Negative SEO can harm your website rankings, that's why a rival might decide to use negative SEO techniques against you to try to penalize your website rankings, and thus obtain higher positions on Google Search results than you.

How can you prevent negative SEO prior to being attacked by a rival? Are there some special things you can do?


To avoid Negative SEO against your site, regularly practice Positive SEO. It will help to build your reputation in Google and other search engines, and they will not give value to the bad SEO links, etc.

You may find this article very helpful to recover from bad SEO.

  • Bad SEO links is just a part of negative SEO. Moreover, I saw your edit but I would like to know how to do before being attacked, not after. – Zistoloen Dec 15 '13 at 19:30

Negative SEO (NSEO) refers to several black hat techniques that attempt to penalize the SEO of a rival site. Here are some NSEO techniques and a way to prevent each:

  1. DDoS attack against your site - try to use a web host or CDN that offers to block these kind of attacks (CloudFare for example)

  2. Hacking your site - keep your server up-to-date; for example, the CMS and PHP versions it uses

  3. Copying your content - routinely work on positive SEO techniques to give authority to your site to indicate to Google that it should penalize other sites containing duplicate content, as copied from your own

  4. Hiding bad content or links in your site - protect your site from XSS (Cross-site scripting) attacks...

  5. Links pointing to your site from others like for Viagra, online poker, etc... - routinely work on positive SEO techniques to give authority to your site to indicate to Google not to assign importance to these deleterious links

  6. Many links pointing to your site and their removal in one go - routinely work on positive SEO techniques to give authority to your site so that Google might see that the percentage of these links as compared to your good ones are too small to penalize your site

  7. Social engineering (usurping your identity to ask a webmaster to remove good backlinks you got) - there is nothing you can do except maximizing the number of your good backlinks

  8. Fake profiles on social networks - create social profiles (Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn...) before your rival who would be able to speak badly about you, your business and post links to bad sites

protected by Stephen Ostermiller Jun 30 '17 at 20:08

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.