Just about everyone is familiar with what SEO is, but what about that sinister term “negative SEO”? It’s definitely not white hat and it’s really not black hat, either. It’s just plain evil. But does negative SEO work? If so, how? And since the internet is a pretty cutthroat place anyway, can you use negative SEO to destroy your competition or even get revenge on a website owner? Of course you can!
Negative SEO Is A Real Threat
The first question many people have when they hear about negative SEO is, does negative SEO really work? Absolutely, and under the right circumstances, it can destroy a website (and the business associated with that site) to an irreparable level. It has happened many times before and it will keep happening into the foreseeable future. Some people will claim that negative SEO is “nothing to worry about” and “not a big deal”, but just ask those whose hard work has been destroyed if it’s a big deal or not. Most certainly, they will tell you it is.
What Is Negative SEO? What Techniques Are used?
Quite simply, negative SEO comprises of actions taken by an individual to hurt the search rankings of a website. Those actions depend a lot on the specific negative SEO attack. This can involve sending 10’s or even 100’s of thousands of low quality links to a site to trigger a Google link policy violation or it can include an all out hacking and deletion of a site. You may also be familiar with DNS attacks that are often used by hacking groups such as Anonymous to take sites down for extended periods of time. In some cases, your content could be stolen and immediately posted on other sites in order to create a duplicate content violation on your site. There is also fake review spam, content spam, hacking email subscriber lists, and all sorts of other detrimental attacks that can be waged. Here is what the former head of spam at Google had to say about negative SEO:
How To Use Negative SEO To Crush Your Competition
In short? Be an asshole. Take any ethical values you have and light them on fire, because you don’t need those anymore. You should also pray that karma is not real, because if it is, you’re going to get bit. There is never an excuse to use negative SEO on people. Not only is it illegal, but there are better ways to run a business than by partaking in negative SEO.
Nonetheless, it’s important for everyone to know the main ways negative SEO is performed so that you can protect yourselves. The most common negative SEO attack is by people trying to cause unnatural linking penalties in Google search. If you get an unnatural linking penalty, it will have a very serious and negative impact. Creating a negative SEO linking campaign is actually an easy and cheap endeavor. Places like Fiverr.com offer services where anyone can purchase low quality links and point them at competitor sites. Enough of those can possibly get the trick done.
Most other forms of negative SEO take some sort of programming knowledge. Hacking into sites and secretly entering code so that search engines can’t see your site is one way to kill rankings. You might never even know that code was entered unless you hire someone to figure it out. Some programmers will create programs to automatically steal your content the second you post it and automatically publish it on hundreds or even thousands of sites, causing you to get a duplicate content violation from search engines. In extreme cases, hackers will use tactics to completely delete or take down your site all together. The amount of knowledge needed to pull off these attacks will very greatly.
What To Do If You Are A Victim Of Negative SEO
Being a victim of negative SEO is a horrible place to be in, because you are almost completely helpless to combat it. The chances of legal ramifications are low unless you can prove who is behind the attacks. Fixing all the issues created may be impossible or require the services of a professional. In many cases, the best course of action is to remove the site completely and start over. This is the sad truth about negative SEO and one of the reasons nobody likes to talk about it. It is pure evil.
A Few Extra Thoughts About Negative SEO
I know the title of this article may have brought in many people who are considering using negative SEO. I’m pleading with you – don’t do it. Using negative SEO on other site owners or businesses is like using chemical warfare during a war. You just don’t do it. Negative SEO is the lowest of the low. Some people justify using negative SEO because they are getting revenge or claim “it’s me or them because there isn’t room for both of us in this niche!” I don’t really care what your reasoning is behind wanting to use negative SEO. There are better ways to succeed online than destroying other peoples businesses. Did I mention negative SEO is evil?