Negative SEO is one of the latest topics on the web today. It is the process of downgrading a website to reduce its ranking or remove it from the search results. It is actually the exact opposite of search engine optimization.
Negative SEO can be used in any of the following cases:
1. To downgrade a competitor website and to improve your site’s rankings.
This technique is called serp bubbling. It is targeted at competitor sites which have higher rankings than your own. It is a process of forcing the rankings of competitor sites to go down and have your site the top position in the search results page.
2. To cover up bad news that competing sites are publishing.
Many corporations and high profile public figures who are subjects of bad publicity resort to using negative SEO to bury bad news about them. They do this by downgrading the rankings of websites which publish information that are harmful to their image. This is part of a process which is known as Search Engine Reputation Management.
3. To target a website for political or financial reasons.
This technique, called Targeted Negative SEO, is aimed at downgrading websites that are publishing information which are against the advocacies of certain groups, organizations or individuals. An example of TNS is the alleged targeting of animal testing websites by animal rights groups.
These are some of the reasons why a lot of people practice negative SEO. Now, we would like to let you know some of the ways it is being done.
You should take note that a lot of them are not intended to cause damage as they are defensive in nature. But you also need to be aware that certain types negative SEO are malicious.
The most common ways of negative SEO are done by:
1. Removing offensive content.
This is most applicable to offensive or derogatory comments which appear on forums or blog posts. In this case, negative SEO can be applied by requesting blog administrators and forum moderators to remove the unwelcome content.
2. Promoting positive content.
This is done by publishing positive content, and with the help of SEO, you can optimize the page so that it can get high rankings in the search results page. This will force the bad publicity to go down on the rankings and its impact on your website will be reduced.
3. Making a site look spammy to the search engines.
This technique is intended to get a site removed from the search engine results pages by making it look spammy to the search engines. This is done by i) adding links to the site from link farms and ii) finding a page with dynamic URLs and the same content in a competitor’s website, creating hundreds of links with different URLs with the same content, and posting these links on forums, directories and link farms. This technique is called Google bowling, and it can trigger Google and other search engines to label the site as spam.
4. Infecting a site with viruses.
Viruses are malicious software that is detrimental to websites and computers in general. If a website is infected with a virus, the search engines will mark it as potentially hazardous and remove it from the search results pages.
5. Reporting to Google a site’s violation of its guidelines and quality policies. This involves copyright infringement and gray hat SEO strategies.
6. Creating a spammy site with similar URL as your competitor’s site, copying its meta tags and homage content, and using the same hosting service. Spam can alert search engines and cause a site to be penalized or blocked.
7. Creating a site with the same content and meta tags as your competitor’s website, and have the new site indexed ahead of the original site. This will prompt Google to label your competitor’s site as having duplicate content.
8. Doing Distributed Denial of Service.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) is a strategy most often used by organized hacker groups who intend to paralyze a website that they want to go down. This is done by flooding the target website with requests. This can block the target site’s bandwidth and make it inaccessible.
These are some of the most common types of negative SEO. You should look out for these because they can have a serious negative impact on your ranking.