Online commerce is a world where reputation is important. Any company’s success might be adversely affected by a bad reputation due to poor online reviews or fake reviews of products online.¹ So how can a company get rid of bad online reviews? Negative SEO is one solution, which entails utilizing various means to impact a website’s search engine position. Although this tactic is frequently used to outrank a competitor’s website, it may also be beneficial for online reputation management.
What is Negative SEO?
By using numerous strategies, negative SEO experts work to lower a website’s position in search results. Typical strategies include:
- establishing unnatural backlinks to the webpage
- scraping website material and distributing it elsewhere
- making fictitious social media accounts and publishing critical remarks about the website
These strategies may lead to a decrease in site traffic, a drop in search engine rankings, and eventually a bad reputation for the website online.
Why Use Negative SEO for Online Reputation Management?
Although it has a controversial image, negative SEO may be a useful technique for managing one’s online reputation. It can be extremely challenging and time-consuming to delete or hide unfavorable articles or reviews about a person or business in search engine results.
By lowering this unfavorable content’s position in search engine results, negative SEO makes it more difficult to locate.
For instance, if a business is dealing with anonymous and unfavorable comments on a particular website, a negative SEO campaign could be started against that page, potentially lowering its search engine ranks. As a consequence, potential buyers will see fewer unfavorable reviews.
How to Use Negative SEO for Online Reputation Management
Using negative SEO for online reputation management requires careful planning and execution. The following steps can help you use negative SEO effectively:
Step 1: Identify Negative Content
Identifying the bad information you want to lower in search engine ranks is the first step in applying negative SEO for online reputation management. This may be unfavorable press coverage, articles, or posts on social media.
Step 2: Identify the Source of the Negative Content
Finding the source of the negative material is the next step after identifying it. This may be a particular website, social media network, or news organization.
Step 3: Launch a Negative SEO Campaign
The next step is to launch a negative SEO campaign against the source of the negative content. This could involve creating spammy backlinks to the website, copying content and publishing it elsewhere, or using other tactics to lower the search engine ranking of the website.
Step 4: Monitor Results
To make sure the negative SEO strategy is having the desired impact, it is crucial to keep an eye on its results. This might entail checking search engine results or keeping an eye on website visitors.
The Ethics of Negative SEO
While negative SEO can be an effective tool for online reputation management, it is important to consider the ethical implications of this practice. Using unethical tactics to harm competitors is never acceptable, and it is important to ensure that any negative SEO campaign is conducted ethically.
Although negative SEO may have a bad image, it could be a valuable tool for managing one’s online reputation. Negative material may be made difficult to access by carefully designing and implementing a negative SEO strategy to lower it in search engine results. But, it’s crucial to take this practice’s ethics into account and make sure that any negative SEO campaign is run morally.
- Salminen, Joni, et al. “Creating and detecting fake reviews of online products.” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 64 (2022): 102771.