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Negative SEO: The Darker Side of Search Engine Optimization

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What if, instead of just having to worry about your own search engine visibility, you had to worry that your competitors could somehow hurt your rankings on Google, as well?

That’s the idea behind negative SEO, and it’s a reality that we’re going to have to get used to.

Today, I want to share with you the basics of negative SEO: what it is, whether you should worry about it, and most importantly, what you can do to fight it…

The basics of negative SEO – if you’ve been working with a reputable web design and Internet marketing partner, you already know that ads promising thousands of new links or Facebook followers aren’t going to help your company. In fact, they could hurt your search engine position by indicating to Google that you’re using spammy tactics to promote your website.

The same businesses who tried to game the system with these tricks before are still using them now. The difference, though, is that they are pointing these low-quality links at other websites instead of their own. That way, competitors are harmed and competition for the top search engine places is decreased.

Negative SEO warning signs – no one is likely to send you an email saying you’ve been affected by negative SEO, but the warning signs are easy to spot: a drop in search engine positioning and lots of new links (pointing to your website from unrelated domains) that you don’t know anything about.

How to fight negative SEO – if you already have a strong search profile, with lots of unique content and high-quality inbound links, you probably don’t have to worry about negative SEO. It affects newer websites much more strongly than ones that are already established with Google.

At the same time, your best defenses are regular search engine audits (performed by a good web design team) and a disavowal of the new links (also something a good search engine optimization vendor can handle for you).

Negative SEO is something to look out for, but not to worry about. Are you getting the kind of web design and Internet marketing help you deserve?

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