Negative SEO has been a huge worry for websites at the top of the rankings for a couple of years now. Websites at the top of Google have big targets on their back because everyone wants to take their place. This means that a lot of SEOs will look at what they have done to get there and try and replicate it. Some, however, may resort to negative SEO to knock these websites off their perches.
Negative SEO is the act of trying to get a competing website penalized by Google by ruining their off-page SEO. Here are the most common negative SEO tactics and how you can watch out for them
Dodgy inbound link
Spammy, poor quality inbound links are the bread and butter of negative SEO. They are the first strategy that any negative SEOer will use to try to get a site penalized. That’s because it’s one of the easiest, and occasionally effective, techniques available. A negative SEO will have a network of very poor quality spam sites full of scraped content and simply post thousands of links to a competing website in the hopes that Google penalizes them for bad link building tactics.
Thankfully, this tactic is easy to watch out for. By regularly checking your inbound link profile using one of the leading SEO tools, you can notice bad links as soon as they appear. If you do see any, you can then use Google’s disavow tool to make sure that Google doesn’t take any notice of them.
This is a less common tactic that spammy links but it is still one that is in use, which means you need to be aware of it. Some SEOs will steal your content in the hope that your great content will help them to rank better. This naturally leads to duplicate content issues. Worse, however, is when negative SEOers steal all of your site’s content and post it to their network of spam websites. If this is a concern for you, you can use a website monitoring tool to check for duplicate content.
In the world of local business, fake reviews are a huge problem. There is nothing worse than having a clearly fake negative review posted about your business, most of all because it can be very hard to get it removed. These are the form of negative SEO that most businesses have to watch out for more than any else. Check Yelp, TripAdvisor and any other review sites weekly for new reviews and make sure to report fake reviews instantly if you spot them.
It is unlikely that negative SEO will affect your website. But it is important to be prepared in case the worst happens. The more you know, the more you can do to stop it.