This is a monster that needs to be nipped in the bud
The SEO world is not only a competitive place, but also a sly one. And why wouldn’t it be? Considering that it’s an industry worth billions, it would obviously employ the brightest of minds, be it in matters of technology or in management. It is in these minds that ideas fester. Many are new and innovative, some are passable and few of ‘em are plain genius. These ideas help charge at competing websites and businesses with vigour that one can label as ‘healthy competition’.
These bright sparks help take the business forward in a progressive direction. But somehow, much like in a Grimm’s fairy tale, there always seems to sprout in a dark corner of the industry, devious schemes and diabolical strategies, the latest of which is the alarming trend of Negative/Reverse SEO, pretty much the most raging and controversial topic in the industry at present.
What Are These Diabolical Schemes And Devious Strategies?
If you are still innocent to the concept of Negative SEO, it can simply be stated as outside or competing elements sabotaging your website to downgrade your page’s search ranking and traffic. To put it more descriptively, search engines have their specific criteria of ranking pages (some are outlined in detail for e.g. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines), and competing websites may load your website pages with elements that may have your site penalized due to the various algorithmic updates that the search engines are coming up with. Content writing and Technical writing websites are the most susceptible victims of such practices.
The simplest example would be, loading your page with spam comments or comments laden with a surplus of keywords so as to give it the appearance of a content farm. The search engines recognizing this as a Black-hat technique would instantly devalue your site’s links.
The Extent to Which Negative SEO Can Go
Of course, I reiterate, this was the simplest example. You’d be surprised to learn the various ways with which Negative SEO can be brought about. This can get as nasty as hackers injecting your website with spams and even blocking the search engine spider texts from accessing your website.
Disconcerting isn’t it, to know that you aren’t the only one who can harm your website with the mistakes you make. And even if you buy content, you will still have to deal with these saboteurs and parry their every move to sustain your traffic and your visibility in the web world. This is practice which takes down its prey on the sly. Needless to say, this unethical practice is blight on the industry but our concern is, considering the success of these sabotaging methods, there is a great chance that these practices are here to stay and will slowly burgeon. Writers in India are yet to feel the impact of this phenomenon, but it is only a matter of a time till it reaches Indian shores.
Dealing With the Negative SEO Techniques
Now that Negative SEO is a reality, the onus is on you to keep yourself protected against it. You may not know who the malefactor is, since it doesn’t just need to be your rivals who may be engaging in it. In fact, chances are that your competitor too may be a victim of the same. Rather than trying to identify the malefactor, you need to shore up the security of your website and SEO. The first step would be to identify if your website has already become the victim of Negative SEO and is infested with spams and manipulative link building.
You can employ the services of Ahref.com and software’s like Majestic SEO for the purpose of monitoring your content especially your SEO articles.
Google as well as other search engines are reportedly working on how to tackle this menace. Google for now is working on a ‘disavow link’ feature in its webmaster tools for site administrators so that they can remove spam links litter their search pages. This for now seems like a viable but painstakingly hard remedy. We have to concede, that it is one of the best remedies at our disposal (Well, technically we are still waiting for it. But it will be unveiled very soon).
Possible tips will follow in our subsequent articles in this blogs.