Today we share an interesting post from Brianne Walters on negative SEO. Enjoy!


The link-based search engine optimization can have both negative as well as positive modes of attack to hinder popularity of a website. You are already aware of the positive mode of action so let us try to understand the negative one. If you are having a well running site and well dependent on Google searches then it is open to link based negative SEO. If constructive rules of search lead to gaining steps up the ladder in the search engine, its common sense that the same steps that stop bad sites and keep them at bay can be used by abusers to push you down the search results as well. Your competitor might not take your higher position in the search engine so well and take up destructive mode of attack to send you spiraling down the charts and even out of the list at times. Therefore, even if you do not wish to apply these possible assaults you need to know them to preserve your own site. To understand what exactly is negative SEO you need to know the various forms of negative SEO attacks.

Attack 1: Spam links
Most search engines, like Google and Yahoo, rank Web sites based on the number of backward links or links from other sites to that page. However, they abhor sites that create artificial links for simply pulling up the ranking, and penalize them for retorting to unfair means or cheating. From Google’s point of observation, if a site gains more than a million back links within less than a week’s time, that particular site is brought under observation and might be branded as unfair. This mode of reprimand by SE host provider can be utilized to benefit the competitors and use as negative SEO. They retort to creating thousands of spammed links to the site to bring it to the notice of the host like Google, Bling, Yahoo, etc., and penalize them or push them out of the race for ranking.

Attack 2: Infringement of content
Search engines usually get heavily down on sites that pilfer on others content and practice plagiarism to boost their blogs. Strict action is carried out if the owner-site files complaint or takes up the matter as infringement of copyright. Usually in such cases the host search engine, when notified of these violations, eliminates the pages from its directory for a fortnight until the copyright holder decides on the next moves of action. This temporary stopping of the pages benefits your close-to-heel competitors and gives them, although temporary, but still an edge over your site. A baseless complaint can thus, be a way to push you out from the search engine scenario for some time and cause you some traffic backlash. Although a false take-down notice often lay grounds for a lawsuit to go after but still can be used by your competitors as negative SEO.

Attack 3: Floating superficial content
There is an even better negative SEO mode that can be used by fraudulent sites facing criticism over non-constructive content. Services of content providers are hired by such sham site owners to put out of sight unappealing and critical comments they are receiving for fraud practices. They create various positive and confirmatory content themselves; cover the entire web with such content back links, and float it to top of search engine rankings so much, so that their negative content gets pushed down to further away from quick web researchers.

Attack 4: Duplicated content
Duplicated content is a much-abhorred subject by popular search engines. The mode of action is that if the same wordings appear on two different website pages, one of them gets reprimanded by being taken off the search results. Therefore, websites that are older and better placed in other search results try to bully out their competitors by copying their content. Thereby usurping the rightful position from them and as it is a better-placed or older staying site gets the preference over search results with similar pages.

Attack 5: Refuting or blocking off service
The scheming attackers make the competitor’s website inaccessible by a Denial of service assault. This mode gets the search engines to catalog the site in its pages while it cannot be reached thus throwing it off limits and thereby killing traffic. This in turn forces the search engine hosts to pull it off their directory.

There are many other tools and methods that hide many tricks of abuse by marketers who are willing to get an extra cookie to mark you down the path of SEO. However, practice caution and honesty to stay well in the lead. It is advisable to check the Google’s webmaster guidelines for best results.

Brianne Walter is a freelance journalist who has been writing about mobile technology, customer relationship management and women’s health for more than a decade. These days she is busy contributing on

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