What Exactly Is Negative SEO?
Everyone with a website will understand the importance of high-quality SEO to drive traffic to the site with the aim of increasing visitor numbers and, hopefully, conversions. SEO can be either ‘white hat’, which means that it is approved by Google and other search engines, or ‘black hat’, in which loopholes are exploited to ensure favourable results through a variety of processes which the search engines most certainly don’t endorse.
Now a new black hat technique is becoming more commonplace in the form of negative SEO. Here, rather than trying to boost their own website, the focus is directed at a competitor’s site, using a variety of methods to drag their site down in the rankings. Effectively, this means using black hat SEO techniques on your competitor’s site, causing them to lose both their visibility and their credibility in the process.
Is It a Real Thing?
The idea of negative SEO has been around for a few years, but it’s only recently that the subject has begun to be taken seriously, and the search engines themselves are said to be still in denial. According to Entrepreneur, Google claims that its systems are too sophisticated to be duped by an attempt to sabotage a website’s ranking through negative SEO, but admits that negative SEO is something that they are aware of. The fact that Google addressed the subject of spammy links in the Penguin 4 update, no longer including them as part of its criteria for rankings, shows that negative SEO has certainly had an impact on the way the company ranks websites.
How Does Negative SEO Happen?
There are lots of different ways in which a website can be deemed to be in breach of guidelines and marked down on search engine results. These include spammy links pointing to a site, fake social media profiles spreading misinformation, duplicate content and unrelated links from other sites.
If you’re worried that your site might be a target for negative SEO, there are steps you can take. Whether you’re based in Loughborough or London professional SEO services, such as https://www.elevateuk.com/seo-services/, can overhaul your website’s SEO to check that all is well with your SEO campaign.
Keep your site safe by checking your site statistics regularly, and take action immediately if there is a sudden fall in rankings or visitor numbers.
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