The whole SEO market experienced a huge transformation in recent years. Subsequently, many online traders changed their marketing strategies drastically.
The ranking in Google is not as easy as it was over the past few years. Since the black hat SEO has not been easy to execute, and its reliability to deliver results has greatly been hampered, a type of SEO called The Negative SEO has emerged.
This guide will help you understand what negative SEO is and how to protect your enterprise from falling victim. If you are serious about protecting your online brand, this is something you cannot afford to ignore.
What is Negative SEO?
Negative SEO is the act of using black hat SEO to sabotage websites and affect their search rankings. A victim of the tactic usually experiences a sudden crash of his website, his speed loading slowly reducing, getting visitors from usual referrers, or getting bombarded with negative online reviews. However, when you are new to SEO, then these terms might not ring a bell.
These negative SEO attacks can take any of the following forms:
- Your website has been hacked
- Receiving numerous spammy links to your site
- Creation of fake social profiles and damaging your reputation online
Is Negative SEO a real threat?
Negative SEO is, without any doubt, a real threat. It is real, and several websites have encountered this threat. Fortunately, preventing it is much easier and cheaper than trying to fix it. Make no mistake about the danger of this threat; it can destroy years of hard-earned high Google rankings. It must be taken and treated with the seriousness it deserves.
Even though black hat SEO tactics are becoming hard to execute today and are widely looked down upon, there will always be competitors who will always resort to these methods. However, it must be noted that the chances of suffering from an actual negative SEO attack are minimal.
When you experience performance anomalies on your website, it is most probably a technical issue.
Nevertheless, one must take necessary caution to safeguard his website against all possible threats.
How can you protect your site from negative SEO?
Below are some measures you can take to prevent attacks and keep your business safe.
Set up Google Email Alerts Tools
Google can send you email alerts under the following circumstances:
- Attack from malware
- When your pages are not indexed
- There is a server connectivity issue
- When getting a manual penalty from Google.
Keep Track of Backlink Profile
This is the most effective way to prevent spam. The commonly used method in which your website gets attacked is from receiving low-quality links or redirects. It is, therefore, crucial to be aware when someone is sending these links to your website. Here, tools such as Ahrefs or Open Site Explorer come in hand.
Protect Your Best Backlinks
Normally, spammers would try to remove your best backlinks. They can do this by calling the website owner of the link, using your details, and then instruct the webmaster to remove the backlinks.
To protect from happening to your website, you can do any of the below:
- When communicating with your webmaster, ensure to only use your domain, rather than using the ordinary Gmail or Yahoo. This will be a way to prove to your webmaster that you are who you claim to be.
- Always use the appropriate tools to monitor your best backlists. You can also add some tags to them so as to easily notice when they get removed.
Monitor Any Duplicate Content
Quality is a religion when it comes to good SEO. Websites with unique and original content usually rank better than those with duplicated content. Always make sure your contents are substantial and relevant, and use tools such as Copyscape to monitor and ensure your content remains on your website alone.
Watch Your Online Reviews
Nothing scares clients more than a flurry of bad online reviews. Therefore, these negative reviews have become a target of negative SEO tactics. If your website is constantly experiencing terrible reviews, it could possibly be from dissatisfied customers or attacks from competitors.
There are tools such as Google My Business and other online review sites that allow you to flag comments that you suspect to be fraudulent. Make use of such tools when your website is under attack from fake reviews.
Don’t Overlook Site Performance
Are you concerned about your website speed performance? Is it frequently crushing? Does it lag irrespective of where or how you are viewing it? If so, then your site’s performance is really terrible and could result from attacks on your server. Hackers can force DDoS attacks to make your website unstable, causing high bouncing rates and frustration among clients.
When this happens, get in touch with your webmaster to fix the problem as fast as possible.
SEO is a vibrant industry. At times, the competition gets very heated and so taking precautions becomes necessary. However, you can significantly reduce the damages from negative SEO by putting measures to protect your website.