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An Explanation of Negative SEO and How to Combat it

For readers familiar enough with search engine optimization, you know that by implementing various online strategies and techniques, your search engine ranking will begin to increase overtime. This practice is called positive SEO. However, there are ways to disrupt your competition and effectively decrease their online ranking. This is:

a) A form of black hat SEO and you should never engage in this kind of activity.
b) Detrimental to your online reputation.
c) Unethical on so many levels.
d) All of the above.

Yes, the answer is D. If you notice that your company has fallen victim to negative SEO practices, be sure to take the necessary steps to protect your website and ultimately ranking.

Spam links are not good. Shocker.

Spammers, your competitors, or some person with nothing better to do, can purchase a ton (a very big ton) of spam links that are directed towards your website. Awful, right? Google will see this and attempt to warn you of the malpractice. But if Google does not catch this malicious SEO activity, how else can you know that your website is under fire? Be sure to constantly monitor your backlinks and look for any unnatural spikes. If you see an influx of backlinks that you did not create or initiate, try contacting the necessary individuals to take down specific links. In the case that you are unable to get in contact with the webmaster or specific person, you can use the Disavow Links tool created by Google to attempt to eliminate those nasty backlinks. Your goal should be to remove those toxic links as soon as possible, in order to maintain your current ranking.

Quality over quantity.

As with most things in life, quality triumphs over quantity – especially when dealing with online backlinks. In order to increase your search engine ranking, you want to ensure that the links back to your website are strong and legitimate. Having a large number of backlinks to your website does not guarantee an increase in your search ranking. Now, if you tried this tactic years ago, it could have worked. However, with the many algorithm changes, search engines look for quality links rather than a specific gigantic number. If your SEO strategy is focusing on gaining more and more links, search engines take note and this practice could be detrimental to your search marketing efforts. Moral of this paragraph: look for quality links with purpose!

Originality is key.

Never, ever, ever, EVER duplicate content from another website. First, that’s plagiarism. Second, it’s hurting your search rankings. Make sure that the content on your website is 100% original and created by you. In the same token, double check to ensure that others are not taking your content and using it on their website. Run a quick Google search of a specific sentence on your website. If it shows up on other websites, you have a bit of a dilemma. Unfortunately, some Internet users attempt to make the content look as though they created it. Always remember to submit your up-to-date sitemap in order to thwart plagiarizing Internet vandals.

Use these simple tactics to begin your battle against negative SEO. Defending your website against these black hat spam attacks will be beneficial for you, your business, and your website in the long run. Remember that SEO is an ongoing process and not a one-time fix or strategy.

What other tactics are you using to tackle negative SEO?

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