You are here: Blog > What Is Negative SEO – And How Can You Protect Your Site?

Negative SEO is defined as the practice of using immoral techniques to harm a competitor’s search engine standings. 

Fortunately, search engines have done a great deal to defend the honest players against those looking for a quick, unethical jump up the page.  After all, underhanded SEO practices make Google, Bing, and the others look bad, when a user is pointed to a worthless website with nothing but a heap of meaningless keywords.  The bad side of this is that ruthless opponents will use the Google rules against their competition.

Paid Links You didn’t buy links, so why is Google suddenly sending you a notice saying that there are bad links pointing back to your page?  Negative SEO tricks include the purchasing of bad links that point to competitor pages.  This, in turn, causes Google to red flag the competitor’s site and can ultimately lead to a drastic fall in search engine standing.

In order to protect your website against such attacks, it is important to have strong domain authority.  That is to say that you have to showcase your morally righteous website activity over a period of time, so you become a trusted entity.  New players can earn such a reputation more quickly if they are able to obtain links from outstanding authorities or by creating their page under an existing, trusted domain. 

Website Hacking After all the time and effort that you have put into building keyword-rich content, imagine what could happen if a competitor gained access to your website coding.

Protect your website from hacking by ensuring that all security software is regularly updated.  Additionally choose passwords that are not obvious.  The most common passwords – those that make you increasingly susceptible – include ‘password’, ‘password123’, ‘hello’, ‘admin’, ‘qwerty’, your name, your company name.  Be creative with your passwords when protecting such valuable information and change them often.

Content Theft Original content is always more highly valued by the search engines.  Dirty players can steal content and make it appear as if the original is actually a duplicate.  This will obviously lead to a decrease in SEO.

You can keep your content safe by establishing a sitemap, regularly updating it, and re-submitting to the search engines whenever new content is added.  To monitor content theft, periodically search segments of your writing in quotations (i.e. search: “You can keep your content safe by establishing a sitemap, regularly updating it, and re-submitting”).

When you are working so hard to build your online presence, you also have to devote yourself to keeping it safe.  With a few simple efforts, you can help to ensure your search engine reputation remains sparkly clean.

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