Whether you are a professional blogger, affiliate marketer, or beginner webmaster, you have probably stumbled across the term “negative SEO”. In this article, you are going to learn more about this worrying new online trend, and what it means for your digital business.
Negative SEO is where someone else, often a competitor (or a third party acting on behalf of a competitor), deliberately builds junk links to your website. The number and quality of inbound links that point to your website are the biggest factors that determine how well your website ranks in Google. However, the links your site receives from negative SEO actually have a detrimental impact on your rankings and traffic. If you rely on search engine rankings for the health of your business, then you could be at great risk from negative SEO.
There are negative SEO companies, which specialize in providing spam link building on behalf of paying clients. Therefore, someone competing for the same search phrases as you can just pay a third party to negatively affect your rankings. This presents serious ramifications for your web presence, especially if you are in a highly competitive niche. Although some commentators have long denied that negative SEO actually exists, the recent release of the Google disavow links tool, which allows a webmaster to give zero value to any inbound links, is clear evidence that Google knows that spam link building is a serious problem.
Although you cannot stop someone from deliberately targeting your website with spam links, it is possible to fight back. There is no need to spend huge sums of money, or waste countless hours building thousands of positive links. Instead, you need to focus on adding more quality content to your website. Google is looking for websites that offer sublime content, rather than sites that simply use content to attract ad clicks. In addition to adding quality content, you should monitor your Google Webmaster Tools account for suspicious links that happen all of a sudden. I also recommend you use a service like Majestic SEO and Ahrefs (both offer free accounts to site owners), which I have found is more aggressive at indexing links than Google is. Provided you can maintain the utmost standards in terms of your content and keep an eye on your links, then I wouldn’t let negative SEO keep you up at night.