Negative SEO is just as it sounds: it is the opposite of positive SEO, or tactics implemented to boost your website’s ranking in Google and other major search engines. Negative SEO tactics most commonly refer to deliberate attacks against your website.
What are some examples of SEO attacks?
- Backlink (to your site) removal
- Social media hacking or impersonating to ruin your reputation
- Introducing spam links to your site
- Website hacking
- Redistributing content copied from your website
Can I protect my site from negative SEO?
Since remedying your website and reputation after negative SEO attacks is an arduous (and occasionally messy) task, protecting your site against hypothetical attacks is the best way to keep your website safe.
How to protect your website from a negative SEO attack?
Tracking backlinks is a daily task, but it is an essential way to make sure nobody is successfully hacking your website. Sometimes, online enemies will create new redirects or poor quality links that negatively impact your website in the Google search engine ranking algorithm.
Working with an automated service or an experienced SEO firm to check your backlinks daily will significantly reduce the labor, stress, and effort on your end.
In addition to setting up poor quality, fake backlinks, spammers can try to attack your strongest existing links. So, it is vital you set up your website to protect your backlinks from these types of cyber attacks. To do so, keep a list of your best backlinks and monitor their status regularly.
Additionally, add tags to backlinks and when communicating about your backlinks with supporting hosts, correspond with an email address associated with your domain instead of a generic webmail server.
Google Webmaster Alerts
By setting up Google Webmaster alerts, you can be notified immediately if, and when, your website is being attacked or experiencing problems that might have or are likely to have a negative impact on your SEO. Google Webmaster will alert you if your site is being attacked, if Google penalizes you, if your site is not connecting or if your pages are not indexed correctly.
Participate in Friendly Online Relationships
Maintain safe and secure relationships online by engaging in friendly, amicable conversations and situations. The kinder and more fair you are to others, the less likely you are to receive any malice or negative SEO attacks.
Content duplication hurts your website because it reduces the uniqueness of your content – something that Google highly favors. Google is constantly tracking content to give readers the freshest, most original perspectives. Ensure that your website content is not being duplicated by regularly checking your content for plagiarism, using online tools such as Copyscape.
Ensure that you are using the highest security measures possible on your website. Passwords should be strong and include special characters; all files and data should be backed up to a cloud or hard drive regularly, if not automatically and daily. Lastly, you can install antivirus software to keep your site healthy and protected.
Social Media Tracking
Online attackers might try to destroy your reputation by creating social media profiles that mirror your brand but reflect on it poorly. Set up alerts for mentions of your brand or social profile names so that you can verify the nature of the content being published on behalf of your company. If it is clear that somebody is imitating your social media profile, you can report them as spam in an attempt to have them removed.
Negative SEO can quickly destroy all the hard work you’ve put into creating a strong website ranking. The best offensive initiative to take is to set up protective defense measures. To learn more about how to keep your website safe from negative SEO and get started on setting up a defense system, reach out to our team at Executive Digital, today!