If your business’s website is fairly successful and attracts a high volume of web-traffic, unscrupulous rivals might attempt to undermine it using negative SEO. As a result, you need to recognise that part of your search engine optimisation process should involving countering this insidious form of attack. But what exactly is negative SEO and how can you combat it? In today’s blog, we’ll take an in-depth look at negative SEO and show you how your own search engine optimisation campaign can be used to fight back against it.
Negative SEO is a form of ‘black hat’ SEO and involves a variety of highly unethical tricks. The aim of these tricks is to make your site seem less valuable to search engines so that it is forced down the search engine results pages (also known as the ‘SERPs’).
One of the most common negative SEO techniques involves copying content from the target website to a variety of other websites. This makes the target website’s content appear less unique and original to search engines, causing them to move that site to a less prestigious position in the SERPs. Luckily, if your website becomes a target, you can overcome this nasty trick quite easily.
As a website owner, you should update your content regularly as this tells search engines that your site is still active and relevant. Adjusting your content and adding new content in the form of blog entries is great for search engine optimisation, but it can also help you fight back against this particular negative SEO trick. Ensuring that you regularly add fresh content means your rivals can’t copy or steal all of it. Naturally, this makes it much harder for them to undermine your website by distributing its content to other sites. No matter how much is copied, a search engine will still be able to identify your site as a source of fresh, original content.
Another common negative SEO technique involves creating backlinks to your site from a huge number of very poor-quality sites. Search engines judge sites partially on the quality of their backlinks, so this can undermine your site quite dramatically. There are two ways to fight against this. Firstly, you should build up a library of high-quality back-links to counteract the negative effects of the poor-quality ones. Building high-quality backlinks is an important part of the SEO process, so you should be doing this anyway. You should also use an online analytics tool to monitor your backlinks and find ways to remove ones that you don’t want.
Finally, negative SEO users may pose as you and try to remove your higher-quality backlinks. They do this by contacting the sites that hold those backlinks and requesting that they remove them. Sadly, there’s no search engine optimisation technique that can be deployed against this kind of fraud: you simply have to make it hard for negative SEO users to impersonate you. We suggest adopting an email address that can’t be easily mimicked (such as one that uses your website as a domain instead of utilising @hotmail.com, @gmail.com or other common domains). You should also reach out to sites that backlink to you and establish a dialogue so their webmasters get to know you and can’t be tricked by a poor impersonation.
Here at Excalibur Digital, we can aid you with your search engine optimisation efforts by developing high-end backlinks for your site and helping you deploy fresh content. We can even help you monitor your backlinks and fight against negative SEO. Contact us today if you need help with standard SEO or are concerned your site may be victimised by the negative kind.