We are working on negative SEO, but for a good cause

Note: This article was translated from the Slovak original.

It’s not a secret that we have a problem with extremism in Slovakia. The hatred, the cruelty or racist comments are spreading through the social networks unbelievably fast.

But we don’t want to talk about this topic in our article. Instead, we’d like to discuss SEO. While it might not seem like it, even in our industry, it is possible to fight against extremist opinions. How?

President’s call

In April 2017, our president, Andrej Kiska, issued a challenge against extremism. He tasked all young and creative minds to start doing something to reverse our bad situation. The goal was to create a web page, an application, a program or whatever, that could help share less negative thoughts on the internet.

Since this call to action,139 amazing projects accepted his challenge. Even our Spotibo team got involved. We decided to run negative SEO against extremist portals and spread the light about nofollow links.

Have you already found out how? No? Nevermind, I will explain.

Our founder and brain of the project, Janko, is a little bit weird. Sometimes he just Googles for different keywords, looking out to see who is ranking well. Afterwards, he analyzes those websites.

I am just kidding. He is actually not really that weird, but a very upright SEO professional. In fact, the data that he gathered was able to provide some really interesting results. While participating in these “free time activities,” he found out that conspiracy and hate-filled websites are ranking very well in the search engines.  

Extremist portals are ranking high

Imagine that somebody is looking for information about the Holocaust, and the first search results are websites of extremists, who advocate such an action. This content might influence the thinking of less savvy and more confused readers.

Now, you are probably wondering why these websites are ranking so well. Tons of large, authoritative websites are linking to them. But unfortunately, they don’t realize the harm in it. They just want to point out the conspiracy website, and that’s how they unwillingly support them in the eyes of the search engines. We want to change this.

What we are going to do about it?

The committee for this challenge chose the best five projects that received following support from the experienced entrepreneurs. We didn’t get between those five projects, but we were super close. However, after talking to competent people, we were merged with one of the winning projects, which is called Konspiratori.sk (Conspirators).

The initiative of this project was created to protect advertisers that advertise on display searches in Adwords. The website konspiratori.sk creates the list of conspiracy, deceptive or misleading web pages. Advertisers can then download this data and add it to their list of websites, where they don’t want to display their ads.

That’s why our projects are complementary to each other. We can use their list to accomplish our goal as well.  

We created a landing page on the website konspiratori.sk, where we explain how to stop showing misleading content in the search results. The page serves for all content creating portals. Besides the basic information, we also help them to set up nofollow link on their pages.

But the biggest task is just ahead of us. We have to teach those portals either not to create backlinks to the conspiracy websites or to use nofollow attributes.

At the same time, we are going to perform negative SEO. We will inform the portals that they are linking to the misleading content, and we will ask them to make it right.

We believe that thanks to our activity, we can achieve fewer extremist and conspiracy websites in the search results.

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