Negative SEO: 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Try It

Online businesses are very convenient.  One can simply work from home and monitor the growth of his or her business.  Due to this convenience, the number of online businesses has multiplied in the past years.  If you sell products or services online, search engine visibility is a valuable competitive advantage.

However, a crucial issue called “Negative SEO” is rising as a counterproductive force, as it is used for the sole purpose of attacking competitors’ rankings in the SERPs.  In this article, you will find out why you shouldn’t venture into this kind of practice.

Why Negative SEO Is Bad Business Practice

Why Negative SEO Is Bad Business Practice

1.      Facing penalties and lawsuits.

Nothing is more time-consuming, expensive, and counterproductive than having to show up in court and carry on with legal proceedings should your competitor sue you for hacking his site or affecting it with a virus attack.

Instead of constantly updating one’s skills to create quality goods and services for your customers, indulgence in negative SEO does the opposite.  It veers your business away from your customers by becoming an entity that seems bent on attacking other businesses, instead of simply improving customer satisfaction.

Keep in mind that business owners are meant to work, improve and spend time with their businesses — not the courtroom.

2.      Killing the business environment.

There are three worrisome motivations behind the use of Negative SEOs, namely political, personal, and financial.  These three passionate factors could escalate into a full-blown online war that could directly affect the business environment.

If all online businesses resorted to believing their own biases and attacking all competitors just to remain on top, the purpose of having a budding online business for one’s personal convenience is clearly defeated.

3.      Negative SEO practitioners are against socially-responsible business ethics.

A business loses its meaning once it starts devoting its time to bringing down competitors instead of improving its offers to the consumers.  Due to the advent of negative SEO, some businesses with a strong online presence now have to invest in avoiding these attacks.

Resorting to this behavior just for the sake of being on top will cause a divide amongst consumers, namely the pro and anti.  But owners should also consider those in the middle, since consumer apathy is a dangerous thing. With the vast amount of information on the Internet, consumers would opt to find more peaceful alternatives than participate and go through the ongoing wars between businesses.

4.      Negative SEO practitioners lose all credibility and opportunity to get future clients when they get caught.

When an SEO practitioner gets caught doing negative SEO, they not only lose all their credibility as a professional SEO practitioner but they may also lose potential clients in the future.

Having branded as someone practicing negative SEO is not something an SEO practitioner would want in his/her portfolio.  Most online business owners who would want to engage in using SEO to further increase their revenue wouldn’t want their company’s name tied up with a “delinquent”.  Most often, they would reject and find SEOs with a clean slate instead.


If you are thinking about engaging in practicing negative SEO, you should reconsider and remember the consequences listed above.  We all know that gaining an advantage against competitors can you bring you to the top spot, but it would not be as fulfilling if success is achieved the wrong way.

So what are your thoughts regarding negative SEO? Feel free to discuss it with your fellow readers below.

Recommended reading on Negative SEO:

1. Negative SEO And It’s Tactics

2. How To Recover From & Prevent Negtive SEO Attack

About the Author

Jack Rivera is a Business Writer and a marketing consultant for Affilorama.  One of the world’s largest affiliate marketing portal, which offers online training materials through its blog, free lessons, forums and affiliate marketing tools.  You can follow him on twitter: @jacksparrowXI

  • Aswani

    I came to know about negative SEO yesterday only. Whatever I read on the same was simply shocking. I see it very illegal. SEOs must never resort to such techniques. It looks very unethical and certainly has a lot or risks involved with the same as mentioned in your post.

  • Paxforex

    As the word already says, negative SEO. Not sure why anyone even wants to try.

  • Winston

    There are soooo many reasons to not try this. Even if you don’t have an ethical bone in your body, you will look like a total creep and idiot if you get caught and outed. You may have seen where some guy started a petition to Google to get them to do something about negative SEO. He commented on this post: and it got a little ugly. He ended up getting caught hiring a fiverr link builder himself!

    • / Fabrizio Van Marciano

      Hi Winston, thanks so much for your comment and providing the resourceful link, I checked it out and it was an extremely interesting read. Thanks again.

  • Erik Emanuelli

    Nice points, Jack.
    I hate the idea of being the target of anyone willing to do negative SEO on one of my sites.
    I am a Karma believer, if you behave well, then you will receive(most of the times) just positive things.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • / Fabrizio Van Marciano

      Hi Erik, always a pleasure to see you here my friend. I can hold my hand up and say that I’ve been a victim of negative SEO a few years ago, when an online competitor pointed a bunch of links from a porn site straight back to my site. And I experienced it again with this blog but was able to use Google’s disavow tool to sort that problem out.

      It’s real bad business in my mind and I wouldn’t wish to happen to anyone, it just goes to show that there are some people that aren’t able to succeed in business so they’re willing to try and cheat their way to success, but it always ends up biting them back even harder.

      I love your Karma philosophy :)

  • Jennifer

    I think it’s sad that people engage in negative SEO. I wasn’t completely aware of the concept until recently. Thanks for sharing this with us.