The Future of Negative SEO Attacks

You’ve heard us talk about negative SEO before. Basically, it’s an active attempt on your competitor’s part to completely ruin your search rankings.

Yes, they can do that. And they can get away with it. But that doesn’t mean you have to live your life in fear that your whole business could disappear in an instant.

It simply means you have to be alert, have an SEO on your side who knows how to monitor this, and take prudent action should the problem ever arise. You can stop your competitors if you find yourself a target of negative SEO.

Here’s what dishonest competitors may do:

  1. Link from Known Bad Websites

Popular link analysis tools make bad websites a part of their available data. They don’t do it for the bad guys. They do it for the good guys so they know where not to link and when to act should a bad link appear.

However, as with anything, some use it for good purposes, while others use it for dishonest purposes.

Fortunately, you can tell Google to ignore those links when calculating rankings. That’s not a simple process. But you can do it.

  1. Fake or Anonymous Press Releases

This one hasn’t actually gained a lot of steam yet. Google has devalued links coming from press releases because SEOs have abused them to generate positive links in the past.

However, it wouldn’t be hard for a competitor to make up a phony news story to damage your reputation, and also to drive poor-quality links to your site.

  1. Duplicating Content

This one’s an oldie but a goodie (for the bad guys). Competitors can set a proxy website (one that conceals their location/identity) to index, crawl, and then duplicate your website.

For now, Google remains fairly adept at understanding which website was the original and ranking that. However, this tactic’s power could improve as Google chooses to focus on brands and reputations versus URLs.

  1. Mass Manipulation of Third-Party Review Sites

These niche sites drive a significant amount of qualified traffic to your website. However, a competitor could pay a cheap service in a third-world country to register user accounts en masse which would then begin to inundate that site (and perhaps social media profiles too) with fraudulent negative reviews.

The success of this strategy relies on the third-party sites’ desire to monitor such reviews. They likely would have such an interest in doing so because sites that get overrun with these reviews would lose credibility with legitimate users. And that in turn would ruin their profitability.

I don’t write this post to scare you. But you do have to be aware of dangers like these (and others). And that’s why it’s important to have a SEO company watching your six.

 

 

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