If you thought you’d mastered all there is to know about SEO in 2018, today marks an opportunity to evaluate and round out the thoroughness of your knowledge and SEO strategy in business.
You probably know that the digital marketing world has diligently curated SEO experts and a bottomless supply of tactics to optimize search rankings, but did you know that there is a world of black internet magic that competitors can use to negatively impact your site and from which you can protect yourself?
That’s right — for every positive SEO strategy executed that wins you points on a search engine, you likely have unprotected elements lingering in the background of your website, making you vulnerable to negative SEO.
The good news is you can a) build a defense against said negative elements and b) build an offense to target the negative potential on competitors.
What Exactly Is Negative SEO?
Negative SEO is a nightmare catchphrase to any marketer who has worked to understand the ins and outs of SEO. The concept is the opposite to positive SEO, which is defined as any tactic performed to positively impact a website’s ranking position. The negative counterpart refers to any tactic employed by the website host or attached third-party that negatively affects the site’s ranking position.
Understanding areas in which you might be lacking, your company can override these negative areas with SEO tactics that simultaneously improve your brand’s website, and weaken the ranking position of your competitors.
What Does Google Say?
Google has its webmaster monitoring your site and protecting it against other companies trying to derail your ranking status. However, Google does not control page content and thus, is not liable for negative tactics that might be underway.
The examples of negative search engine optimization
- Outbound link requests. Requesting an outbound link to your site over a competitor’s site to get more traffic and simultaneously, leave your competitor’s site with less.
- Comment spamming. This is like keyword stuffing to negate the intended keyword use on a competitor’s page.
- Bad links. Send large quantities of bad neighborhood links to a target URL.
- Outed network links. Buy links from outed networks that have the exact anchor that matches to your site.
- Hotlink big images. Hotlink to the biggest photos on your competitor’s site to slow down their site speed, cause a bandwidth issue, or other detrimental error.
- Bad URLs. Index URLs with bad content. The content should be perceived as bad due to a CMS flaw, not by actually injecting into the CMS.
Negative SEO blurs lines around hacking and black hat practices. While some practices optimize your site, others seem to deliberately bring down competitors. It is important to work with an SEO expert to determine which tactics are fair to bring into your strategy.
Protect your website
Now that you understand the ways you could employ negative SEO or the ways a competitor might employ it against you, regularly observe all growth, and monitor web analytics. While you cannot prevent an attack, you can spot an attempt early enough to prevent it.
Still have questions? To get a complete understanding of negative SEO, which tactics are ethical to use, and how it might be impacting your site, reach out to our team at Rosy Strategies.
Find out which tactics are safe to include in your strategy and start optimizing your SEO, today!