Who is Afraid of Negative SEO?

If you’ve talked to your SEO consultancy firm since the Google Panda update, there’s a good chance that the subject of negative SEO has come up. 

Is This Anything to Be Afraid Of?

Negative SEO is a genuine possibility, but it would take a concerted and sustained effort by your rivals for Google to decide to punish your site.  If they get it wrong, their SEO efforts could help, rather than harm!  For negative SEO to kick in, a rival webmaster or unscrupulous SEO agency would have to embark on a large scale campaign of building low quality, spammy links to your site.  They’d probably have to generate thousands of those links for it to have any effect.

Another option would be for them to hack your site to infect it with malicious content; either that, or use any blog or forum options that you’ve left open to the public to flood your site with pages of garbage.  If they tried either of the two latter options, you’d notice pretty quickly.

Would Negative SEO Work?

Negative SEO could work, but only on some sites, and only for a short while.  An established “authority” site with an old domain, lots of high quality content, and lots of organic inbound links would be difficult to push out of the SERPs through a malicious campaign.

However, if you’re the owner of a new site on a relatively new domain, and you haven’t established yourself in the search rankings yet, then you’re more vulnerable to malicious actions by other webmasters.

Most people know better than to attempt negative SEO.  Instead of paying someone to destroy someone else’s site, most webmasters would rather use that money to have an SEO agency raise the ranking of their own site the right way.  After all, the stronger the SEO on your own site, the lower the risk of you falling victim to negative SEO.

If you’re the owner of a young, not yet indexed website, the best thing you can do is lock down your site so that only you and your employees can post content to it.   If you want to let people comment or make use of forums, make sure that they’re carefully moderated.  Don’t set up a free-for-all blogging feature at this early stage; you can guarantee that when you let people post content freely, you’ll end up swarmed by spam bots.

When it comes to link building, do it the right way.  Focus on good content, and targeted link exchanges with high quality related sites.  It’s never a good idea to try black-hat tactics, but at this stage in the game keeping your site clean is doubly important.


Author Bio:

This article was written by Ben Frisby on behalf of Boom Online Marketing, an expert SEO agency and SEO consultancy. To find out more about this SEO agency or the SEO consultancy they can provide, be sure to visit their site.

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  1. When I provide SEO services to local websites, I have to go by the rules! In the beginning, I learned that when you take “shortcuts,” or use black hat techniques, you suffer the consequences – I did and learned a lesson from it. One of my sites was found on the 2nd page on one of the search engines. I decided to do some black hat stuff, weeks later, that site was not to be found. I gave up after going to the 25th page!

    • hi Carlos,
      Black hat SEO is not way to go, it will always have its consequence. it is better to follow the right way and be patient as your rankings rise.