Combating Negative SEO: 3 Tried & Tested Tips

Dr Evil Negative SEO

Negative SEO is a big buzzword online right now.

Following the release of the Google disavow links tool, a possible admission that links from so-called “bad neighborhoods” can have a detrimental impact on your rankings, negative SEO has suddenly come to the attention of every webmaster.

Negative SEO, at its most insidious, involves another webmaster or third party deliberately building spam links to your website, in order to provoke Google into lowering your search engine rankings. Spam links, especially those from dubious websites (frequently featuring explicit material or gibberish content) can have a detrimental impact on the ranking of your website. Common examples of spam links include meaningless blog comments and links from websites with pornographic content. Too many spam links pointing to your site signals poor quality, which means your Google rankings will drop.

An unscrupulous competitor could easily engage in negative SEO with some basic link building software; there are even negative SEO services available online, which allow you to hire someone to do this very dirty work for you.

Negative SEO could therefor be harming your online business and web presence. This is particularly the case if you operate a small website that does not have a high Google PageRank, or a large amount of quality backlinks.

You can fight back against a negative SEO attack with the following 3 tips:

1) Build up a strong social presence

Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus will provide you with all the tools you need to amass a loyal social following. Social signals are increasingly important for high search engine rankings, and a large social presence will help to drive more traffic to your website.

2) Continue to build quality links

By increasing your positive link profile, you will actively counteract any effect that negative SEO may have on your website. Focus on links from reputable article directories, niche blogs, and authority websites.

3) Create more quality content

It is unlikely that Google would penalize a website with superb content, just for the sake of it having some spam backlinks. Therefore, you should focus on adding more articles or blog posts, rather than worrying about the potential ramifications of negative SEO.

In a nutshell

It’s clear that negative SEO could have an adverse impact on your business, especially if you rely on Google search rankings for traffic. However, by focusing on building quality links, a strong social presence, and excellent content, there is little chance you will ever notice any issues with this new online phenomenon.

Over to you

Have you been a victim of negative SEO?  What did you do to fight back?  Share your thoughts. experience and tips…

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Omar is Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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