Negative SEO Explained

Negative SEO Explained

SEO has long been perceived as a natural, effective way to boost your rankings in search engines. And it still is – for the most part.

Google’s algorithm is constantly changing. Some days more drastically and noticeably than others, but nevertheless, it’s ever-evolving. As a result, some business owners are finding it increasingly difficult to rank for important, relevant keywords which would drive valuable traffic to their websites.

Following a logical process of deduction, if you’re not ranking, then you’re not getting any traffic. If you’re not getting any traffic, then you’re not generating any sales. If you’re not getting any sales, then you’re up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle.

However, rather than actually trying to improve their own website to fix the issue, some find it easier to simply tear down those around them until they’re the last ones standing. Enter negative SEO.

To break it down simply, negative SEO is when some unscrupulous party either:

  • Hacks your website and makes changes that Google would perceive as bad for rankings
  • Reports your website for illegal activity (regardless of whether or not it’s true)
  • Purchases or builds spam links to your website
  • Creates fake negative Google reviews about your business from fake accounts

Sounds scary, right? You need to make sure that you’re aware if any of your competitors are targeting you with negative SEO. Especially if you’re in a high position in the SERPs, ripe for attack from jealous wannabes. One way of doing this is via Webmaster Tools. If your website isn’t registered with Webmaster Tools, it should be. Immediately. Like, right now.

For a better understanding of negative SEO and how it works, I’d highly recommend watching this video:

Negative SEO isn’t a fallacy. It exists. Luckily for all of us, Google is actively trying to help solve this issue. Its latest major update, titled Google Penguin, was partially targeted at negative SEO. But until there is an external, reliable fail-safe, you need to take charge of protecting your website by constantly monitoring any activity affecting it.

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We’ve been in the digital marketing field for over 18 years and worked with hundreds of Australian (and international) businesses to grow their web presence. Specialising in SEO, search ads (PPC), social media, content marketing, email marketing and conversion rate optimisation.

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