Negative Seo-It Can Happen To The Best Of Us

What is Negative SEO?

While Negative SEO has been around for a while, it’s beginning to get more prevalent. In short, this is a ‘black hat’ tactic to devalue the website of a competing company in search engine rankings by using large numbers of low quality and ‘spammy’ links (often through automated submission practices) to make it appear that the site is buying these in order to ‘game’ Google’s system. It’s a dirty tactic, and once we’d never condone. In short, practitioners of negative SEO indirectly use Google’s Penguin and Panda updates that prevent poor link-building to cripple sites that’ve worked hard to build organic links over a steady period of time. This appears to have happened to us over the past few days.

We have been at the top of Google’s page 1 for searches like ‘SEO’ and ‘search engine optimization for many years, but it appears someone objects to this and has decided to take the matter into their own hands. This is unfortunate, and we’ll be dealing with this over the next few days.

What’s Google doing about this?

Luckily for us (and our clients who may fall prey to these tactics), we have the experience to deal with this and there’s a fix. It’s not an instant or simple fix, but Google has recognized this as a problem and has placed the tools to deal with it in the hands of the SEO industry. These tools include the likes of Google Disavow (where you can now ask Google to ignore harmful low-quality links into their consideration when it’s crawling your site). Naturally, a big part of this is identifying these links in the first place, and in Webmaster Tools, Google offers the ability to identify new links and examine these offline.  Once we have these, this is where we earn our money and this is where the work begins. For us, as for anyone, this is going to involve some deep investigation and speaking to Google directly and applying for inclusion, and for us to put some time into some personal housekeeping. It’s regrettable we can’t all play by the rules, but there’s a way to fight the fire.

How do you get good links naturally?

We work long and hard to build inbound and high-quality links for our clients. It’s an integral part of what we do. With the new updates to Google’s algorithm, it is important to foster relationships (which we do on behalf of our clients) with external (high value/PageRank) sources like bloggers and online magazines and to create good value content (from white papers to blogging to research papers) and distribute it ethically (via the likes of social media, a quality online video production, creation of visual assets like Infographics and exclusive imagery, production of high-value digital press releases). Good ranking takes good content which takes time. There are no shortcuts, and having a comprehensive content marketing solution already in place guarantees we do this properly.

So, if you usually find our main site by simple typing ‘SEO’ into Google we apologize, it’s going to be a short time before we’re back up to where we should be and you’ll need to visit our main pages directly. At the moment we’re deeply disappointed someone feels the need to attack us in this way, but we’re looking at this positively – after all, we’re lucky to have the in-house experience to handle this kind of attack ourselves (and on behalf of any of our clients).

However, link removal services are the best way to get the bad links removed to get rid of negative SEO.  You can do it your self or outsource link removal services to a third party having expertise in link audit and analysis.