Today, every business wants to increase its online presence by ranking high on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). However, due to millions of websites, it is not possible to get the desired organic search visibility that easily. There is a cut-throat competition going on between websites to get better optimization across digital channels. Many companies work hard to build their online visibility by implementing ethical and right SEO practices. While others choose to do negative SEO attacks to decline the organic search visibility, website traffic, and certainly the revenue of their competitors’ websites.
In this article, we are going to list certain tips that will help you protect your website from negative SEO.
Now let’s first understand the term “negative SEO”.
What is negative SEO?
Negative SEO involves the use of malicious practices by your competitors or hackers to lower the search rankings of your website on Google and other search engines. These attackers use a type of reverse optimization on your website by flooding it with spam links, scraping content, or installing malicious software that harms your website’s performance and online reputation.
This is generally considered a “black hat SEO” tactic to penalise your website by search engines.
Tips to prevent negative SEO attacks
The following are some tips that you can use to protect your website from negative SEO:
Conduct regular link audits on your website
The duplicate or unnatural link building created by spammers can significantly damage your website’s credibility and SEO rankings. Thus, conducting regular link audits is by far the most effective way to detect any suspicious activity occurring on your website. You can check the quality of links through various website audit tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc. However, if you do not know anything about SEO or you do not have an in-house team, you can take the service of any reputed digital agency like Leads Brand Connect to keep your website safe & protected.
Check & remove duplicate and scrap content from your website
Content duplication or scraping is another common tactic used by scammers to reduce your SEO ranking. They accomplish this by copying the material from your website and putting it anywhere on the web. If a search engine indexes the content on spam domains before indexing it on the originating website, the SEO ranking of the originating website will suddenly decline. You can use any plagiarism tool like Duplichecker, Copyscape, etc., to find out if someone has plagiarized your content.
Update your website’s security
If you have not yet shifted your website from HTTP to HTTPS, then you have to do so at the earliest. The main advantage of switching to HTTPS is that it increases the security of your site for your users. It’s more secure, specifically when your website contains any important information about your users. Hacking or cyber-attacks are not exactly negative SEO, but they can affect your website’s off-page and on-page SEO rankings. Make sure to use updated software that is installed with all security patches, and always use CMS software that has strong encryption to protect your users.
Keep an eye on your website speed
Your website’s load speed is one of the key SEO factors for ranking your site in search engines. If you experience a sudden slowdown on your website, it may also be a negative SEO tactic. These spammers put a strain on your web server through “forceful” crawling (a negative SEO strategy), resulting in major website performance concerns. So, you have to keep track of your website’s loading speed. If you encounter this kind of malicious activity, you should immediately contact your hosting provider to determine the source of the problem.
Keep track of negative online reviews
Every business strives to enhance its online credibility, but a wave of negative reviews can drastically sabotage your efforts to establish a trustworthy brand. Your competitors may even use fake reviews as a negative SEO tactic to impact your business’s reputation. Hence, you should always keep an eye on your reviews. If you notice a large chunk of negative reviews coming from unauthentic sources, you can flag them as spam or fake.
Tools you can use to recover from negative SEO
Below are some tools that can help you in recovering from negative SEO:
- Google Webmaster
- Cognitive SEO
- Authority Labs
- Monitor Backlinks
SEO is getting more competitive with each passing day. As a result, negative SEO attacks have become so common these days. The best course of action required for negative SEO recovery is to monitor your entire website, pinpoint the problem before it escalates, and then report it to Google.