The digital market is not the same as it was a few years ago. The reasons for this are the ever-changing dynamics and the highly competitive nature of SEO. Such cases call for a change of strategies in making a site rank higher. One such transformation is the introduction of negative SEO, which is a detrimental practice of applying unethical techniques to vandalize the rankings of a competitor’s site. While this same sound trivial on the statement, there are still millions of websites that are in danger of getting sabotaged by this method.
Types of Negative SEO
When it comes to listing the types of negative SEO, there aren’t any definite types. Scammers utilize almost a numerous amount of techniques based on their technical and tactical competence. But there are some exceptions in this case, so on the context of such elements, here are some basic types.
- Duplicate Contents
The most basic type of negative SEO services is falsifying the claim of duplicate contents by scraping a site’s content and copying it onto another. Google has a solution for this in the form of Panda updates, which can detect and destroy content duplication. But this can work in favor of the scammer if they index their contents first, so when crawlers identify the original content, as stolen, they can eventually de-rank the site.
- Negative Reviews
Reviews are the cardiac rhythm of businesses, especially local businesses. Thus, a flux of negative reviews can affect the traffic of both website and storefront. Some attacks are also focused on third-party rating sites that can degrade the services or reputation of a business. Such techniques are focused entirely on destroying the brand identity, which indirectly affects its search rankings.
- Subtle Hacking
In negative SEO, even minimal changes can induce adverse consequences. This principle forms the crux of subtle hacking, where scammers would make altercations on one or more pages of a site. They will target pages that have low user traffic like old content and make changes to sabotage a site. This is factual in sites with frequent content updates, so it is unlikely that the brands will notice the variations.
- Spammy Links
The most detrimental of all negative SEO tactics is the use of bad links to harm a website’s rankings. When it happens, a site even under the protection of best SEO company is flooded with dozens of poor back links leading a series of bad website contents created with the same anchor text. So, when crawlers index the targeted site, it appears as if they are establishing a poor link building campaign. As a result, it will get penalized and experience a significant drop in their rankings.
Detailed Back story
For better apprehension of spammy links, the concept of back links is good for search rankings that must be changed. While good back links can improve positions, bad ones can impair a brand’s back link profile by making it a victim of the Google Penguin algorithm. The primary objective of this method is to manipulate the intent and image of a brand’s campaign negatively by violating webmaster guidelines. Another distressing fact here is that businesses cannot identify the source of these spammy links, and all they can do is defend.
Speaking of defense, there are several ways to detect the presence of spammy links. The easiest way is to use specialized tools, but other than that, they refer to the following methods.
- Poor Websites
One common factor among all these bad links is that they come from the same place known as poor websites. In many cases, scammers create such sites on their own, and then, develop the links. Although it is not hard to detect such domains, people can use different tools to measure the metric of a site.
- Anchor Texts
Another red flag indicator is the presence of irrelevant anchor texts. These texts don’t reflect the contents of a page; instead, they point to some junk information. Identifying suspicious anchor texts is a simple and effortless process to detect spammy links, as these domains are easily noticeable.
- Domain Authority
To put it simply, the difference between the domain authority and page authority should be minimal. If it’s high, then businesses should feel concerned. A trustworthy link must come from a properly- connected page from a site; thus, anything other than that indicates the obvious presence of negative SEO.
The first and fundamental step in preventing spammy back links from attacking a site is to set-up Google’s webmaster tools alert. If enabled, people will receive notifications, when a site is under the threat of malware, during server connectivity issues, a manual penalty from Google, or when its pages are not indexed.
Another crucial action to protect the presence of spammers creating or redirecting links is to monitor it frequently. Brands can use online tools to get prompt alerts, as it is the easiest and effective method to check of spam.
In some cases, scammers will also try to remove the best back links from a site. For this, they will contact the owner of the link using fabricated information and request them to remove it. While it’s mostly uncommon, businesses can ensure protection from this by using an email address from their domain, when communicating with webmasters.
The bitter truth is no website is safe from negative SEO tactics, but an advantage for every one of them is that they have sufficient tools to safeguard themselves. Thus, brands should equip the necessary SEO tools and also create legitimate strategies to rank above their competitors.