Black hat SEO is slowly (and thankfully) becoming a thing of the past; however, its replacement is just as threatening. A new, more cunning type of search engine optimization has emerged in the shoes of black hat tactics: negative SEO. As with all things search engine-related, it doesn’t matter if you’re geo-targeting specific keywords in Utah or running a full-fledged campaign across the Midwest — negative SEO can affect the rankings of any business or retailer.
Negative SEO Is Black Hat SEO 2.0
Negative search engine optimization is basically just an updated version of black hat SEO; in a nutshell, it’s a series of unethical tactics that can be used by almost anyone (with the appropriate skill set) to successfully sabotage a competitor’s search rankings. Negative search engine optimization can be aimed at local competitors from Utah to the East Coast — it makes no difference to negative SEO.
Some of the tactics employed during a negative search engine optimization attack can include website hacking, the generation of a large quantity of inbound spam links to a website, content duplication and distribution and the creation of false social media profiles with the intention of destroying a company’s online reputation. A business on the West Coast can use any of the above tactics to target a competitor across the nation — whether they’re located in Utah or on the East Coast — to negatively affect their rankings and online reputation.
How to Treat Negative SEO Bullying
All of the above-listed tactics sound like an intense dosage of SEO-bullying; however, how successful are these tactics? Are they tangible enough to be considered an actual threat? Absolutely. And to make matters worse, negative SEO is cheap — it can cost as little as five bucks for someone to initiate a series of negative search engine optimization tactics. Your best bet? Invest in the necessary tools to prevent an attack from happening in the first place.