Negative SEO – the details…
SEO experts have always expressed concern about the gap in search algorithms and that Google ought to concern itself with filling these gaps rather than bringing about cosmetic changes through their Google Penguin and Panda updates. The dangerous repercussions of misusing these loopholes was brought to the forefront recently when two active users in the Traffic Power Forum ran a post explaining how they ruined a fellow SEO expert Dan Thies’s search rankings.
Let’s take a look at what exactly negative SEO is and how it works.
What is Negative SEO
The entire process of removing a particular piece of content on the internet would refer to negative SEO.
How is negative SEO done?
Common practices include spam reporting, setting up splogs, setting up some nasty backlinking and even posting fake reviews on Google Reviews. Here are some of the common techniques used:
- Raise an alert for fraud: This can be done very easily when the competitor is running an adsense campaign. You click their adverts so many times that their account is suspended.
- 301 redirects misuse – This is done by creating a spam site that resembles the competitor in style and meta content and then getting Google to index it. Once this is done, you can install a 301 redirect to the competitor’s site.
These are just some of the techniques. Mind you, this blog isn’t a hints and tips for negative tactics; it’s just to inform you that there exist people in this world who can do this to your site.
There used to be a time when the competition was between SEO’s and Google (not that this was good), but today, SEO against SEO? This is something that will surely pull the entire industry down and is undesirable. More on how to identify and handle negative SEO on a future blog!
For now, I’ll stick to common negative SEO practices. Speaking on the subject, here’s one instance of how negative SEO may have hit a site.
This example has been used several times now especially after the Google Penguin update. But what I’m concerned with here is just one search result – that of Nicholas Pinto’s web page. What is his result doing there? The following image makes it clear that there’s nothing related to Viagra on his site!
But if you paste the URL on Google, You’d be surprised by the result. .. well some nasty colleague of this guy has ingeniously added the Viagra anchor texts with variations!
Now its another story altogether that Bing does not display this search result at all – but again, that’s for another day…
Has my site been hit by negative SEO?
If your worried that your website may have bee affected by negative SEO or if you just want some more information on what negative SEO is, why not drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading ‘Negative SEO – How Does It Work’.