What is Negative SEO?
Did you know that there is a service called Negative SEO? It isn’t a service that Simply Web Services currently offers, nor will we offer it in the future. Negative SEO is where you launch a negative SEO campaign against a competitor, destroying them by building the worst possible comments and citations that you can.
Let’s say that you sell carpet, and your competitor is not playing nicely, so you decide to launch a negative SEO campaign against them. You start off with finding blogs and pages where you can post a negative / SPAMmy comment with a link to their website. You go to the #1 carpet blog on the internet and you create an account in your competitor’s name and then you start to talk trash about everything and you keep dropping your competitor’s name. Then it is off to Yelp and other similar sites and you leave bad reviews all over the place for your competitor. I think you get the picture of just how nasty this practice is.
Is Negative SEO Legal?
It is not illegal, but very unethical, and thanks to Google’s algorithms, it pretty much doesn’t work today. I mean, they can still post all that negative trash, but it won’t directly affect your SEO or give them a leg up. And you are still stuck with all that negative junk that they posted as you and about you.
Does Negative SEO Still Happen Today?
You can bet that it sure does, there are many “Black Hat SEO” companies out there, that will do anything for a dollar. You might be able to take some legal action if you can prove who did it, but unlikely and you will be stuck with the cleanup. The really sad thing is there are business owners who don’t see anything wrong with it.
Cleaning Up After Negative SEO
Regardless of it negatively affecting your Google ranking, you still have to go about and clean up all that negative junk that they did. That means that you need first identify the problem and then you will need to do a ton of Link Removal Requests, a ton of emails to website owners asking them to remove the garbage, and a nice letter to Google requesting that they look into the problem, which means that the offending company could actually get blacklisted from Google for a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
You can expect a lengthy cleanup if you had negative SEO performed against your company or if you used a Black Hat SEO company. I have had several clients who came to me to have this mess cleaned up for them. It takes a long time.
If you are curious as to what is involved in a Negative SEO attack, tactics like URL Redirects, Link Farming, Negative Reviews, Malware attacks, and other methods that are designed to de-rank the website (making it appear further down in the Google search results).
Some of these companies will also engage in spamming potential clients with adult emails claiming to be from the targeted website.