What is Negative SEO and How to Avoid It

What Is Negative SEO

Ten years ago the internet was the digital equivalent of the Wild West: web builders did anything they wanted and rules were few and far between. Finally, Google showed up as the sheriff who was going to clean up the town and eventually instituted rules to govern the way websites are built and presented to the public. In the last year or so Google has rolled out intense new Algorithm updates, or SEO rules, such as Panda and Penguin. These updates are an attempt to punish or work around sites that employ negative SEO tactics.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of building your site in such as way as to give it a better chance of making it high onto the ranks of Google and other search engines. There are legitimate ways of doing this, but shady practitioners exist in any industry. These website builders use SEO techniques that are against Google policy to attempt to discredit or take down their competitors. Building a strong site is your best defense against these people, but check your site regularly for any of these clues.

Negative SEO Violations You Can Easily Avoid

  • Fake Reviews: Publishing dozens or hundreds of 5-star reviews so it looks like you paid for them. Set up alerts to inform you of any reviews on your site.
  • Bad Links: Linking unrelated or poorly-performing sites to yours, to make it look as if you’re spamming the internet simply to get links back to your site.
  • Hacking: Some operators go so far as to hack into a website to insert malicious content. This can be as simple as a case of plagiarism or as complex as wiping out an entire site.
  • Paid Linking: Paying crowdsourcing sites or other aggragate sites to create links to your site in hundreds of unrelated sites. This makes it look as if you paid for the links.
  • DMCA Removal Requests: Official requests to remove content from your site. Basically, this is an official charge of plagiarism. You must defend this immediately, and if someone repeatedly files these on your site, they can eat up your time and energy.
  • Stealing Content: Some practitioners steal your content and publish it right away before it becomes indexed onto any search engine. This establishes a history with the content, and very little ways to prove who had the content first. The person who steals from your site then files to have you remove your “bogus” copy.
  • 2012-2013 SEO Ranking Factors: Check out these  SEO Variables!
About Chad Luckie

Chad Luckie is the owner and founder of The College of Marketing. He is currently the Managing Partner of Digital at Linkmedia 360, a nationally recognized marketing company in Cleveland! Chad is very active in the start-up and tech industry often sharing his knowledge by speaking at local start-up business incubators. He sold his first blog when he was only 16 years old to a holding company in London.


  1. Fadi Semaan says:

    Yeah! This post is 100% correct.


  1. […] Originally Posted by markjackn Whats mean negative Seo? Here is a good article: What is Negative SEO and How to Avoid It | College of Marketing […]

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