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Why All The Negativity? A New SEO Approach

by | May 10, 2012 | Search Engine Optimization

The World of SEO has seen an increase of the use of an unethical SEO tactic called Negative SEO. While we at DirectiveGroup do not support this effort, it’s critically important you have an idea of what is this is, or are working with a firm who does, as you may one day be the target of a negative SEO attack.

Three Approaches to SEO

When it comes to overall SEO approaches, there are three general approaches:

  1. White Hat SEO – White Hat SEO is the practice of positive SEO tactics to influence the search engines to think highly of your site. This includes creating great content that draws traffic, is relevant to search terms being used, is coded to current standards, and has high quality backlinks (another webmaster’s way of “voting” for your site).
  2. Black Hat SEO – Black Hat SEO is the SEO practice that tries to “game the system” by finding the loop holes in the search algorithm and then exploiting those loop holes to artificially push sites higher. With this, a website’s focus is fully on what the search engines see, and not at all on the user experience; this generally has a negative impact on conversion. These black hat SEO tactics may gain very quick rankings in the search engines, but they usually don’t last long, and are becoming less and less effective in the short term. Google, and some of the other search engines, actually have a team of people who review sites that have been flagged for potential black hat and/or spammy activity. In the end, this may gain very short-term advances but risks getting sever negative consequences, up to and including being banned from the search engines.
  3. Negative SEO – The idea behind negative SEO is that you use the black-hat and known spammy SEO tactics against your competitors in order to drive them down in search results. If you do that to everyone who is ranking above you, eventually you’ll come out on top. The concept is that it’s easier to drive a site down than it is to naturally lift one up.

Why Should You Be Concerned About SEO

A couple weeks ago Google released an update to the search algorithm known as Penguin. This release specifically takes a closer look at the links back to a site and evaluates the quality of them as a signal to placement in search results.

While it may be coincidental, we’ve seen multiple sites under these negative SEO attacks since the implementation of the Penguin Update. What this means for site owners is that if you’re not paying attention to the SEO of your site, either negative or positive, you may lose even the ground around your brand very quickly if someone decides to launch one of these attacks on your site.

Staying Ahead Of Negative SEO

How do you know if you’re under a negative SEO attack? The easiest way is to monitor two things.

  1. Monitor your search rankings for your targeted keywords. If you notice a significant trend down, you’ll want to investigate why.
  2. Monitor your backlinks. Evaluate the domains that are pointing back to you, and watch for ones that are “link farms”, generic place holder pages, or ones with malicious code (which you can catch with a program like Malware Bytes. These are sites that are going to spell trouble for your organic search placement if you’re not proactively doing something about it.

Knowing if you’re being attacked is one thing. But how do you do combat such an attack? The best way is to perform great SEO for your site. Develop a site that is fully focused on your visitor, that has been well-optimized on-site, and where you’re actively working toward developing high quality backlinks.

Gone are the days of simply having a site and it driving business for you. With more people depending more heavily on the Internet for various things, having a site that functions well and is visible to your target market. When you partner with a professional Internet Marketing firm, like DirectiveGroup, you not only get a great looking site, but you can also get the peace of mind knowing you have a positive, white-hat SEO agency at your disposal who can not only work toward greater optimization, but also help keep an eye open for these annoying negative SEO attacks. Get a quote today for keeping your company visible and driving business, or give us a call at 866-925-9524.


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