Home Search Engine Marketing Have you been a Target of Negative SEO ? Three Action Steps to Reduce Impact

Have you been a Target of Negative SEO ? Three Action Steps to Reduce Impact

by amol238

Negative SEO

Negative SEO is being debated at large in the blogosphere. People are still unsure regarding the possibility of Negative SEO. Some are of the view that a site cannot be harmed irrespective of spam backlinks pointed deliberately. Contravene to it, others have proven the possibility of bringing the SERPs of several sites down.

Is there any proof?

SEOmoz ran an article about Rand Fishkin allowing the site to be targeted by spammers. There was a discussion at trafficplanetforum. Two members named pixelgrinder and jammy alleged that they had successfully executed negative SEO on two sites ‘seofaststart.com’ and ‘negativeseo.me’. Their achievement (cough) was hailed by many. It was at this time that Rand Fishkin happily allowed SEOmoz to be targeted.

SEOmoz remained unharmed and without any change in organic traffic. The other two sites, however, seofaststart.com and negativeseo.me suffered fall in ranking for certain keywords. Dan of seofaststart.com sought help in Google Webmasters for spam links pointing at his site. This clearly shows that the site was affected. Although later Dan claimed, the rankings regained.

Why SEOmoz remained unharmed?

It is a site of great authority. It will probably take months and billions of spam links in bringing down the SERPs for SEOmoz. Unfortunately, not every blogger has such authority site. We are talking about sites that are created everyday by normal users. These users either have the basic knowledge of SEO or are completely ignorant about it. They are disciples of ‘white hat techniques’. They build a site, write interesting content, and wait for someone to link. In short, a regular site is an easy target.

How badly can Negative SEO hurt my site?

Show me your friend and I will tell about you.

It is a well-known fact that birds of same feather flock together. The same can be applied to the virtual world. The kinds of links gained through various sites are your neighbors or friends. If they have high authority over the subject, the affect will be minimal. Contrary to that, if you resort to black hat tricks and link to several low authority spammy sites then the downfall will be sooner and stronger.

How to remove any backlinks that appears as spam?

As per my knowledge, there are three ways to remove any spam backlinks.

1) Write to the Webmaster:

In most cases, negative SEO is done as a part of experiment. Some SEO specialists might find your site attractive and might say ‘Hey! Let us test how this site reacts to spam backlinks’. They are just trying to prove their point. Sadly, your site has become their target.

Once you spot incoming links through a domain try contacting the webmaster. Generally, there will be a contact form and request to remove the links. Try to be as formal as possible and never resort to rudeness. If you are lucky, the links will be removed upon your request.

2) Report the links:

Thanks to Matt Cutts that we can now report any spam links to Google. It is easy and all you need is to login into your Google Webmasters. Just send a message as such and such links from so and so domain are spam, which are affecting your ranking. Another way to reach Matt is through Twitter (@mattcutts). Scream over twitter and not only him but also a whole bunch of people will hear and some might come to help.

3) Dilute the Links:

Sometimes, the world around seems unfair and you are on your own. It is possible that no help is extended from Google (though I must say it is highly impossible) or others. At such instances, the only way is to dilute the spam links. How can I dilute millions of links? Do not worry; Google does not consider every link pointed from a domain.

For example, let us take that site A has targeted site B with 1 million links. Google will consider only five or ten links. In that case, if ten sites were used to spam then you have to dilute just 100 links. No matter how big the extent of spam link is, it can be easily diluted with little patience and hard work.

To conclude, Negative SEO can be fought back. Moreover, this is the just the beginning and search engines will surely have a way to combat it. In the meantime, just follow the basic rule of SEO, as it is not a onetime shot but a progressive approach.

Have you been hit by Negative SEO ?

Image Credit:Pinterest

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Clemence@iphone 4s cases August 21, 2012 - 5:16 am

Wonderful tips about negative SEO.Reduce negative SEO is a long progress,I agree with your advice.I think I will follow your step.Thanks a lot!

Richie Richardson August 21, 2012 - 1:10 pm

Your Welcome Clemence. Hope you benefit from the tips.

Jacko August 21, 2012 - 4:33 pm

Best way to avoid negative SEO is to stop doing negative things.

Reputations are earned just like respect. If someone is getting known to be a dirt bag online I would wonder why? Wouldn’t you?

Richie Richardson August 22, 2012 - 1:14 am

Sure, I would take a step away from spammers. But in some cases it is hard to find black hat involvement of some sites thus becoming a prey.

Jasmine August 21, 2012 - 9:56 pm

Good explanation on negative SEO, and thank you so much for offering the steps to “recover” if we were so unlucky that we were hit by negative SEO.

Sam@Goa Trip August 22, 2012 - 2:39 am

Nice article which is sharing that kind of things which will help to improve your work result which you are doing for SEO. Beside that this is good thought which you are mentioned like that in your article “”We should try to remove spam link by request only and we will not show any kind of rudeness on that””.

ZK August 22, 2012 - 3:29 am

Another way of reducing negative seo impact is to start building good authority links, they will go a long way to making your site authorative on google.

Felicia @ No Deposit Poker August 22, 2012 - 4:37 am

Carrying out negative SEO to unsuspecting websites, especially those that are run by regular bloggers, is very unfair! Thanks for sharing the three ways how to remove any spam backlinks.

Richie Richardson August 22, 2012 - 5:41 am

Unfortunately, the usual targets are regular bloggers and in most cases they don’t even know that they have been a target of Negative SEO. It’s time people know about -ve SEO.

Felicia August 27, 2012 - 3:37 am

I have a question, Richie. What if you find out that your blog URL has been used by others anonymously – in a way that you find your blog has been used to comment other blog sites (that have no relevance or are nonsense)? Is this regarded as negative SEO as well? What can one do if this happens to their blog?

Richie Richardson August 31, 2012 - 1:31 am

Hi Felicia,
Good Question. In my opinion I don’t think comments will count as -ve SEO. The very reason comment were nofollowed by Google was to combat spam. Therefore, your site being affected through links in comment can hardly make a change.

Aditya August 22, 2012 - 7:17 am

Negative SEO can only be removed by doing SEO in a positive way i.e. creating more and more good quality Backlinks.And also by following your tips.

Richie Richardson August 22, 2012 - 7:19 am

HI Aditya,
True and that is what I call diluting spam links.

Website Design Company in Mumbai August 22, 2012 - 7:28 am

If the spamy links are allowed on a particular site its link report will always show a high volume of link because people will repeatedly visit the site and post links there, but if the same is allowed for the blogs post for the reputed sites like seoMoz than even lakhs of spamy links will not affect its reputation must, Most of the times the bloggers are not known to what is ‘-‘ve seo and what is +ve seo the good backlinks contribute to positive seo and one should follow above mentioned tips and always preach ‘+’ve seo rather than doing negative seo

arpita August 22, 2012 - 7:36 am

Nice tip about negative SEO.I agree with your tips. We should try to remove spam link by request only and we will not show any kind of rudeness on that

Richie Richardson August 22, 2012 - 7:38 am

Thanks for sharing the same view

Nick Stamoulis August 22, 2012 - 10:04 am

This is why it’s so important to monitor your inbound links. If you see a quick growth in links from spammy sites you could be a victim. This is why it’s important to create good links over time and follow these steps that are outlined to try and remove bad links.

Richie Richardson August 23, 2012 - 12:06 am

Yes, from now on checking your inbound links will be vital. Of course, it is toilsome but it is worth the time.

Peter Mutiso August 23, 2012 - 3:44 am

Very informative. How do you know that you have a negative SEO

Richie Richardson August 23, 2012 - 5:33 am

The very first indication is numerous links from a single domain. The number of links can be anywhere from few hundreds to thousands.

Jasmine August 24, 2012 - 3:07 am

How do we easily check for inbound links? Do you have any good software recommendation for this purpose? Thanks Richie.

Richie Richardson August 24, 2012 - 5:52 am

Hi Jasmine,
I suggest Majestic SEO. It’s free if you want reports for sites you control.

Berkshire PPC Specialist-GlobalEcommerceGroup August 25, 2012 - 9:05 am

Very informative. How do you know that you have a negative SEO. And what next to do…..

Richie Richardson August 25, 2012 - 9:30 am

As I said in the above comment, several links pointing from a single domain is an indication of Negative SEO. Second half of the article provides some steps …

Business Training August 26, 2012 - 12:44 pm

This is why it’s so important to monitor your inbound links. If you see a quick growth in links from spammy sites you could be a victim. This is why it’s important to create good links over time and follow these steps that are outlined to try and remove bad links.

Link Building Services August 27, 2012 - 10:33 pm

Negative SEO is defined as somebody’s motive to ruin your site. Whether it’s really happening or otherwise, it could be very damaging, especially to your search engine results positioning. Keeping it clean with a decent impression and hooking with high quality links is the thing that matters most.

Alicia August 30, 2012 - 10:18 pm

Hi Richie, thanks for the great article on negative SEO.

This might be new to many of us, but can actually happen if we are not careful. It’s thus important for us to monitor our incoming links and make sure they are not coming from suspicious websites!

Nanvy @ CRM Software Solutions August 31, 2012 - 6:07 am

I have come to know from this post about “Negative SEO completely, i just heard this name but didn’t have much knowledge about it.
This proves that one must be careful now for doing useful and right SEO towards the site.

Link Building Services September 13, 2012 - 10:32 pm

Negative SEO is instantly ruin you and your website. With bad publicity, you will be found dead on the internet and worse will be deleted on search engine results.

Ganeshan Nadarajan October 17, 2012 - 2:54 am

Negative SEO can be fought back by search engines.


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