Search engine rankings can be make or break for your site. Lucrative niches are fraught with competition vying for the top spots on Google. As such ranking for the right keywords can lead to huge amounts of traffic and thereafter revenue.
Unfortunately not everyone fights fair in the ongoing competition for results. This post will explore and evaluate some of the shadier sides of the SEO marketplace, in which the aim of some is not only to boost their rankings, but to hurt yours.
Could you be the victim of a negative SEO campaign by your competition? This post will give you the opportunity to detect negative SEO, and insulate yourself from its potentially damaging effects.
Understanding negative SEO is simple enough. It is exactly as it sounds, the opposite of positive SEO.
Rather than aiming to improve a sites ranking, a negative SEO campaign aims at demoting competing sites, or in a worst case scenario possibly having it removed from search altogether.
A few common negative SEO practices include; building spam links, fake removal requests, content scraping, fake link removal requests, fake reviews, and of course good old fashioned hacking.
Does Negative SEO work?
Most already know that you can hurt your own sites rankings by using shady SEO practices. Someone discovered that this same practice could be used to sabotage the competition, and Negative SEO as a practice was born. It isn’t like Google can distinguish who is doing the SEO work, which is why this is worth discussion and preventative measures.
Not all negative SEO campaigns are successful, but it will be evident if they are. You would see the signs. It is important to take note if someone is succeeding in negatively affecting your rankings, here are a few telltale signs to watch for:
- A sudden drop in traffic
- A manual penalty notification from Google
- A drop in individual keyword rankings
Common negative SEO practices
There are all kinds of tactics used by someone employing negative SEO, both constructive and destructive. These methods can go from simply underhanded practices to outright illegal activity, and include, but are not limited to the following;
- Spammy link building
- Fake link removal requests
- Content Scraping
- False URL parameters
- Fake reviews
- Specifically timed DDOS attacks
- Hacking your site
Although We have covered some of the most common negative SEO practices, this list is far from complete, and indeed there is likely someone out there right now finding new loopholes and techniques to employ negative SEO campaigns against competition. It is important to be vigilant; keep an eye on your traffic, rankings and backlinks. Good luck out there!