Why Avoiding Negative SEO Is Crucial In 2015
The effect of Negative SEO on a website’s search rankings is a greater concern than ever before.
Negative SEO occurs when individuals or companies build thousands of links that point to a competitors’ website. The purpose of this black hat tactic is to cause a plummet in search rankings for their competitor’s website. Search engines incorporate the ‘spammy’ links pointing to the website. as a result, they assume that the website is attempting to artificially increase its own rankings. So, operating under this assumption, Google punishes the website it suspects is gaming the search system. In doing so, this lowers the rankings of the website being targeted with irrelevant links pointing to it. Lower rankings lead to less traffic and less business.
In recent years, combating negative SEO continued to be a serious issue for website owners everywhere. As a result, avoiding Negative SEO is critical to the success of your website.
How Did Negative SEO Come Into Being?
Years ago, search ranking was tightly tied to the number of links a website had, regardless of quality or relevance. As spam content links started popping around the web for the sole intention of acquiring links, issues arose for Google. As companies tried to game the search engine, Google responded by altering its algorithm ranking formula.
Google took action, creating the Penguin Algorithm update. The Algorithm detects and penalizes websites with spam links it identifies as too manipulative, low quality or irrelevant. This was the catalyst in solving one issue but created another in Negative SEO. In refining their search engine, Google had created a tool for black hat SEOers to influence their competitor’s ranks by pointing low-quality links to their competitor’s website.
How Do I Defend Myself From Negative SEO?
Since its emergence, Google has been working to mitigate negative SEO. It has taken a strong stance in acknowledging the issue and created the Disavow Tool as a defense mechanism for webmasters.
The Disavow Tool
Google continues to offer the disavow tool as part of its Google Webmaster Tools. Websites use this tool to inform Google of links that the search engine should ignore when assessing the website. The hope for the tool is that it would be a method to notify Google of unwanted and illegitimate links that had been produced as a result of negative SEO.
However, it is important to note that you can use Google’s disavow tool. As well, there are steps you should take before turning to the disavow tool.
We have a proven track record for creating innovative SEO strategies that eliminate and mitigate this issue. Contact us for a complimentary assessment to learn more about Negative SEO and to learn whether it is affecting your site.
For a more detailed explanation of how Google handles Negative SEO, check out the 2012 Google Web Master Video featuring head of Google’s webspam team, Matt Cutts.