A Guide To Negative SEO In 2022. Are you struggling to improve your search engines traffic even after making great content and building relevant links? Are you seeing a sudden decrease in your site’s traffic? Then…Someone might be doing negative SEO against your website!
If you are not cautious, negative SEO tactics can get your website punished by Google, and you will not be able to recover from it.
In this article, we share what negative SEO is and how you can prevent it?
We’re going to talk about;
What is negative SEO
How does it work?
How to guard your website from negative search engine optimization
So are you ready? Let’s get begun!
Negative SEO: How to Defend Against It?
What is negative SEO?
Negative search engine optimization refers to applying Black Hat and unethical SEO methods to a competitor’s search engine rankings.
Your competitors execute negative SEO techniques on your website to spoil your website’s prestige.
With Google and steal your search rankings for important keywords.
How does negative SEO work?
The primary purpose of negative SEO is to harm the search rankings of a competitor’s site.
Here’s how negative search engine optimization works.
- A negative SEO recognizes a website that they like to target. This is someone who wants to see your website getting demoted in search results. It could be anyone, including your competitors, a company, or anyone who doesn’t like you growing!
- The negative SEO then purchases black hat links and tells them at their target site, or they could employ people to do blog forum spam, commenting spam, etc., to build harmful links for the target website.
- Some negative SEO practitioners use adult anchor text to harm your website’s backlink profile.
Search Google then recognizes these links and will most probably penalize the website.
That’s how negative SEO works. It really harms your website ranking on search results if you’re not careful.
How to identify negative SEO?
So how can you find out whether your website is hurt by negative SEO?
Here are a few simple methods to identify negative SEO.
- You suddenly detect your keyword rankings going down for no discernible reason.
- Your site starts getting social mentions and a ton of links suddenly.
- Your competitor websites rank higher than your site for relevant keywords that you used to rank before.
- Your website starts getting a ton of abnormal traffic from Google, Bing, or other search engines.
Let us explain easily. Suppose you’re ranking well on a search engine for a specific keyword, and suddenly you’ll notice your website ranking on that keyword going down in search results.
If that happens, you should examine your site’s backlink profile and find out if you have any toxic or suspicious links. That’s how you spot negative SEO.
Negative SEO techniques can harm your site search ranking and badly influence your traffic and overall sales.
So in this blog post, we will discuss how you can save your website against negative SEO attacks.
Types of Negative SEO
People use a wide range of tactics to inject negative SEO into a site. But here are 5 of the most typical types of negative SEO people use to demote a site in Google search results.
Scraping a website’s content:
Making duplicates of the site is one of the widely used types of negative SEO. In this mode, the attackers scratch your website content and spread it all over the internet, including social media, forums, other websites, etc.
Hacking a website:
This technique is used to steal your website value data like client data, credit card details, etc.
There are many things a hacker might do once they are gain your website access:
- Remove your content and access and hold you to ransom to return it.
- Add links to their website to improve traffic to the website or to help SEO.
- Communicate a political message
- Just vandalize your website for fun
- Use the site to generate mass spam emails
Creating toxic backlinks:
Another common type is to create dubious or toxic links with spammy anchor texts. Keep an eye on your backlink profile to remove such links.
Posting fake reviews online:
Most people like to look for reviews online before buying a product or service. So your competitors might destroy your online reputation by publishing fake reviews about your brand and business.
Removing a website’s backlinks:
In this technique, spammers try to get rid of your best backlinks by sending out fake removal appeals to bloggers.
Black Hat SEO Techniques
Stuffing multiple keywords in one sentence is known as keyword stuffing. To get a higher rank in search results, people stuff a page with multiple keywords. By repeating and rehashing the same words, sentences are made to manipulate the Google search bot and get better rankings.
In this technique, content from one page is simply copied and then uploaded to another website. Like stealing others’ goods, stealing others’ content is also a crime. Google is strictly against this practice and values original content.
Cloaking is considered the hacker-man technique. In this practice, people show one version of your website to Google bot and another version to the users. The ways are:
- Showing only an HTML page to search engines. And users are shown only a page full of CSS, JS, and image-heavy content to users.
- Embedding the text or keywords into a page. And displaying that page only when the user-agent is crawling the page which is a search engine.
In this technique, the owner pays money to another website in return for a backlink. Many agencies sell such paid links. They are often scrappy and low-quality. These toxic links should never be on your website.
Door pages, jump pages, or bridges are specifically created for focused queries. They are intended to rank high for specific keywords. These pages generally provide zero value to the user. They are exclusively used to deceive the search engine and they move a guest from searching other websites i.e. a vague destination.
A link farm is a site of sites created only for link building. Every site in a link farm points to a site that needs to be ranked higher on SERPs. Web crawlers rank a site by considering the number of websites that point to it. Black Hat SEO techniques make use of them by increasing backlinks numbers. And because of this, a specific site gets from such link farms.
Invisible Text or Links
It is a shabby attempt. In this technique, website owners place white text on a white background. The intention remains that the text color should match the background color. By doing so, website owners don’t reveal their keywords to the users but make them visible to the Google bot. In the case of links, a similar practice is also carried out.
Spamming in Blog Comments
This strategy involves adding comments on blogs while adding a link to their website. This is done with the expectation of getting a backlink from a particular site. Now, Google disregards such links from blogs. Website owners create the link as no-follow by default.
If the current page is having some issues, redirecting is a great technique to redirect the user to a proper functioning page. 301 redirects become the choice for website owners in such cases. However, the ‘experts’ in the back hat use such redirects to lead the user to a different page. In this way, they fool both Google bot and users. They show them a page with a bad URL that they don’t want to visit.
Private Blog Networks (PBN)
A private Blog Network (PBN) is a set of websites that are an authority nature. It is used for link-building purposes. Intending to influence search engines, PBN sites use low-quality links to link to the main website. Each of these PBN sites connects to the main site without linking to one another. Generally, PBNs use the expired domains to link to. These sites had earned some kind of authority previously. PBN is an example of a black hat SEO technique. Expired domains get purchased to be made into private blog networks to create manipulative outbound links.
Overly Optimized Pages
Do you know that too much of anything is bad for you? The same applies to web pages. SEO professionals end up doing too much in optimizing the pages. Using over-optimized anchor text, keyword-stuffed descriptions and titles, an extensive number of internal links, and content are examples of on-page elements. All of these efforts may backfire and get penalized by Google and your efforts will be considered black hat SEO practices.
Bait and Switch
At the time of using Bait and Switch, the initial steps are writing a page for Google including a set of keywords. After the improvement of ranking, it changes into different products and projects. So, a user sees something different from the topic they clicked on. This practice is known as Page Swapping. This is another black hat technique to trick users and search engines.
Clickbait means an impressive headline to tempt the users to click on the link. This is a copywriting approach that draws attention by overemphasizing a topic. This is done to encourage visitors to click on a link that is irrelevant content. This method is done to bring in income derived from several clicks. This type of algorithm is excessively used in tabloids; this is known as Black Hat SEO.
Guest Post Spam
This is a black hat technique in which messages are sent to bloggers to get backlinks. The bloggers are told to publish irrelevant content with a do-follow link. Links to such content can affect the ranking of a site. For the sake of link building, these linked blogs get posted on irrelevant websites despite being of poor quality.
This is done to disrupt a rival’s rankings in search engines. The steps are hacking the website, building many spammy links to the website, copy-pasting content, pointing links to the website by using different keywords, and getting rid of the best backlinks from the website.
Automated Google Queries
In this black hat practice, the software is used to create automated searches against particular keywords. This is to make the site rank higher in the search results. Without prior permission from Google, automated queries are not allowed. Sending automated queries suggests that the software is used to expand the total searches against a specific keyword to rank higher in SERPs.
Rich Snippet Markup Spam
Rich snippets give more information about the content present in a website. You can change the snippet in such a way that makes your content stands out. Spammers use it so much that Google has issued a strict ‘report rich snippet spam’ tool. When a web admin’s mark-up content is either not visible or misleading then it is considered rich snippet spamming. Providing misleading information in the rich snippet content is a classic example of black hat SEO techniques.
Article spinning is the most notorious and popular black hat SEO technique. Google penalizes spun content. Either manually or using a computer program- content gets rewritten by manipulating sentence structure. The main intention of article spinning is to create thousands of articles and post them to various websites simultaneously. The spun articles don’t provide helpful information and are not readable at all. They are not unique also.
Everyone likes to see their website rank high in the search engines.
Any technique is a good technique if it doesn’t hamper Google Search Engine Guidelines.
So now it’s your choice- you want to be a hero or a villain to achieve results.
Certainly, the white hat is a hero, and the black hat is the villain. So which side are you on?