1 Definition of the term negative SEO (or negative SEO)
Has your site suddenly lost numerous visits for no apparent reason? If you search for your company name in search engines, do you see pages with Chinese text?
If you answered both questions in the affirmative, most likely your site may have immediately anegative SEO activities (or negative SEO in Italian).
So what is the definition of negative SEO? It is a set of techniques applied to a specific website to reduce the positioning within the SERP (search engine results page) of a search engine (such as Google).
These techniques can be applied both directly on the site (on-site activities) and externally (off-site activities). We will see in detail in the next paragraph, the different effects that can occur with this type of malicious SEO activity.
2 Most common practices of negative SEO
As anticipated in the previous paragraph, the negative SEO attacks suffered by a website can be either directly on the website or through “external injections”.
Among the most popular techniques to ruin a website's reputation are:
- Creation of spam within the site: Suddenly looking for your website on search engines, you are shown the pages of your company with compromising words like: viag **, ses ** etc. ? Most likely you have undergone aon-site spam activity (activities within the site). This means that the security of your website has been compromised and those who have applied the negative seo, have inserted compromising words in your articles and pages and linked them to low quality sites. We recommend that you apply the best security techniques to best protect your website.
- Unnatural backlinks (unnatural inbound links): This technique, which takes place outside the website (off-site), is difficult to identify as, apparently there are no errors but suddenly your website disappears from the search results and consequently there are drops sudden visits.Unnatural backlinks are based on the creation of numerous links, coming from poor quality portals, which point towards the website whose credibility within the search engine is to be destroyed. Such activity must be well monitored and controlled, because otherwise in the long term it will destroy the authority of the “victim” website and the consequence of being “eliminated” by Google temporarily or permanently because the search engine rules are not respected.
- Duplication of content: Among the negative SEO techniques, the duplication of the contents of a particular website and publication on others is widespread. Even this technique, like the previous one, can generate "confusion" on search engines, such as the downgrading of the original page compared to the previous one. To prevent the loss of visits in the long term due to this negative SEO activity, it is necessary to monitor through special tools the possible duplication of their contents and possibly report to the search engines the websites that copy them.
How to spot a negative SEO attack
Recognizing any negative SEO activities suffered by your website is not easy to identify, but there are some elements that can be monitored:
- A sudden drop in search traffic: In the event that by monitoring the progress of visits to your website, you notice a sudden and drastic decrease in visits, you have most likely suffered malicious activity. Before alarming you, we suggest you do further checks to emphasize that it is not linked to the incorrect insertion of the monitoring code or to a period of a few visits that is repeated every year (such as for example for some types of companies the week of August 15th) .
- Loss of keyword rankings within search results: If you search for your company name or a certain keyword (keywords) you appear in search results with and you don't find a match with your website, you have probably suffered an SEO attack. Possible evidence of this element can be: duplication of content, malicious links within your website or towards it.
- Sudden appearance in search engines of inappropriate content: Searching for the name of your company do you get results in Chinese or with inappropriate words like: ses **, viag ** etc.? This negative SEO activity is usually applied both within the site and externally. C.equally inappropriate content is inserted into the website and more targeted activities are applied that compromise its security.