One of the latest challenges webmasters and search engine optimization experts have to face is the prospect of negative SEO. Negative SEO is an unethical practice where someone takes action with the intent of hurting their competition’s ranking with the search engines. One example is buying thousands of back links from low-quality sites toward a competitor’s website, which could cause the competitor to lose ranking in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This has only really been possible for a few years, but the practice is growing in popularity.
Negative SEO isn’t going to be a concern for every website owner out there. Huge corporations and extremely well established authority sites don’t have much to worry about; it doesn’t matter how many low-quality back links get created pointing toward Facebook.com, it isn’t going to cause the site to lose ranking. The types of sites most at risk are those created fairly recently and those that have not established themselves as an authority in their niche. Even some large sites are at risk, but not to the same level as newer or smaller sites.
Unfortunately, this means the vast majority of websites out there are at some significant risk of becoming victim to negative SEO. With this in mind, all webmasters and SEO experts need to know how to respond if they ever find that a competitor is coming after their site in this way.
The first thing you need to know is whether or not you are being targeted with a negative SEO campaign. This isn’t always as easy as it should be, but with a little bit of investigation, it is possible to be confident a site is or is not being targeted. The following items provide great clues:
Site owners or SEO professionals who are confident that a site is being targeted with a negative SEO attack will want to take action to overcome it. There are several steps that can be taken to help recover from negative SEO. These processes are typically fairly simple, and can restore lost ranking to a site. It may take some time for the search engines to restore the ranking of a site, however, so acting as quickly as possible is essential for each of these steps.
How do you protect your site from negative SEO? Share your tips in the comment section below!
James N is a blogger and entrepreneur. He enjoys creating websites and helping bloggers improve their sites. When not blogging at WPBuddy, he's spending time with his 2-month-old son and playing video games.
photo credit: leg0fenris