Recently, Google went on an all-out campaign to “bowl over” websites that use Black Hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The Penguin Update is the latest Google search engine algorithm designed to examine the validity of a website by determining the number of anchor texts and back links. If it has been proven that a site is “over-optimizing”, it will be immediately brought down from the search engine’s index.
While this may be a good thing, there are some drawbacks to the emergence of Penguin. Many e-commerce websites, blogs and content submissions sites were greatly affected by it. Some websites were removed from search engine results while some got lower page ranks (PR).
How Negative SEO Affects You… Positively
Remember those days when SEO was easier? A few anchor texts and back links would have been enough to optimize a website. Experts didn’t realize that these techniques may cost them in the future, and eventually it did with the release of the Panda and Penguin updates.
In the past, websites with high number of links and anchor texts are often ranked higher in search engine results. Although content are taken into consideration, it rarely created much impact in terms of SEO strategies. This leads to the increase of useless and junk-filled websites, which do not offer consumers informative and relevant information.
With the Penguin update, Google was able to get rid of sites that use black hat SEO. By following one back link after another, it checks whether a site is merely acquiring leads for better optimization or not. Websites that offer relevant and quality content now headline search engine results while those that were proven to over-optimized were literally removed off the face of the Internet.
The Backlash of Negative SEO
The Penguin update caused both positive and negative results. Some websites that use old SEOP practices have been brought down despite the validity of their content. Since Google does not provide any warning, the possibility of losing leads loomed large for them without ever knowing what caused this in the first place!
The emergence of the Penguin update also provided other companies a way to gain an advantage over their competitors. If your competitors are engaged in Black Hat SEO, then they’re most likely get hit by the update. This gives you an opportunity to optimize your website, and gain the traffic your competitors lost.
Recent developments have been made by companies to combat the backlash of negative SEO. Online reputation management is one strategy that allows business owners to have their websites examined for any misplaced back links. The uncompromising use of anchor texts has now been replaced with good, relevant content for better optimization.
Despite such measures, it doesn’t guarantee that you will be safe from the effects of negative SEO. Any website owner should always be mindful of the number of leads and page views on a daily basis. Be proactive in checking the type of leads that get to your website, and make sure that you link your website to credible sites only at all times.