Negative SEO: What Is It And How Is It Being Applied?

POSTED BY Heather Johnson, UPDATED ON March 21st, 2023
Negative SEO: What is it and How is it being Applied?

The world is not black and white. We know that, but this seems to be more and truer even in the SEO world, where the spectrum of shades of grey seems to get pulled out into a never-ending array of grayish colors. In fact, the SEO world is one of the most perfect examples of human psychology at work you can get.

For those of you that don’t know, SEO is search engine optimization. It is the process of achieving better rankings in search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo by optimizing for different signals. Google, in particular, uses 200+ different signals to position websites in their search engine results pages (SERPs).

You can either leverage different assets to improve your SEO (and what is meant by that is leveraging your content basically) or you can use your knowledge of how SEO works to “game” Google.


Remember These Three Terms

  • White Hat
  • Grey Hat
  • Black Hat

White hat SEO is what is considered to be “good” SEO and is considered to be best practice. Obviously grey is less of than good and “black” is the exact opposite.

Out of all the different signals that Google uses to determine your positions in the SERPs no other is more important than your link profile (at least according to an aggregated and large amount of SEO professionals).

Your link profile consists of many different qualities, variables, factors…etc… You have to have:

  • diverse links
  • links from quality sites
  • variated anchor texts
  • and a relatively large number of them!

The better your link profile looks in the eyes of Google, the more likely you are going to be to rank for your prime keywords.

Given this knowledge, one is able to manufacture (or demanufacture) rankings with enough time and money.

There are many people that get scared of negative SEO lately because what one can do, is totally spam your backlink profile and then cause Google to frown upon your website’s SEO tactics and therefore lower your company’s position in the SERPs.

Google however clearly states that its algorithm is intelligent enough to determine negative SEO and it suggests webmasters not to worry about it (usually) as it is a very difficult task (but not impossible though).

Negative SEO is truly a dark art and one that all SEOs should stay away from. What do you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.


  1. Mohsin Ali Waheed says:

    quite useful info here

  2. Sarah says:

    negative seo is just like google’s sandbox myth —- so no need to worry folks

  3. Sarah says:

    negative seo is just like google’s sandbox myth —- so no need to worry folks

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