Webmasters have been debating the issue of negative SEO for many years and there has always been a small portion who have argued that it is possible to harm another site’s rankings by taking part in the practice.
However, it’s only recent updates that have put negative SEO back in the spotlight. It’s understood that Google has started to take external links even more seriously and if your backlink profile happens to look unnatural, there’s a chance your site is going to get slapped down. Subsequently, it’s becoming a little more common to see nasty tricks, with competitors sending all sorts of unnatural links to their rivals in a bid to bring them down.
Fortunately, there are methods to prevent such damage. If you happen to be working for a client that has experienced a significant drop in rankings, it might be advisable to take a look through several SEO reseller plans that are able to combat negative SEO. Alternatively, if you perform all such work yourself, take a look at the following two steps to try and rid your site of negative SEO problems.
First Step: Is Negative SEO Even Affecting You?
First and foremost, you need to research whether or not negative SEO is the reason behind the decrease in your rankings. Funnily enough, a lot of webmasters hope that it is the reason, instead of something else that may indicate that their site simply isn’t worthy of one of the top positions.
Fortunately, it’s very easy to see if your site has been hit by the problem. If you are being targeted, the competition will usually unleash a ridiculous number of spammy’ links to your site with your primary keyword as the anchor text. On a side note, it’s quite alarming how easy such a practice is, with sites such as Fiverr selling huge quantities of presumably poor quality backlinks for dirt cheap prices. If you are not sure how such a backlink is defined; anything that looks remotely dubious from sites in completely irrelevant industries, foreign links or links from pages which are clearly black-hat generally meet the description.
To find links such as those mentioned above, get your hands on a backlink tool which will highlight most of the links flowing into your site. If you are serious about overturning the penalty, it’s advisable to get hold of a paid tool as this will allow you to easily track new links to your site through filters, while it is also likely to include a larger quantity of your backlinks.
Final Step: Take Action
Fortunately, gone are the days where you had to wade through all of the links and contact the website owners to kindly ask if they would remove the link from their page. Instead, Google has its own method which can be found in its Webmaster Tools section.
It’s named the Disavow Links tool and while Google claim that only “advanced webmasters” should attempt to use it, don’t read too much into such warnings if you are confident that you have been hit with a bout of negative SEO.
The process of submitting such links is incredibly simple. Google simply require you to upload a text file, detailing all of the URLs that you believe are hindering your site. From then on, it’s just a case of allowing them to hopefully resolve the issue using the data you have provided.