SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a double-edged sword through which one either can create great value to their businesses or can hack the goodwill of their competitors. The latter type of activities comes under the preview of negative SEO in which SEO techniques are used to hurt the website of competitors to gain a business advantage over them. The usual practice of SEO that is common to all enterprises is to promote business and bring revenue, which is quite a healthy phenomenon. However, in this intensive and competitive internet marketing there are businesses or firms who try to diminish the reputation of their competitors websites by using the negative SEO techniques.
Certain competitors of the website use negative SEO techniques, the purpose of which is to decrease the concerned website ranking in search engines or by downgrading the website with the low quality links. Recently, many webmasters using Google’s Webmaster Tools have been warned by Google that unnatural links have been detected pointing to their sites sent by either by their own actions or from negative SEO techniques being followed by their competitors. The usual or typical negative SEO techniques used by competitors to potentially tank or harm the concerned website’s ranking include-
Paid links: The competitor may buy thousands of spam links pointing to the website to affect negatively the link profile. A spammed back link profile can get the concerned website to be penalized by Google that in turn seriously influences the search ranking of the website.
Fake reviews: Bad reviews or comments can really affect the web traffic thereby resulting in the decline of number of visitors and affecting the reputation of the website. Competitors at times create unusually great reviews that happen to come from the site itself causing Google to punish the website owners for such action. Any successful business can be the target of negative reviews, bad comments etc by using negative SEO technique that can diminish the concerned website’s SEO ranking.
Spam site reports: Competitors indulge in reporting certain website as a spam site or in sending email to the owners of other websites that have back links to the concerned website to remove these back links stating that they are seen as copyright infringement. Losing these high quality back links may prove disastrous to SEO.
Nevertheless, negative SEO as a popular malicious technique was successfully used against small and medium range websites during these few years. Therefore, it is important for every webmaster to remain careful and thoroughly informed about the negative SEO techniques. They should take necessary actions and precautions by regularly checking the websites back links and traffic and by taking immediate action by using tolls like Google Disavow Link Tool.