While there are very nominal talks about negative SEOs between webmasters, They are certainly highly malicious and, has the potential to destroy your web presence. A negative SEO, is an attempt by a competitor or an enemy, to lower your site rankings.
The most commonly used negative SEO type is, the black hat tactic.
Your competitor, or any one who has a resentful feeling for you, can put bad backlinks to your website. This will indicate to the Google’s Penguin Algorithm that, your website is malicious and not legit.
Eventually, google will penalise you, though you haven’t used any black hat SEO yourself and, it was an attack by your competitor or enemy.
To avoid possible threats of negative SEOs coming from malevolent people,
Consider remembering these 7 important things-
1.Inquire that, are you really being spammed?
It is important to thoroughly inquire that, whether you are truly under attack by a negative SEO or not. Most of the time, you’ll find that you are not. Doing negative SEO is not a bread and butter task, It takes a lot of coding expertise and resources to perform such attacks.
There are very less number of sites being attacked by a negative SEO.
Your competitor or enemy would surely prefer slapping you rather than spending time and resources on spamming you!
It is not necessary that links you are skeptical about, can be a negative SEO attempt.
If you are seeing an unnecessary downfall in your ratings and traffic,
These can also be the possible reasons for it,
- A breach in google webmaster’s guidelines by over-optimisation of your site or usage of the black hat tactic.
- Dynamic changes in your site.
- Algorithm updates which stirs up the SEO world.
- Loosing of good links instead of gaining bad ones.
After considering these reasons, you would surely find an answer.
If you come to the conclusion that, these factors are not contributing to the downfall of your site’s rankings,
Then the possibility is that, you are under a negative SEO attack.
- Use disavowing
Google has released a tool for tackling negative SEO attacks, And preventing the innocent people to rank low in the search engines. It is know as the ‘Disavowing’ tool.
This simply means that, you are telling google, clear and loud that,
‘Hello Google, I have been seeing these unnecessary links on my website, I don’t know anything about these and, I would insist that you don’t count them into my rankings’.
This way, you can save yourself from being penalised and getting low on the search rankings.
This will also indicate to the google’s security team that, You are aware of whats going on on your site in the matter of backlinks.
If any query pops out in the future regarding your site,
They’ll surely not consider it as your fault and, won’t penalise you.
- Consider securing your admin login
Securing your house is a better option than eradicating thieves from your town!
Similarly, securing your website is the best option to protect it from negative SEO threats.
First, start by your hosting. Try limiting the access you have given to your hosting service, of your files.
Keep your admin login details safe and never trust anyone with your details. Build a strong password which would be hard to guess and make out. Change your password and username from time to time so that, nobody could know your details and you could prevent leakage.
If you are using wordpress, consider removing the ‘wp’ prefix and add some other prefix.
This would make it impossible for people to know about your hosting service.
Also, never share your login details via email. Your email box could be hacked and the details can be accessed.
- Perform backlinks audit frequently
Backlinks audit is the best way to protect your website from negative SEO attacks. Backlink audit is simply finding out links which are good and links which are bad.
You can use ‘monitor backlinks’ to filter the ‘do follow’ links on your website. These links are what google likes. You can try removing other types of links.
Try using Moz metrics to find out the spam scores of the backlinks. Links with high spam score should surely be removed. Also try checking the domain authorities of the backlinks. This way you can find the bad links out of the good ones.
Regular audit of your site can surely save you from falling into the pit of negative SEOs.
- Check you site’s loading speed.
If you notice that your site is lagging and, shifting towards the slower side, And, you have no idea about the possible reasons for this, Then, you can be a victim of forceful crawling.
Forceful crawling will slow down your site’s speed.
Your site will start taking too much load and could eventually crack.
It is important that you contact your web hosting service about this sluggish behaviour of your site.
This could save you a lot of harm.
- Check for scraped content
Scraping is a commonly used malicious tactic by the hackers. Scraping is lifting content from one site and putting it to your own.
If a hacker is scraping your content, they can attack you with link farming which will cause your site to be reported as spam.
The repercussions of link farming can be serious.
If you’re scraped content ranks higher than your own website, google can deem your page as a spammy and non-valuable one.
You could use tools like copyscape to find out whether your content is plagiarised or not.
Then, you could connect to the scraper and tell them to remove your content.
If they refuse or don’t respond, you can forge them under the copyright removal section of Google.
- Build a strong online reputation.
A strong online reputation can help in preventing you from possible attacks. Also, a strong online reputation will help you recover after an attack.
Your name is your own, and cannot be altered with. Use your name as your brand or domain name to ensure safety.
Similarly, your social presence is important, in order to determine your reputation. If you are reputed on the social media, possibility is, the attacker would back off. Also, social media reputation can help your recover after an attack.
Content is the key. Your content should be up to the mark. This will also help protect you from possible attacks.
You can get more Tips from here: 10 Best Personal Online Reputation Management Tips
There are myriads of ways in which an attacker can attack your site. By keeping in mind the above mentioned factors, you can protect your site from possible threats. Keep your site up to date and regularly monitor it to prevent yourself from being attacked with negative SEOs.
Author Bio: Aella Johns is an SEO executive working with Ranking By SEO. She has been writing articles on many topics related to SEO, link-building, social media marketing, and many more.