Knowing how to recognize and deal with negative techniques that can damage the reputation and visibility of your online project.
One of the 2018 summer hits was the piece by Fabio Rovazzi I do what I want, which has a really interesting passage:
… attracted by Evil, the honest has no budget …
This is what I will think of from now on, when someone would prefer to spend even large sums on the activities of Black Hat Marketing even more precisely negative, ie those that are likely to disturb and even ruin the competition, instead of investing in your digital project.
I think it is useless to hide behind a finger or think that the phenomenon is marginal: in my decades of experience, then working between Italy and Eastern Europe, I have seen every (some even really creative) and I think that giving a name to the Black Hat techniques more recurrent is a first step to defend oneself. Know to prevent, always.
The most common Negative techniques
Small disclaimer: don't try them at home (as an old wrestling advertisement claimed) except for purely experimental purposes.
Within SEO the techniques negative they did school, born as a response to the first launch (2012) of the filter called Penguin, which hits sites with a low value profile. Being this way, lateral thinking if not deviated leads one to think of carrying out a campaign of Link Building purposely spamming towards a competitor's site.
THE spam link, not having a traceable paternity, they are a sort of perfect crime. The retaliation, however, does exist: as long as Google does not evaluate those low-profile links, it could paradoxically give the competitor a little boost. An even more pernicious and heavy version of this type of attack characterized by what I call Zombie Network. From an SEO perspective there is the practice of editing editorial portals, used for the sole purpose of pushing a site with quality links. Zombies are the opposite: they recover some expired domains, which may have been punctured in the past, and like a necromancer they resurrect themselves to redirect them to target sites. In this way, the affected site does not receive only a few spam links, but all the toxic pattern of the domain brought back to life. In response to these techniques, Google has made available a single tool called Reject Link, linked to its Search Console.
A last Negative practice leads to the penalty and extremely expensive: it is an attack Denial of Service (DoS) capable of making the site unreachable for such a period of time (from tests I can say around 72 hours) that the Google spider, recording its offline status, removes it from the search results pages. An attack of this really expensive to support and if the affected site has good authority, it usually tends to return to its place in the SERP at the end of the DoS.
Techniques are not lacking Black Hat within Social, although they are slightly newer than SEO ones, they are similarly hateful to deal with.
Surely those who have a business or restaurant have had to deal with for years bogus reviews which ruin the structure's average reputation. Against this type of attacks, the various portals like TripAdvisor, but also the same Google (on the maps) and Facebook have started an automatic control tour that, nevertheless, do not always work properly. In some cases, it is possible to manually hide the unwelcome reviews or request removal.
Another negative practice on social media is that ofmassive purchase of fake fans on sites like SEOclerks or SMOnutz, followed by the reporting of the hit page to the same Social platforms, in such a way as to have the fan page or the profile evaluated as fake or spam. In this case, the more the authoritativeness recognized, the less the effective attack. But you risk running into the last of the Black Hat Marketing techniques shown so far, the number 6 almost resuming diabolical practices.
I'm talking about theuse of Trolls or Haters organized to stress the customer service of a page or a social profile. For a bit expensive the twin of the DoS attack in SEO, and it is a rather widespread practice where the religion war is strong, or the clashes between users divided into two or more highly polarized sides (as in politics).