Unfortunately, negative SEO is still Practiced by some. It refers to black hat practices and unethical techniques. The whole goal is to sabotage a competitor’s SEO rankings. It can take on the form of hacking a website, building spammy links to a website, copying a website’s content and distributing it over the Internet, or even creating fake social media profiles to ruin a person’s online reputation. SEO black hat SEO techniques can also originate from website owners and not their competitors.
Google takes notice, and their philosophy toward negative SEO is that it keeps black hat practitioners busy. Website owners can use their valuable time to optimize their site. Over time, a website owner will be miles ahead of anyone practicing black hat techniques. Google’s Disavow Tool attempts to help webmaster s deal with this irritating problem. Moz.com provides helpful information on how to use Google’s Disavow Tool from start to finish.
Black Hat Techniques
There are a number of negative SEO tactics still in use. Some of these methods include the following:
- Paid Links – To Google, this is always detectable. Some site owners will buy paid links to try and boost their PageRank. Google can tell when links are being bought and sold. While they may not always reveal their methods for finding out, any website with paid links gets dinged.
- Duplicate Content – Both website owners and competitors, on occasion, copy and paste content on their site. When this happens, entire blocks of copy can be duplicated from different sources. Quite often, duplicate content creates a poor user experience. Duplicate content can be one of the worst forms of negative SEO.
- Cloaking – Content presented to the search engine spider is not the same as what a user finds in their browser. The cloaking technique delivers content to the user based on their IP address. It is a deceptive practice because it tricks search engines into giving websites different rankings for specific keywords.
Google’s Search and Ranking algorithm plays an integral role in discovering negative SEO techniques. Of course, how their algorithm goes about its analytical work is a closely guarded secret for obvious reasons. Negative SEO and its practitioners are never beyond Google’s watchful eye.
The best practice for positive SEO results is to stay abreast of Google trends and changes. Keep in mind that a never-ending game goes on between those who respect the system and those who try to manipulate it for their own gain. Good results follow close behind good actions.