Negative SEO and Click Fraud – Are They Actually Real?

A lot of people love to think that online marketing is absolutely perfect and that no other method comes close in terms of reliability. However, while online marketing methods like SEO and PPC can be very cost-efficient and effective ways to get clients, they are far from perfect.

There have been rumors floating around about negative SEO and click fraud for a while. A lot of people may still assume that they’re a marginal thing, but they do happen and could be having a much more profound effect on your campaigns than you might think.

Let’s take a closer look at each and how you can prevent them from occurring.


Negative SEO and Click Fraud


Negative SEO

What is negative SEO exactly? Negative SEO is when malicious agents manipulate SEO algorithms against you. If you’re familiar with SEO, then you should know how essential links are for your rankings. You may also be familiar with the fact that you can get penalized for having too many bad links pointing to your site.

This means that your competitors can purposely start directing low-quality links to your website in an attempt to sink your rankings. They might even start posting spammy comments on blogs to make it seem like you’re trying to game the algorithm. And, while Google is getting better every day at spotting spammy link blasts, there is still a chance that this tactic can affect your rankings negatively.


Click Fraud

Click fraud affects PPC. PPC is when you bid on keywords to have your ads featured either above or next to organic results when people conduct searches for these keywords or on sites related to them. Click fraud is when competitors either click on your ads themselves to ramp up your budget or use click and bot farms to do the work for them.


What are Click Farms?

Click farms are essentially made up of low-paid workers who are paid to click on ads. These can be located anywhere in the world and can be very difficult to trace.

Bot farms are even more pernicious as they are operated by a small network of people and can do more damage than any click farm since they use automated software that can send thousands and even millions of clicks. Click farms also make it seem like they’re spread across non-related servers.


Is There Something You Can Do to Protect Yourself from Negative SEO and Click Fraud?

Fortunately, yes. When it comes to “click fraud”, you can use click protection software. Some of the top providers out there include PPC Protect, Clickcease, and ClickGuard. You can see how the three compare here: This gives you a clear rundown of the features of all three options so you can see which ranks highest for specific factors.

When it comes to negative SEO, the best solution is to make sure that you always stay aware of your link profile. You need to then work on reporting those you do not recognize and do not serve you. You can use a tool like Ahrefs to check the incoming links and then use Google’s disavow links tool to manually report them.

Now that you know a bit more about these threats, it is your responsibility to take all the steps necessary to counter them. Make sure you get the right tools and monitor your site’s activity closely if you aren’t doing so already.

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