Negative SEO is a common thing for the Internet space. In short, it is something that you should be worried about. Or you shouldn’t? We will discuss it in the article and shed light on the negative SEO attack phenomenon.

The negative SEO issue is a tricky one. Lots of specialists try to overcome the effect of negative SEO services on their websites. These are usually spamming links that make the work of the website an awful nightmare. But does it still happen these days? And if so, how can you cope with it? Let’s figure out what it is and how you can manage it.

Negative SEO: What is it?

In short, negative SEO happens when someone wants to decrease the rankings of the website on the web. It can be described as a series of attacks applied by the competitor to aggravate the situation with your rankings. How will you know that you face negative SEO effects? The attacks usually have the same pattern and aren’t diverse. In short, you will notice the following things:

  • an unnatural activity on the website;
  • weird links;
  • spam;
  • hacking attacks.

This is the most common negative SEO display.

Where does the negative SEO phenomenon come from? This is the question to be answered. Some time ago, Google decided to check the links that seemed unnatural. Therefore, all the spam links that appeared on the web pages were simply ignored. And it was the time when SEOs benefited a lot. They used thousands of backlinks for their benefit.

But in 2012, everything changed. Google took a closer look at the manipulative links. What happened? From that time, no one can benefit from great amounts of low-quality links to increase the rankings of the website. But at the same time, it was possible to buy these links for the websites of your competitors. Google would ban them.

For Google, negative SEO attacks happen, but it happens quite rarely. Google specialists ensure users that they do their best to make negative SEO attacks rarely happen by providing prevention measures. When a strange activity is recognized, the developers dig into details to see what was the reason for such an activity with the website and if the competitors have anything to do with it.

Google users have to understand that negative SEO is a rare phenomenon. It is something that makes little difference to the website. The algorithms of the service are evolving. For this reason, it is more intricate to damage the rankings of the website than it was before.

Types of negative SEO attacks and ways to prevent them

As we have mentioned in the previous part of the article, negative SEO happens quite rarely. But there’s still a small chance that you may face it. For this reason, you should know what the most common negative SEO types are.

The algorithms are working well to prevent the websites from failing. But if you notice an unnatural activity on the website, try to check if nothing of the following happens.

Fake commentaries

Good reviews are what every business is looking for. This is something that entrepreneurs ask for from their clients. In most cases, good reviews are of great importance to the websites. But what may happen if the website is attacked with bad reviews? It will damage the popularity of the product or service, negatively influence the rankings and be bad for the business in general.

To manage the reviews, you need to look through new commentaries on the page. Posting fake reviews is a bad practice, and it violates the policy of Google. If you notice that bad reviews occur more often than it usually was, you can flag irrelevant activity.

Link farms

If you use a single spammy link, you wouldn’t be able to destroy the rankings of the website. Therefore, we conclude that one needs a group of links to violating the policy of the websites. This is called a link farm. A link farm consists of websites specifically created for link buildings. It can help you increase the popularity of your website on the Internet among other users. It was an effective way to make the website raise its rankings. But 2012 changed it all. Google decided to manage the issue and make the use of backlinks from link farms that effective. If you try to take advantage of a link farm, Google will introduce a penalty.

Managing the negative SEO activity on the website isn’t always in your power. Some things happen, and you can’t prevent them. But if you are careful enough, you can stop them before they damage your website. You can use specific tools for identifying various negative SEO attacks at an early stage. This is one of the ways to notice unnatural link growth.


This is another way to attack websites. Scrapers are the content that is copied from your website to another platform or web page. The content may be replicated several times and may even be a part of the link farm activity. If the content is copied and duplicated to different websites, Google won’t cherish each web page. It will give preference only to one website. Fingers crossed, the rankings will come to the original page because other websites won’t receive any attention. You should be careful. If the copied version is detected first, you will be deranked with your original content.

You may use online tools to figure out if there is any duplicated content on the website. There are lots of them on the web. If you have problems with site – try to use VPN. It will help you to unblock websites. For some useful tools it becomes indispensable. You can enter your website’s URL and see if you have the copied information on the page. If a webmaster isn’t working towards your issue, you can report the scrapers.


When the competitor is mad at you and wants to make your website fail, heavy crawling is what is usually used in such cases. It is a method that uses tricks to make the services experience heavy server loads.

If you understand that your website becomes less effective or produces content with delays, this is the time to turn to a professional webmaster for help. The specialist will tell you why the delay is happening, and if the reason for such an activity is a negative SEO attack. If the reason for it is crawling, the webmaster will introduce you to several solutions.

Hacking attacks

This is the last thing that a competitor can make to your website. It encompasses all the attacks and tricks described before. You may experience serious issues with your website rankings if the competitor tries to hack your web page.

If you want to prevent such a destroying activity, you need to audit your website regularly. To make it all happen, you should download a specific tool for identifying changes at an early stage. With regular audits, you will protect your website.

How to identify negative SEO?

There are several ways to understand that your website is attacked:
●You receive links from foreign websites.
●The content is silly and doesn’t usually make sense to your page.
●A great number of links come from weird domains.
●The use of a great variety of keywords or link anchors.
●The links come from low-quality services.

You need to audit your website to notice the growth of spammy links. You can also use VLOOKUP formulas in Excel to highlight domains that have been checked previously. A similar VLOOKUP function will help you to highlight domains that are already in your link disavowal file.

Let’s conclude

In the article, you may find the information about negative SEO, answer the question “Whats my IP?”, figure out the most popular tricks that competitors might use to damage your website. You can also learn how to prevent the attacks and manage them at the early stages. The information will help you manage the work of your website and make it more effective.


Rachel Burnham

I’ve been working with SEO for 4 years now, and I know all the ins and outs connected to it. I’ve learned the algorithms of the websites, VeePN influence on the web activity, and other important aspects to tell about in the article. I can help you prevent negative SEO attacks effectively. You may trust my knowledge and expertise.