Negative SEO is harmful activity conducted by others that pulls down your SEO. Here are some of the negative SEO tactics that you need to watch out for and avoid.

Spam Backlinks

While link building is an important facet of search engine optimization, linking to malicious or spam sites is detrimental to your SEO. Tasty Placement ran such a test and conducted an attack on two sites. 4 weeks later, the two SEO ranks of the sites were heavily affected.


Unnatural InBound Links

Inbound links basically tell search engines that this website has credibility and can be trusted. However, when your website starts being mentioned in malicious websites over and over, the credibility of your site drops along with its SEO rank. This is what exactly happened to Spencer Haws and his site.

Duplicate Content

The web is becoming about content more and more. This is quite understandable as most users are searching for some information. What is valued by search engines are original content. This tells a search engine that your website offers unique content that may be valued by users.

Content may be duplicated because you have several pages with the same content. In such a case, pull down the duplicate pages.

There is also a chance that another website has copied your content. You can contact the website owner and ask them to pull down the content. If the site owner fails to comply, report the website to Google, Bing and other search engines within your focus.

Duplicated or plagiarized content tells search engines that your website might be spam and hence, it can affect your website.

Website Hacking

These can happen in two forms. One is that the robot.txt file is modified. By modifying your site’s robot.txt, someone blocks the search engines from accessing your site, virtually taking your website off the grid.

The second form is the injection of spam content or spam links in your site. This severely affects the experience your site offers users and leads to a drop in your SEO rank.

Negative Reviews

Reviews and ratings across the web affect your SEO rank. The more positive your reviews and ratings, the more reason search engines will list your site as a trusted brand.

However, if review platforms like Yelp and Google+ are dominated with bad reviews or fake reviews from fake profiles, then your SEO will take a beating.

You may have fake reviews because of ill-intentioned people.

301 Redirects to Unrelated Sites

301 redirects is an effective way to manage multiple pages on your site. For example, when you are building a new site, 301 redirects ensure that visitors go to new pages and not the old ones.

However, a malicious website may use 301 redirects against you. For example, visitors on an adult site are redirected to yours. A 301 redirect redirects users, and bad links signals pass on to your site, which negatively affect your SEO.

Deal with it

Once your site has been affected by negative SEO, you should deal with it as soon as you realize it.

  1. Get in Touch with the Responsible Party
    Don’t just send an email to the responsible party. Send an email along with your lawyer’s legal letterhead. This will provide the responsible party incentive to take action.

  2. Report
    Each search engine and web platform has their reporting mechanism, so ensure that you use them when faced with such issues. Google has the Disavow links and Spam Report Tools.

Keep your eyes peeled for instances of negative SEO and ensure you deal with them.