Negative SEO peril is old but cynical. People wonder how their site ranking can get ruined through this. But, if you are serious about your brand online, a proactive measure is needed. Following a great transformation in the SEO industry three years ago, marketers have radically changed their marketing strategies. It has now become more difficult to rank in Google for competitive keywords since this change in the industry.
Execution of black hat SEO has become harder as well as unlikely to yield the required result. With this, comes the evolution of a new SEO technique known as Negative SEO. A guide has been provided to enable you to spot this negative search engine optimisation activity on your website. Also, you are going to find out the meaning of this new technique and understand the best way to defend yourself against the attack on your site. You should never ignore this if you are serious about building your brand on the internet and maintaining its safety.
Also Read: 7 Types of Branding and Marketing Strategies
What is Negative SEO all about? This is a falsehood activity targeted at reducing search result ranking of a competitor. This activity is capable of ruining your site rankings and lowering your revenue at the end of the day. This practice of making use of ignominious techniques and black hat to sabotage search engine ranking of a website must not be allowed by anyone that wants to build his or her brand online. This attack can take different forms, and some of them include:
- Website hacking.
- Building spamming links on your site.
- Copying and distributing the content of your website online.
- Pointing links with contents that do not relate to your products like poker online, Viagra and others.
- Ruining your persona online using fake social profiles.
- Deleting the most powerful backlinks on your website.
Now that you know the forms in which black hat and unethical techniques are used to ruin the reputation of your website, it is good to find out how to protect yourself from it. This content has been made to provide you with information on ten essential tips on how to defend yourself against Negative SEO.
Carry Out Link Audits Regularly
Not only is routine link audits a nice practice for online business, it is also a way to defend your site from Negative SEO. You can always spot suspicious activity at the earlier stage when you monitor the growth of your link profile regularly. Also, watch the graph for a sudden drop, or rise in ranking without an effect on link building; this is a negative sign that your site is probably under attack.
Pay Close Attention To The Speed Of Your Site
Early detection of unethical activity on your site can save you from huge future damages. One of the ways to defend yourself against black hat technique in is by keeping a keen eye on the speed of your site. Getting an increase in ranking can be feasible when your site is running at high speed. When you discover the sluggish movement of your site, you should know that something suspicious is happening. Run crawling software on your site to find out what the problem is. Also, if you have forceful crawling, it is possible that you will not detect anything with crawling software. When that happens, quickly contact webmaster or hosting company to fish out what the problem is.
Search Your Website For Any Scrapped Content
Scrapping is an act of copying or lifting website content to another site. Generally, the attacker will claim ownership of the content causing more frustration. They in most cases join this with spamming using link farming on the target site. If the copied content got indexed on the copied site before yours, then your site can be devalued. To defend yourself against this check for plagiarism on your site using Copyscape, and if you find any instantly request for the removal of your content by webmaster if they fail to respond or refuse to remove it, report them with through filling of Copyright Removal form by Google.
Keep An Eye On Google My Business Closely
After building a reputation on your brand online, the last thing you will ever want is bad reviews that will tarnish your reputation. When you discover an inflow of negative reviews, it is likely your reputation is under attack. You must act fast to avoid your reputation being dragged through the mud and tarnished. To defend yourself, keep an eye on the listing of Google My Business as well as internet reputation with the help of social media listening software. To flag as well as report those fake reviews do the following:
- Search Google Maps for your business.
- From the search results, choose your business.
- Check in the left panel and click on the Review Summary, then select Reviews.
- Flag all fake reviews there.
- Fill out report form to report fake reviews.
Scrutinise SERP Ranking of your website
Regular tracking and scrutiny of SERP ranking can help defend you against a reduction in ranking caused by malicious intent. To ensure your website is defended against Negative SEO proactive measures are required. You can do this by scrutinising your SERP Ranking. Utilise the effect of software for rank tracking to keep an eye on your site visibility. If you discover sudden drops in ranking, navigate to the crawl stats of your website using Google Search Console. Make sure that your robot.txt is properly set up.
Set Up Email Alerts And Google Webmaster Tool
If you set up your Google Email Alert and Webmaster properly, you will be sure of receiving alerts when any of the following happens:
- Suspected malware attack on your website.
- Presence of de-indexed pages on your website pages.
- Connectivity problems on the server.
- Manual penalty coming from Google.
That means if you do not set up your Webmaster tools well you will be missing out from the alerts that could have to save you from disaster caused by Negative SEO.
Monitor The pathway of Backlinks Profile Of Your Website
To make sure spammers do not succeed in ruining your site ranking on the search engine, keeping track of backlinks of your site profile is a smart move. Use tools such as MonitorBacklinks.com or Ahrefs regularly to check when another person is building links to your site. This tool is made to send you alerts when your site loses or gains backlinks thereby helping you monitor the activity of unscrupulous folks.
Conclusion on Negative SEO
For all the websites or brands that want to succeed online, two things are paramount. These are search engine impression and security. Creating email alerts through Google Webmaster Tools is a good way to start in defending your site from Negative SEO. Then, always keep a good record of your backlinks using Monitorbacklinks.com, or a similar tool. Ensure proper security for your site against malware with the help of Google Authenticator Plugin made for WordPress. More so, use Copyscape.com tool on your site content to check for scrapping or duplication. Check the credibility of your site on the Mention.net to watch against fake reviews. Make sure you monitor your website speed and up time.