Remember that Infographic we published, "How Do You Internet?" According to that infographic, more than sixty percent of internet users believe that search engines are unbiased. On the one hand—of course the search engines are unbiased; they rely on algorithms and data points to deliver your search results. On the other hand, certain data points are weighed more heavily than others (thank God, otherwise eZines articles would still be the first fifty pages worth of search results). That means if you know which things are weighted the most, you'll be able to manipulate the system…

…no matter how hard Google works to make you think otherwise.

How else do you explain "negative SEO"?

What Is Negative SEO?

Negative SEO is like a nefarious sort of Google Bombing—its manipulating link counts and other SEO methods to try to make a competing site or company look bad. The primary difference, though, is that unlike Google Bombing, negative SEO only cares about making Google hate you. After all, if Google hates you, nobody is going to be able to find your site—even if they search for it by the URL (okay, maybe if they use the URL).

How Do People Do It

There are a few different things that someone can do if they want to launch a negative SEO campaign against you. The easiest, though, is building a huge pool of "bad" backlinks. Remember, within the world of Google and SEO, links are currency. You want good links. Bad links, though—those actively work against your ranking and could even get your site deindexed entirely.

What Are Bad Backlinks?

According to LocalSeoMe.Com's blog, a "bad" back link is any do-follow link that Google decides isn't genuinely given. For example, a link that has nothing to do with the content that surrounds it or the site on which it is published will raise the ire of the Google spiders. Those link wheels that people built a few years ago when Google only cared about numbers and not context or quality? Google can ferret those out and will punish sites accordingly for them.

How Do You Know If You Have Any Bad Backlinks?

Google's Webmaster Tools can quickly (and will regularly) build link profiles for your site. The Search Engine Optimization Inc blog has a great post that talks about Google's webmaster tools and how you can use them to find both your good and bad backlinks.

What Can I Do About Bad Backlinks and Other Negative SEO Attacks?

The most direct method of dealing with negative SEO and bad backlinks, says SearchEngineLand, is to contact the site on which the links are published and ask them to either take the links down or to code them as "no-follow" (no-follow links aren't indexed by Google spiders). If they won't, you can use Google's Disavow tool to tell Google that you don't approve of the links and don't want them to count against your Google rank.

It's also important to make sure that your site is as secure as possible. This way you can prevent hackers from planting spam scripts into your site's code. While you're securing your site, make sure that your robots.txt file isn't blocking Google's spiders from indexing your site.

If you aren't particularly technically minded and don't want to dig around in your site's code yourself, there are a bunch of great professional SEO companies that can help you fight a negative SEO attack. They'll have pro-level tools to help block negative back links, keep your site safe, etc. Trust us: if you aren't an experienced coder, it's better to hire professionals to help you than to try to monkey around in your site's code!

Good luck!

Author Bio
Devin is an Search Marketing expert and professional in backlink outreach/acquisition. Devin began his career in SEO while in college and now helps SEO agencies and in-house marketing teams scale their outreach and publishing campaigns by leveraging his knowledge of the industry. You can find Devin on twitter @dmak_11, LinkedIn, or Google+.

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3 Responses to 'Negative Link Building And What You Can Do About It'

  1. E-junkie Said,
    http://www.e-junkie.info/2014/07/Negative-Link-Building-And-What-You-Can-Do-About-It.html?showComment=1404800866683#c4477462406699407196'> July 7, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    I like this post. It's clear to me now what to expect and how to prepare yourself. Thanks a lot!


  2. E-junkie Said,
    http://www.e-junkie.info/2014/07/Negative-Link-Building-And-What-You-Can-Do-About-It.html?showComment=1404887093425#c5100154766903146383'> July 8, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We are glad you liked the post :)


  3. E-junkie Said,
    http://www.e-junkie.info/2014/07/Negative-Link-Building-And-What-You-Can-Do-About-It.html?showComment=1406030290937#c4435629514958704006'> July 22, 2014 at 4:58 AM

    Good post... Thank you for sharing this post and made me understand on what to prepare myself.


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