All you need to know about Negative SEO

This blog aims to introduce you to the practice of negative SEO, the different forms these attacks can come in and what could you do to protect your website from such attacks.

What is negative SEO?

Negative SEO is the practice of damaging a website’s rankings using spammy, unethical or other techniques that are not considered acceptable by search engines.

These types of SEO techniques are generally used to bring down the rankings of a competitor’s site.

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What are the different types of negative SEO techniques?

There are a number of different negative SEO techniques that can be used to bring down a website’s rankings including:

Low-Quality Link Building: This technique involves pointing low-quality links to a website in order to push its rankings down. You see low-quality links are quite easy to find or purchase over the internet.

All you have to do is simply point them to a target website. Link farms are commonly used in this method to negatively impact the rankings of a website.

• Content Duplication: This negative SEO technique involves scraping the content of the website and then publishing the same content across a number of low-quality domains. Google does not like duplicate content and once detected, it can lead to a drop in rankings.

• Server Overload: Each server comes with a particular configuration that determines the amount of traffic it can handle. This can be used to launch a negative SEO attack. You see, a person undertaking negative SEO will simply inundate a server with a lot of requests or traffic which can lead to the website slowing down or crashing.

Once the website is down, Google crawlers will not be able to access it and overtime this will lead to the website being removed from SERP’s altogether.

• Website Hacking: Another way to undertake negative SEO is to get access to the admin panel or cPanel of a website. Once access is gained, there are plenty of options to negatively impact the SEO of a website.

This includes removing content, changing robot.txt file or simply bring down the website after changing the passwords.

• Negative Reviews: (Local SEO): This one has got to do more with local SEO. For those of you who don’t know local SEO, it relates to the map listings that you see above the organic search results section of a website.

You see, reviews are known to be a ranking signal when it comes to achieving a spot in the map pack. So in this type of a negative SEO attack, the attacker will drop negative reviews across the web including your Google My Business profile.

Some steps you can take to reduce the chances and the impact of a negative SEO attack:

• Check your website regularly for any unauthorised activity.

• Check for any excessive server loads.

• Build high-quality natural links.

• Change your passwords regularly.

• If you suspect an attack reach out to the Google Search Team for help. • Disavow any spammy links if you notice them.

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