Do you know what negative SEO is? It’s the manipulation of SEO techniques to damage a competitor’s rankings. It shouldn’t even be a thing, but as Neil Patel points out on Search Engine Journal, “I admire your innocence and honesty. But yes, people are doing this. This is real, folks.” So he wrote The Top Five Ways to Defend Against Negative SEO.
There are a lot of ways that negative SEO can happen, and there’ll be a lot more that the black hat guys think up in the future. I think it’s a lot like any type of security issue because you need to acknowledge that it could happen and pay attention so it doesn’t happen, or at least is limited in the damage it causes.
The Top Five Defensive SEO Weapons
- Set up Google Webmaster Tools email notifications. This alerts you to an attack that has begun, but it won’t stop anything.
- Monitor backlinks and site speed. Boring, but necessary vigilance, like a watchman doing the regular rounds.
- Remove or disavow suspicious backlinks. You catch something wrong, you deal with it before it gets bigger.
- Speak to the enemy. Sometimes confronting the rival will fix it. Other times, you might need to raise a stink to show you are serious.
- Fight back by being better. More authority content, better site, the works. To quote Neil Patel:
“And then you go on the offense — you make killer content. Flip the tables on your competitors by out doing them with content so good and powerful that they can only cower in fear. Get ferocious about creating a site that obliterates the competition with its power.”
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve experienced negative SEO. How did you discover it? What did you do about it? Let’s talk…