Before Google’s “Penguin” update back in 2012, having a multitude of links pointing to your website, no matter where they were from, was a positive thing. The combined total of links pointing to you actually helped your SEO.

However, after “Penguin” was released, things changed drastically. Sites with backlinks from completely unrelated sources were penalised, and consequently, backlink removal services started becoming popular. Today, it’s not the number of links that matters as much as the quality of those links.

In our continuing series on Negative SEO, today we’re talking about backlinks.

A backlink, also called an "inbound link" or "incoming link", is created when one website links to another. The link between the two websites is the backlink — so named because it points back to the page that linked to it.

If you have a website and you’re serious about it, you are -- or should be -- very familiar with the term SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). However, did you know there is such a thing as “Negative SEO”?

Negative SEO is the practise of using unethical techniques to sabotage a competitor’s rankings in the search engines. In plain English, it’s a new way of cheating to get to the top.

There seems to be no limit to the number of ways you can improve your search engine rankings. Here are a few more basic tips that you can do yourself and that won’t cost you next month’s profits!