How to Protect Your Site from Negative SEO

The recent Google Penguin update has made Negative SEO much easier. In case you have not heard of Negative SEO before, here is a little explanation. Google penalizes websites that openly violate its quality guidelines. Called webspam, or “black hat” techniques, practicing deceptive or manipulative behavior in order to improve search engine rankings is considered wrong and will result in dropped search engine rankings. But what happens when a competitor violates Google’s guidelines on your behalf in order to get your site penalized? This is called Negative SEO, and while it is rare, it is something that can happen.

Some common negative SEO techniques used wholesale NFL jerseys by others to hurt websites include site intrusions, content manipulation, and link spamming. Examples of site intrusions include hacking websites or injecting malware. An example of content manipulation is the creation of falsely duplicated content across the internet; when Google crawls the duplicate content of fake sites, the competitor’s real site will be ignored or punished as duplicate content.  Finally, link spamming is building many links from low quality link sources and pointing them to a competitor’s website. Google might identify the links as unnatural or artificial, Obligation sending out a spam alert that could affect the site’s rankings.

In order to protect yourself against Negative SEO, let’s look at each of the different areas in details

Site Intrusion:

Site intrusion will happen if a hacker is able to hack into your web server. In order to penalize your rankings, hackers then install malware or malicious code into your HTML source code. Google is able to detect these relatively easily and will delist your site to protect the visitors to your site. In order to protect yourself against this kinds of intrusions, make sure that your web server is up to date with all the latest patches and monitor your website code for unidentified code. You can also use free tools available online that will alert you studientage if there is a change to your page, so if you wholesale nba jerseys are alert that there was a change to your site which you are not aware of, that may mean you need to investigate further.

The good news is that if you find such code and remove it, your site should get reindexed by Google within days or weeks, depending on how popular your website is.

Content Manipulation:

Penalization of your website may be possible if someone copies your content, therefore creating duplicate content. Google’s algorithm checks for duplicate content across the web and would most likely rank one version of the content high, while the rest get much lower ranking. Normally, the site that has the content first should get the credit, but sometimes this may not be the case, such as when you have new content that has yet to be indexed by Google, but someone copies your content and they get indexed before your site does. In addition, sometimes the sites with a higher pagerank may get the benefit of the content. So if you have a new site with no pagerank and someone with a wholesale jerseys higher pagerank than you steals your content, it may be possible for them to get indexed. Another technique the culprits use is to post your content hundreds of times across the web. The more your content is out there, the more chances your site might get penalized.

To avoid this type of penalization, my recommendation is to check for duplicate content often. You can do so by using or simply copying a unique sentence from your website about 5-15 words long, placing it in quotation marks and searching it in Google. If you see cheap NFL jerseys any other sites coming up, check them and wholesale NBA jerseys see if they have copied majority of your content. If they copied only a few sentences this may be OK.

Once you have found problems, if it is only a handful of sites that have copied you, try to contact them and ask them to remove content or send them a cease and desist letter. If they refuse to remove the content then you can file a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) complaint. Google provides a reporting tool for reporting not only web search, but also any other content such as youtube videos, Google Plus pages, etc.

If you find many sites have copied you, which may make their removal challenging, then the best thing to do is to revise your own content.

Many times businesses offering affiliate programs may have this problems with their affiliates using their content. If you run an affiliate program, we suggest adding in you terms that  your affiliates cannot use your website content and provide (Pay them separate content to use.

The best practice I recommend to avoid the duplicate content Negative SEO is to update your website content often, at least monthly. Follow Google’s quality guidelines by producing relevant, useful and engaging content.

Link Spamming:

If your site has too many low quality links vs. high quality links, your site may get penalized. This is what the new Jerseys Google algorithm called Penguin does. Penguin is a filter which is run every so often and it is not real time. Therefore, if you get penalized and you start cleaning the spam, it may take weeks before you are back on.  If someone wanted to use these techniques to do Negative SEO to your site, they would need to create hundreds of low quality links so that the ratio of low quality links is much higher than your high quality links. Therefore, Negative SEO using link spam is possible, but is not an easy task.

Some examples of low quality links include:

– Links coming from pages with unrelated subject to your website
– Links from footers
– Links coming from pages with too many consecutive, such as sponsored links
– Links coming from pages with too many outgoing links
– Links from pages with low Google PageRank
– Domains Links from forums and blog comments
– Links from low quality directories
– Links from low quality blog networks

– Many links from sites with identical or similar IP addresses
– Links from link exchange type pages
– Using a certain keyword too many times in a link anchor text
– Too many sitewide links

When it comes to links, keep a clean, strong backlink profile by avoiding manipulative link building techniques. Using only quality sites, create a varied profile of links with varied anchor text. It’s also important to periodically check your link profile in order to find and remove spam links. Since Google does not provide a good backlink data and Yahoo recently stopped their site explorer, then you should use 3rd party tools such as SEOMoz’s or Majestic SEO to check your backlinks often. Both these tools offer free versions for limited usage.


Pierre Zarokian is the CEO of Submit Express, a leading search engine marketing firm since 1998. Submit Express is a 3-time Inc 5000 and 2-time Fast 500 honoree. They were ranked as the #1 SEO Firm by Website Magazine in 2009. Submit Express also offers social media marketing services via iClimber. Pierre Zarokian is an expert in SEO. He has written many articles on the subject of SEO & Social Media and often speaks at industry trade shows.