Published on May 4th, 2012 | by Amy Edwards0
Should you be worried about ‘negative SEO’?
By Amy @BubbleJobs
Since the launch of Google Penguin a few weeks ago, the phrase ‘negative SEO’ has been buzzing around the industry faster than an overexcited fly that’s just found the mother-load of leftovers.
Now for those of you that don’t know, negative SEO is… yep, you guessed it, the exact opposite of ‘positive SEO’. Rather than sending positive signals to search engines from your site, negative SEO sends negative signals to Google that suggest your site is far from trustworthy – the result? A sudden fall in the SERPs and a very frustrated site owner.
So why would you ever use negative SEO on your site? Well you wouldn’t but someone else might! Yes that’s right – other people can affect your site’s ranking and authority by using sneaky little negative SEO tactics so it’s time to to be on high alert!
Some of the more well-known aspects of negative SEO are malwares, viruses and hacks – hackers find vulnerabilities in certain parts of your site, inject spam (most likely without you ever realising) and bam! Google gives you a nice little penalty! Not fun!
Now viruses and hacks aren’t new when it comes to negative SEO but nasty backlinks are – this is where Google Penguin steps in! Penguin was brought in to punish sites that have cheap, spammy backlinks pointing to their site – now the majority of site owners have a good general idea of what incoming backlinks they have on their site, however there are some that have no clue and this is where the big problem could lie!
We all know that Google’s been hammering sites with dodgy link profiles pretty hard over the last few weeks – the potential problem we have is that now we know Google hates spammy backlinks, what’s to stop people building dodgy backlinks to your sites to bring you down? The answer? Not a lot!
The Google Penguin update has left a lot of sites vulnerable when it comes to negative SEO in the form of dodgy backlinks. OK, so the people who’ve launched an online assault against your site would need to put a lot of time and effort into skewing your so-far positive link profile but don’t make the mistake of thinking it can’t be done! It can and dodgy backlinks are just the tip of the iceberg! Faking bad reviews, duplicating content across the web, faking email requests to delete links – they’re all a part of negative SEO and they’ve all been done in the past.
So what can I do to avoid becoming a negative SEO victim? In all honesty there’s not a lot you can do if someone decides they want to take down your site – they’ll do it come what may – the only thing you can really do is to try to do a good ‘positive’ SEO job that will help to establish your authority with Google before any potential attacks take place. Concentrate on creating a site with good UX, a nice design and high quality useful content and remember to keep a close eye on your incoming links!