Negative SEO

By Lívia Caixeta

SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, optimizes the mechanisms for keyword searches in search engines and is an increasingly important tool for content managers to improve the positioning of sites and blogs in the organic (unpaid) search results on Google. This strategy promotes visibility and credibility to the site or blog in the online context. Negative SEO, in its turn, is a tactic used to damage this strategy.

This type of attack is done with the sole purpose of worsen the positioning of a site, usually a corporate such, and in many cases it is done by competitors who wish to improve the positioning of their own site by affecting negatively the positioning of another. With the recent updates of the Google algorithms the discussion about this practice has received dueful attention.

So, is negative SEO a form of hacking?

It depends.

Insofar as a tactic changes how a site looks or operates, or gives you unauthorized access, it may be considered hacking depending on one’s jurisdiction. Depending upon one’s culture and national laws, the application of the definition may vary considerably. For instance, some countries may take a stricter approach to what constitutes unauthorized access, and some may have a more laissez-faire attitude as it pertains to information tampering.” (Joe Sinkwitz – Search Engine Land)

The practice of negative SEO can cause damage such as:

  1. It can damage the duplicity policy of search mechanisms, particularly Google’s, which can result in sanctions;
  2. It can affect the links on your site negatively, resulting in poor quality or a violation of the directives;
  3. Hacker invasion.

For these reasons, it is important to keep your site safe:

  • Avoid programmes that can allow for virus or malware;
  • Beware of duplication of information so that it is not done in an inappropriate manner;
  • Be careful with mentions in social networks;
  • Don’t forget to check your Backlink list;
  • Monitor the velocity of your site.

In other words, good content management planning is an important ally in a corporate site avoiding punishment and maintaining itself, not only on top of the search results, but also, free of negative SEO attacks.

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