websites.

Protect Your Site From Negative SEO

If you suspect your website is , you’ll want to know how to protect it from the harm that negative SEO can cause. Here are a few steps that you can take.

1. Use Google Search Console

First, you want to use Google Search Console and enable email notifications. This service alerts you of issues, making it possible to prevent attacks. It also allows you to:

  • Monitor backlinks
  • Remove backlinks
  • Protect your site from hackers

2. Watch Your Backlinks

are the most common form of negative SEO. You’ll want to make sure that you watch who’s creating them. Remove any that seems suspicious or spammy right away. There are different that you can use to receive email alerts.

3. Watch for Content Thieves

Content thieves, who copy and paste your content elsewhere, are another common problem. So again, make sure to use Copyscape and monitor it often. You’ll want to know immediately when other sites start taking your work.

4. Review Social Media

Next, always look over your social media. You want to know when others mention you, so you know no fake accounts are using your brand’s likeness. Social Mention and Hootsuite are excellent tools for this.

5. Speed Up Your Site

Lastly, try speeding up your website. You can set up alerts for when the speed drops, so you can remove spammers trying to slow it down to a crawl.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, negative SEO is when other sites use harmful tactics to take down their competitors instead of . Negative SEO happens, although it’s very infrequent. So stay vigilant and learn different ways to protect your website from it.


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