There are a fair number of success driven business people and webmasters who’ll go to extraordinary lengths in order to dominate the online sphere. This may mean devoting large chunks of time to the development of high quality content and establishment of valuable links. It might also involve the adoption of black hat techniques, such as the integration of hidden content and keyword stuffing. There are even some unscrupulous webmasters who use the types of negative SEO strategies outlined in this article.
What Is Negative SEO?
Before we move on to consider specific examples it is important to define Negative SEO. Quite simply this is the practice of demoting a web page or entire site in the search engine rankings. It may be performed as a means of downgrading rival sites in a particularly competitive niche. This strategy is also used to devalue content which may be of detriment to the image of a certain brand. For example, a hotel company could target a review website featuring bad comments made by disgruntled customers.
How Is Negative SEO Carried Out?
By now you are probably wondering about different methods which fall under the category of negative SEO. Well, it’s quite possible for unethical webmasters to purchase poor quality links and point them at competitor websites. There have also been instances of websites being hacked and infiltrated with malicious content. And there have been particularly frightening reports of DMCA removal requests being made in order to ensure the removal of high quality links.
It is worth pointing out that Google have changed their tune with regards to negative SEO in recent times. They originally stated that ‘There’s almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index.’ Later on this declaration was changed to ‘Google works hard to prevent other webmasters from being able to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index.’ The problem is real and it’s gaining greater recognition!
What Can You Do About Negative SEO?
So the issue has been identified and outlined. Now you’ll want to know how to make sure your website isn’t affected. Thankfully there are a number of preventative steps that you can take. It would be a very good idea to carry out regular inspections of your backlink profile. You should also resist the temptation to overly optimise your website. Finally it is worth taking the time to establish strong and highly positive brand signals via social networking websites and other platforms.
If you believe that your website has been violated then it is important to contact Google via Webmaster Central. You should also give Fusewave a call on 01212851049. We have the necessary expertise to aid your recovery and ensure the optimisation of your online profile!