Bad guys don’t just exist in the movies or on the dark web.

Black hat hackers may be using nefarious tactics to diminish your site’s hard-won SEO rankings. These black hatters may represent your top competitors and/or may be intentionally working to bring down how your site comes up in searches. Regardless of their specific agenda, they do exist and they may be out to get you – or at least your website and its key word rankings.

Depending on the tactics, this can potentially harm your site’s Google ranking as well as your online reputation.

One of the main tactics these black hatters use is to create spammy or low-quality links to your website – lots of them. This is also called negative SEO. In general, a high-quality link from a respected and relevant site is seen as a vote for the quality of your site by Google and other search engines, but spammy links have the opposite effect. Bulk link-building services can generate 10,000-20,000 links in just a few days, which is enough to tank any site’s search engine rankings.

If someone is deliberating creating lots of poor quality links to your website, you need to know about it so you can gain back control of your site ASAP. is a tool that can provide you with a list of all your site’s backlinks and metrics that show how valuable or damaging each link is to decide which need to be removed.

The process of getting links removed should be managed by an SEO expert or professional programmer with experience in these matters. It can be a very complicated endeavor. They may be able to send a link removal request to the webmaster of the site where it was generated, but if this doesn’t suffice, and it often does not, you may have to escalate a plan to protect your site from further attacks. The Google Disavow tool allows webmasters to report and submit spammy links to Google and ask the search giant not to take certain links into account when assessing your site.

Need help with your SEO and Google rankings? The WLCO web team can do a deep dive into your site’s performance to determine what improvements are needed.