Negative SEO is a sensitive topic in the SEO community. Negative SEO can be done and I have seen some case studies of people deliberately hiring specialists to attack business’s websites in order to have them do negative SEO to a competitor site and to get their site’s ranking dropped, or worse penalised and removed from the search results entirely.
Although this shouldn’t happen, the reality is it does happen. And business owner’s need to be cautious about competitors who may try to attack their website, or even those who are considering to take part in negative SEO activities.
Negative SEO usually occurs when someone builds links to a website that will cause the website to get penalised. Some examples of this may include:
- Getting private blog networks (PBNs)
- Using link building software (such as GSA, SE Nuke or Xrumer)
- Guest blog spamming on low quality sites
- Blog comment spam
- Forum signature link spam
- Blogroll links
The links are usually built in bulk (which is a tactic called link bombing). Generally after link bombing, you will see a ranking spike followed by a ranking drop or penalisation for the website.
Should the site receive a penalty, it will be challenging to remove the penalty and you may need to forward ‘Reconsideration requests’ to Google as well as manually remove and disavow links.
Negative SEO can be harmful to your website. It is ideal to monitor your website’s rankings and site performance in Webmaster Tools. If you see anything unusual, look into it early and if it is an issue, try to resolve it as soon as possible.
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