The competitive industry of SEO or Search Engine Optimization has made rapid progress in the current times. An in-depth understanding of it is crucial for businesses to increase their website traffic and brand awareness.

Today, online marketers are adopting dramatically informed strategies to rank high in Google and other search engine platforms. Nothing is as easy as it was three years ago.  However, this field has few loopholes as well, like the existence of negative SEO, which is a legitimate danger for all.

Since Black Hat SEO is hard to operate and execute, the rise of the Negative Website SEO is uncontrolled. It has the power to sabotage a website, creating other substantial staggering losses. This way, it has become one of the most defining challenges of our time. 

Negative SEO is real

What is Negative SEO?

It refers to the implementation of the techniques of Black hat SEO, withholding the potential of incapacitating the competitor website’s ranking on search engines. A disgruntled competitor probably undertakes this malicious attempt, as these attacks are detrimental to the site. 

The classification of various types of Negative SEO –

  • Hacking the website/Gambling
  • Attaching toxic backlinks to the website
  • Scrapped Content or Content Duplication
  • Use of indecent keywords
  • Creating a fake social media profile or handles 

After Google released the ‘Penguin Algorithm’, in the year 2007, it has enabled online marketers to put a restraint on harsh, negative SEO to a huge extent.

It directly penalizes websites that adopt manipulative means for link building. The ‘disavow tool’ by Google also warns site owners about malicious and troubled links. 

All these upgrades have brought to the forefront those websites, which use shady means to manipulate Google rankings. Although Black Hat SEO is fading, the tactics surrounding Negative SEO continues to stay under strong focus.

The danger is real – Negative SEO. The tech master, Neil Patel, says that if you conduct a detailed search for the term “negative SEO” on Fiverr (an online marketplace), there will be over 15000 results of people offering to do your job for just $5.

It can completely tamper weeks and months of your hard work related to the website performance anomalies and ranking.

What is Negative SEO

So, to avoid unnecessary complications, here is what you can do. Website security is of core importance. Hence, you must know how to keep your website protected from the impact of fake reviews and free from unsuitable backlinks. Here are some authentic measures that you can adopt. 

1. Perform regular inspection for backlinks

The way spammers or hackers go about with Negative SEO is by building low quality, bad and mediocre links for the particular website. This is why performing daily audits is necessary to check and monitor backlinks. This way, you can also thwart all probable attacks by external parties.   

2. Search duplicate content

Prevention of content scraping should be prioritized to avoid the pitfalls of Negative SEO. Remove plagiarized content to avoid indexing on junk domains. This way, your website linked to Ecommerce SEO will not lose its value. 

Also, for easy detection, you can utilize reliable software like Copyscape or Grammarly to check existing content on the website. Consequently, you can mail the webmaster to remove the content immediately. Even distribution of content is necessary across other viable websites too.

3. Looking for Spikes in Traffic

If your website goes through an explained drop in traffic, it is the result of certain unethical SEO practices. Use Google Analytics to find out factors causing your website to lag in speed.  

Google is a professional when it comes to detecting negative SEO.  It tracks visitors, paying attention to your paid advertisements, emails, and other channels as well. 

Forceful crawling can cause crashes due to the high load on the server. Your job is to find the perpetrators by yourself.

Use the following tools –

  • Website Grader by HubSpot
  • GTMetrix
  • PageSpeed Insight by Google
  • Page Speed Optimization Tool by Varvy

4. Check Google My Business

If the concerned business is registered with Google My Business, you should be extra careful about spammers infiltrating your work with negative reviews. Online brand building is crucial for long-lasting customer loyalty and reputation. 

Notice any fake reviews? Report them immediately.

  • First, conduct an extensive search about the business on Google Maps
  • Select your own business from the thousands of results
  • Click your mouse on the ‘Reviews’ column
  • Flag all the fake, inappropriate reviews
  • Lastly, fill out the detailed report form

The same goes for negative reviews on social media handles too. 

5. Set Email Alerts

This is useful whenever –

  • A manual penalty is received from Google
  • You have server connectivity issues
  • The Pages are non-indexed
  • There is a malware attack  
Set Email Alerts

You can also set alerts if you are using the Google Search Console. The leveraged utilization of it will monitor the safety of the website automatically. 

6. Password Protection Improvement

Security of the website is crucial. This is why you should know the techniques for strengthening your website through the creation of a strong password. The two major areas to noticed are –

  • Generate powerful passwords with the right sequences of letters, numbers, and symbols 
  • Two-factor authentication plugin 

Also, keep backups of the website to boost security. This way, you can restore your assets whenever needed. 

  • Use SSL Certificate

Google takes information security with the seriousness that it deserves. Google will continuously ensure that it ensures the protection of web visitors. To ensure that usually accomplished, in 2014, Google reported that HTTPS would be utilized as a crucial ranking factor. This meant that websites with an SSL certificate would rank higher than the sites without SSL (without HTTPS).

CONCLUSION

Negative SEO is indeed very harmful. Hence, prior preparation is the best medicine to tackle it. Although the aftermath and its scopes depend on various preconditions, constantly checking your website performance through the means of rightful tools will ensure that the negative results bounce back. Learning from these experiences is good, but you should never allow it to turn into a reality. 

Alexia Barlier
A WP Life

Hi! We are A WP Life, we develop best WordPress themes and plugins for blog and websites.

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