The negative-seo tag should be used for questions about preventing attackers from hurting the rankings of your site. Questions about conducting negative SEO against other sites are off-topic (and immoral.) Negative SEO is NOT about potentially damaging your own site's rankings and this tag should not be used in such cases.

Negative SEO (search engine optimization) is the practice of intentionally hurting the search engine rankings of another site. The other site is typically a competitor, although negative SEO has been threatened as part of blackmail as well.

Because the actors conducting negative SEO don't have control over the site under attack, techniques are typically external to the site and designed to hurt the reputation of the site in the eyes of search engines. Negative SEO techniques include:

  • Buying or spamming low quality links to the site
  • Creating bad reviews of the site or its products
  • Posting negative or spammy content on the site if it allows user generated contributions such as in forums or comments
  • Filing complaints with search engines against the site
  • Copying and republishing content from the site to confuse search engines (content scraping)

Webmasters started to become aware of the possibility of negative SEO in 2012 after Google created an algorithm called Penguin which focused on identifying unnatural links and adjusting rankings accordingly.