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Negative SEO is a controversial topic in the SEO space. You hear about it a lot, but does it happen a lot? How easy is it to ruin a competitor's rankings, really? Should you be worried? How do you know if someone is trying to knock you out of SERPs with negative SEO? Is there anything you can do to stay safe? In this article, I'll do my best to shed some light on the matter and answer these questions. But before we start…

  • SS

    Sherman Smith

    about 3 years ago #

    Hey Masha,

    Thanks for making us aware of negative SEO. This can be quite scary if you're trying to grow and maintain your site and business reputation. Do you find that this usually happens with popular sites or does it really matter?

    • MM

      Masha Maksimava

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Sherman. It can indeed be scary, but I wouldn't say it's the most common thing in the world :) Yup, it probably does happen more to bigger, established businesses with a lot of competition. For smaller businesses, it's usually a more personal thing - something a former business partner turned rival could do.

      That said, things are probably a bit different with on-site changes (which involve hacking). This can happen to any site that has loopholes - usually, hackers will use crawler bots to find those on the Internet. They don't typically have negative SEO in mind specifically, but a hacked site is almost sure to drop in the SERPs unless you fix it quickly.

      Takeaway: keep your site protected from hackers, and run regular site crawls and backlink audits, just to be safe :)

      Hope this helps.

      • MH

        Marta Heinz

        about 3 years ago #

        >> keep your site protected from hackers
        Good point, but can be quite hard to implement. We've all heard of big sites like Yahoo and alike being hacked, but what really scares me is that we've recently found one of our sites was hacked many years ago and had some kind of a 'worm/virus' that was sending out our usage logs/analytics to some 3rd-party server :(