Negative SEO – Consequences and How to Prevent It

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You’ve heard it time and again that SEO is the most powerful tool that can improve your website’s exposure, visibility, and presence.

Search Engine Optimization has undergone major transformations over the last two years.

Competition is becoming intense each day.

It is even worse if you want to rank high in search engines for competitive keywords. This has forced many online marketers to manipulate their marketing strategies. At first, it was the black hat’ techniques.(Real Black Hat)

However, it was so hard to execute and results were hard to notice.

This has now led to a new trick called Negative SEO.

What is Negative SEO?

It refers to the practice of employing unethical and black hat techniques to decrease competitor’s search engine ranking.

The technique can take several forms like:

  • Creating spammy links to your website,
  • Hacking your website,
  • Copying content,
  • Building fake social pages sharing it everywhere over the Internet
  • Removing your best Backlinks

What are the Consequences?

Negative SEO comes with dire consequences. Here are few of them:

(1) You risk having your site penalized site wide.

(2) You risk getting a Non Reversible Ranking Drop.

(3) Google might de-Index the site completely.


How Can You Identify that Your Site has Targeted for NEGATIVE SEO?


Among the ways that can help you to spot that your site is under attack of Negative search engine optimization techniques include:

(A) An unexpected drop in your site’s organic traffic!



If you regularly monitor the traffic of your website in Google Analytics and notice a sudden drop, then it is high time you investigate for Negative SEO attack. A drop in your site’s traffic can mean poor ranking visibility.

(B) You may receive a manual penalty notice


manual penalty- SEO

This could be the most obvious sign that your site has been penalized by search engines for practicing unethical ranking. If search engines detect any unorthodox trick that goes against their quality ranking guidelines, then they might send you a message.

(C)Removed Backlinks : Dead Referring Domains



dead back links

In case your website is losing backlinks and there is no reason, then it could be due to a bad search engine optimization practice.


How to Stay Safe from Negative SEO?

There are several practices that you can do to fix this threat. Depending on the nature of the problem, you can do the following.

(1) Pages with Unoriginal Content

By now you must be aware that Google wants original and non-duplicate content. It is good to stay safe by avoiding the use of scraped content.


Unoriginal Content


Most spammers come to your website then copy your content to use it elsewhere. In such a case, your website can be penalized and you might lose your good rank.

There are several tools that can help you determine whether the content you use is original or not. Copyscape is one of the tools that can tell you whether the content you’re using is already published elsewhere.

(2) Stay Safe from Hackers and Malware


There is nothing good like a safe website.



The worst you can ever expect is having your website hacked. In fact, protecting your website is worth the entire blog post. There are several ways that you can do to secure your website.

In case you use WordPress, consider installing Google Authenticator Plugin then create a reliable 2-step password verification.

Consider creating strong passwords that comprise of numbers and characters. You can also backup your data and files.

(3) Protect Your Site’s Best Backlinks

Spammers often look for ways to damage your website.

They can remove your best backlinks and hurt your site’s performance. However, there are several remedies that you can do to fix and prevent this problem from happening.


best backlinks

First, you can monitor your backlinks. You can sort them based on social activity or page rank.

Alternatively, you can talk with your webmaster so you can use a specified domain email address other than those of Yahoo or Gmail. This can help eliminate spammers who may want to pretend to be you. Spammers not only pretend but will build low-quality links and redirects that will damage your

Tools such as Open Site Explorer and Ahrefs can help you determine whether someone is busy creating bad links to your website. is another popular tool that can guide you.

(4) Set up a Google Webmaster Tool Alerts


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This is very vital in case your website is attacked by malware, your server suffers connectivity issues, your website encounters a manual penalty from the search engine or a page is not indexed well. Google Webmaster will alert you in case of an issue that needs to be addressed.

(5) Watch your Traffic


SEO Traffic


Never expect overnight success particularly when it comes to website traffic. If it happens that your website is experiencing oddly huge traffic at once, then it is good to check the source before you can jubilate about it.

Similarly, if your website experiences an abrupt high loading time, then make sure that it is not spammers that are interfering with your site. A tool such as can aid you tomonitor your server loading and up time.

(6)Check your Social Media Platforms


Spammers are never limited on what they can do.


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They can create fake social media accounts on your site’s name. It is advisable to remove such profiles before they can hurt your website.

A tool such as can help you keep spammers from creating social media accounts using your brand’s name.


The search engine impression and website security are exceptionally paramount if you want
to improve your website’s performance.

Securing your website against malware and hackers, avoiding duplicate content, monitoring traffic and backlinks and creating alerts can help you fight bad search engine practices.

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