Negative SEO: What is it and how to combat it?

When operating a business online, more so if it is already an e-commerce enterprise, analytics in metrics should be taken seriously. As much as possible, SEO ranking should be an indicator if what the business is lacking and what should be improved.

In online businesses, promotions and marketing campaigns can be deemed effective if they get positive reviews, raves from clients, and if it results great page ranking on search engines.


When we are affected by negative SEO, it can be harm our business big time. This is why it is highly essential for any e-commerce site owner to learn how to fight and also recover from negative SEO attacks. Here, we will try to learn how to combat a backlink at a time, and destroy it so it never pesters us again.

  • What is negative SEO? It is the exact opposite of SEO. While SEO marketing aims to put your web site at the top of the list, negative SEO puts you at the far bottom, which is never a good thing for an e-commerce store. A negative SEO might cause long term problems in your business, as it will never have the attention it needs to prosper in the industry.
  • How does it happen? While Google has repeatedly said that negative SEO rarely happens, it apparently is the opposite. It has been happening more often nowadays, when more and more people have access to the internet. More people now know how to make and use backlinks, which can cause negative SEO.
  • Why does it happen? There have been reports saying even reputable and huge companies have resorted to using negative SEO to stir up the competition and turn the tides in their favor. It might sound insane and impossible, but with what is happening and how the crowded the e-commerce world is today, it could be quite understandable. It is not ethical, but that does not stop it from actually happening.
  • How bad can it be? When a certain company is already desperate to win the game and gain more customers, they can get irrational and just do what they think is the fastest way to turn the situation better. For example, an e-commerce site is on the brink of getting bankrupt and they feel like there is no way out, they may meet a technical guru who shows them how negative SEO and malicious links can help them quash the competition. If they pursue it, no matter how good a business is doing, it can deteriorate fast when the negative SEO attacks their web site. It can end a business, as a worst case scenario.
  • Negative SEO makes you lose web site traffic. Backlinks that are malicious and URLs containing jargons can somehow make your customers think less or wrong of your website. When they see how your items are tagged, given that the tags are malicious, grammatically wrong, or generally just negative, they are unlikely to click your link. It will further lower your page ranking, which will eventually make your sales lower. You have to remember that when you operate an e-commerce store, your traffic generation directly affects your sales.
  • Spammy links. These are links that make your SEO page ranking lower. One web site shared how negative SEO made their ranking slowly but steadily lower. It came as a surprise since their ranking in search engines have been steady for a long time, and just started decreasing out of the blue. In your own e-commerce business, you have to be careful in watching signs that could determine if you are already being attacked by spammy links, which are examples of negative SEO.
  • What can we do to combat it? When negative SEO has been rampant, Google itself has exerted efforts to prevent it from destroying businesses online. They invented and developed the Penguin algorithm which makes it hard, if not impossible, for companies to just pile spammy links and cause negative SEO to its competitors and rivals. Also, Google developed disavow links, which are intended to give a sense of security to e-commerce site owners and operators. It will make them feel comfortable to operate an e-commerce store even when negative SEOs seem to be everywhere.
  • Be observant. When dealing online, whether you are a customer or an online business owner, it is important to carefully observe your ranking and patterns. This is why it is important to utilize an Analytics system, and to really understand what the metrics mean. When you notice bad looking links that you know can negatively affect your business, be proactive. If you are not sure if it really is harmful, ask around or do a research. Use the internet to your advantage and be vigilant in looking for possible negative SEO links.
  • Report to Google. Google has expressed concern about negative SEO, and has promised to help businesses when being attacked with such. They advise e-commerce stores to report incidents of negative SEO situations to webmasters forums where you can get firsthand points of view and educated pieces of advice. You can also directly report to Google. They will then look into their own system to see what they can do, and will most likely improve their algorithm systems.

Though we have advised you above to be observant and proactive, remember to carefully review and study if your speculation about a negative SEO can be proven. It could be a glitch or technical problem, so you have to be really into it.

Just remember to be focused on your business and how it does on the web. Since you are fully web operational, it is a must to do great in online ranking and promotions.

SEO has been considered as an e-commerce’s main selling point. Search engines remain to be the top most visited sites. It is where most online shoppers get an idea where to purchase what they need. When you have managed to be on the first 3 pages of the page, then you’re good. Keep it at that, and don’t let negativity get in your way. If not, keep going. Your efforts will get you there in no time. Search_engine_marketing