In a Reddit thread that seemed to gain traction over the last couple of days, Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller pitched in and offered his two cents. In the thread, which was about negative SEO attacks, an individual believed their website was the target of one such attacks and looked out for advice on what to do from here on. John offered a way forward and put it plain and simple: ignore it. Yes, you read that right. He said that someone competent enough won’t probably waste any time engaging his time and resources for such devious activities. The ones that do will probably be incompetent and their malicious links won’t amount to anything as Google will end up outright ignore any such links of low quality or suspicious nature. So, website owners and SEO professionals should not worry about it because Google won’t such links against a site that is playing by the rules. Before we jump to what John’s full statement was, let’s take a quick detour to understand what negative SEO attacks are and why they happen.
What is a Negative SEO Attack?
It’s quite usual for a website to get links from all sorts of websites: the good, the bad, and the ugly. A negative SEO attack is when someone tries to enter your website’s URL in spammy websites, in main content or comments, in hope that Google will find your website engaging in mischief and will push you down the ladder so they could climb up sneakily. But that is not the case, thankfully. Google is quite adept at recognizing how some websites will try to gain advantage the black hat way rather than improving their content and site’s user experience. It is a bad reflection on the websites that resort to such behaviour rather than a bad reflection on yours. And if you start to notice a lot of dubious links from miscreant websites pointing your way, you can simply ignore it.
What to do when you feel you’re the target of a Negative SEO Attack?
Here’s what John said about the whole thing.
“I’d just ignore them. Think of it this way, if your competitors are competent, they won’t build links for you. If your competitors are incompetent, the links won’t have any effect.”
It couldn’t get more direct than this. However, if all those links pointing at your website makes you a little uncomfortable or looking at them puts you off, you can use the Disavow Tool to discredit them and Google will take it in account in due time. However, John’s advice in the past about negative SEO attacks and using the disavow tool has simply been not rushing to use the tool because Google is going to ignore them eventually. The tool is more for when you have to recover from a manual penalty. But was we said, you can use it if it will make you feel you’re in a safer space.
Source: Search Engine Journal