What Is Negative SEO and How to Deal with It

SEO is one of the key components to having a successful website, and it is basically a never-ending process. In order for your site to rank high and to continue to rank good on any search engine, it needs quality, insightful content, and of course, good SEO practices. In other words, user experience, relevance, and link quality are some of the vague elements that are included in a serious SEO campaign. However, your site can also lose rank or fall from grace if you rely on negative or so-called “black hat SEO.” 

We have all seen these poorly linked websites, intrusive ads, and simply but bad websites that look really sketchy. Google has done a good job of ensuring those websites rarely pop up as relevant results for your search queries. That being said, you have to think if it’s possible that someone else, like a competitor, makes sure your website is ranked poorly, or simply to trim down its authority. Here we will go over some of the negative SEO practices and explain how to deal with those.  

Types of Negative SEO

There are a couple of ways or techniques that someone can use to sabotage your website and adversely affect its ranking. 


Hacking is the most complex but possibly the most effective way of harming your reputation. Hopefully, you will be able to back up your site quickly, as these serious changes are easily noticed, and take necessary measures to improve your security. Add two-step verification, move to a more secure server, tools that are used for hacking detection etc. 

Toxic backlinks

If you can link content from your website, anyone can, which is why this practice is very easy to implement. All one has to do is create poor anchor texts, go on public blogs that already rank poorly, and spam links to your website. 

Creating a duplicate website

It is also possible for someone just to scrap your content and create a duplicate website. Then spreading these fake websites can be rather easy for them. 

Removing backlinks

Even your quality backlinks are not entirely safe. Someone can reach out to site moderators, impersonate you or an agency that represents you, and ask them to remove those links from their site.


How to prevent this

It seems that links can create a problem, however, it may not be as serious as it looks. There are link audit tools that you can use to monitor the links that lead to your website. Furthermore, you can use tools to disavow those links before they can do serious harm. However, if your website is already poorly designed and does not have a high ranking this can be tricky. It may appear that you are relying on black hat SEO practices and just denying it. 

Detecting fake websites is also easy, as there are lots of plagiarism tools that are even free to use. Simply report the website and it will be taken down. This is why it’s not even the best time investment to try and sabotage someone’s ranking.