Marketing 2 min read

Google’s Mueller Explains Negative SEO and Ranking Issues

ussr / Shutterstock.com

ussr / Shutterstock.com

In a recent episode of Google Webmaster hangout, Google advocate, John Mueller discussed negative SEO as well as other ranking problems. 

Negative SEO refers to using a black hat or other unethical techniques to sabotage a competitor’s search ranking.

Such an attack can exist in numerous forms, from hacking a competitor’s site to copying and distributing its content online. Other types of attacks include removing the best backlink a competitor has.

What’s more, you’ll find individuals willing to do the job on black hat forums and freelance websites for as low as $5.

There’s no doubt that negative SEO is a real threat to numerous websites. But, there’s a way to deal with it.

A while back, Google released the Disavow Tool to help webmasters address this problem. However, it would be best to use the tool with caution, and only as a last resort.

Experiencing Negative SEO Attack on Your Website

In the recent episode of Google Webmaster hangout, a publisher narrated their experience with a negative SEO attack.

According to the anecdote, the sites’ rankings drop. Even after they disavow, the rankings either never returned to where it was before the attack or they bounced around.

At the end of the anecdote, the site owners asked Google Advocate, John Mueller, if he still insists that negative SEO doesn’t exist.

The publisher said:

“We’ve seen some sites being targeted by black hat SEO. They have consistent bad links pointed at them daily, and they’ve also seen some big drops. We’re constantly having to block bad links. Do you still maintain that bad links don’t matter?”

Here is Mueller’s response.

Google Works to Ignore Any Bad Links Completely

According to John Mueller, Google works hard to ignore any form of negative SEO completely. These include irrelevant backlinks as well as unnatural ones.

The webmaster trend analyst admitted that bad links could indeed harm search rankings. But, in those cases, the links were not negative SEO. Instead, they’re probably the work of an SEO that the publisher had hired.

He said:

“Usually the cases where I see that something around negative SEO is happening are kind of the cases where you would look at them manually, you would say, well this looks like maybe someone has built these links up over the past. And it’s not really a competitor but maybe an SEO that’s been working for the company.”

Read More: Google Outlines Security Issues That the Search Console Reports

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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