The landscape of SEO has shifted dramatically over the past few years. As such, many experts have changed their strategies dramatically in their efforts to rank highly on Google. With competitive keyword ranking becoming harder and harder each day, the use of “negative SEO” to target competitors’ websites is becoming more and more common.
This guide will help you understand negative SEO, and how you can ensure your business doesn’t become a victim. Serious business owners take note: if you wish to keep your business safe online, this is something you simply cannot ignore.
Negative SEO: What is it?
Negative SEO is the practice of using black hat cyber techniques to sabotage a competitor’s rankings within Google’s search engine. Negative SEO attacks are deemed unethical and can take on a number of different forms like:
– Website hacking
– Plagiarising your content and distributing it across the internet
– Fake profile creation or “troll” accounts to tarnish the reputation of your website
– Removing the backlinks of your website
– Attributing hundreds of thousands of spammy links to your website
– Directing negative links to your website like online poker, sexual aid medication, etc.
Protect Your Website from Negative SEO
Is Negative SEO a threat?
Undoubtedly, yes. Regardless of how difficult it is to get a straight answer from Google, just ask any business that’s been affected by negative SEO and you’ll hear the same answer: it has ruined our online marketing efforts entirely.
Negative SEO is a tried and tested way to sabotage your competitor’s search rankings. Even the best web design company will face some type of SEO scrutiny from competitors. However, one thing is for certain: preventing negative SEO is much easier than fixing it.
How can I protect my business from negative SEO?
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to actively protect your online business presence from negative SEO and most importantly, mitigate any potential damages.
1. Use Google Disavow
Google has released an internal tool aptly named the disavow tool. This tool informs you of any spammy, disingenuous, or downright malicious links that have been attributed to your website. You can also activate email alerts directly from Google that will notify you anytime a malware attack occurs on your website, or if you’ve received a manual penalty.
2. Use Search Console
You can also use other tools within Google such as their Search Console. This is a service that allows you to notice indexing errors, as well as numerous other problems within the site, and will allow you to take action in a timely order.
3. Regularly conduct link audits
Conducting regular link qudits is an essential aspect of SEO Services management. Outside of hiring a web development agency, you can use SEO tools like SEMrush to run Backlink Analytics or Backlink Audits directly.
Backlink Analytics is a feature that allows you to assess the quantity and quality of the links, the type of links featured on your website, the subject of the backlink, where the backlink is located, and importantly — the mass growth dynamics of the link.
Backlink Audit is a feature that determines the severity of the domain where the link is located, and the general severity of the domain.
These features are powerful tools in protecting your website from negative SEO, and should be utilised regularly in preventive Negative SEO tactics.
4. Setup a website backup
If your website is hacked, having a backup website is a quick and easy way to revert back to a safe operating standard before the website is compromised. Always have a backup available, and regularly update that back with any relevant content additions to your website to avoid having to start from scratch.
5. Install spam protection
This is a quick and easy way to protect your website from spam. There are numerous strong performing Recaptcha or anti-spam plugins available. A good plugin to start with is Akismet, or if you’re using WordPress specifically: Wordfence.
How can I find the right SEO support?
Protecting your website from negative SEO can seem like a daunting task, and if it all seems too difficult then it’s best to contact professionals. But where to start? You may be looking for the best SEO services Sydney has to offer, and if that’s the case, contact Defiant Digital today. We pride ourselves in not only being the best SEO agency Sydney has on offer but also offer world-class SEO services we know will be hard to beat Australia wide. Get in touch to find out how we can offer protection from negative SEO today.