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Negative SEO: What You Need to Know

on June 26, 2018

By now, you know about search engine optimization (SEO) but did you know there is more than one type? Positive SEO are the traditional techniques used to boost search engine rankings, while Negative SEO seeks to bump listings lower down Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Negative SEO

Negative SEO

While we talk a lot about Positive SEO, I believe Negative SEO needs a closer look. Staying informed goes a long way toward improving and repairing your rankings and maintaining the integrity of your website.

It occurs when user variables within signal buckets, host domains, or content are manipulated or shifted by an external entity. People employ a variety of negative SEO tactics to harm the rankings of their competitors.

How do people do it?:

  • Purchasing links in large batches and sending them to URLs who they are targeting for negative SEO— these links are spammy and irrelevant, which is what drives rankings down.
  • Buying links and getting them placed to a website with anchor text that is exactly matched in the URLs of those links. Because Google now frowns on exact match anchor text, this will decrease the SERP rankings for the targeted website.
  • Comment spamming to keyword-stuff the targeted website.
  • Hotlinking images (using the competitor’s image URL on their own website). This could slow load speed and negatively impact bandwidth, which would decrease rankings.
  • Distributed Reflection Denial of Service attack: Seen as many as a type of hacking, this is a technique people use to overload bandwidth and lower rankings.
  • Inserting URLs with bad/spam content into a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress or (Though the purposeful insertion of such links is hacking, there could be a system flaw causing similar results.)

If website rankings have recently suffered a drop and you can’t figure out why, time to get an SEO audit. An audit by a professional marketing firm is a surefire way to dig up faulty links and begin to undo the damage to your rankings.


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