Negative SEO is a potential threat to all websites, including yours. Your competitors can get the jump on your website and attack its search engine rankings, giving you decreased web visibility as a result of malicious SEO practices, such as hacking and backlink spamming.
Everyone has the right to be afraid of negative SEO. Many websites have already encountered this kind of threat. The worst part is that solving a negative SEO issue is no easy task. You have to make sure your website is safe and secure if you want to achieve higher search engine rankings.
On the bright side, preventing negative SEO is much easier than fixing it. Not to mention, Google released a tool that allows you to protect your website from getting attacked and penalised. But before you learn how to protect your website, let’s take a quick look at the definition of negative SEO.
Negative SEO: How Can It Harm Your Website?
Negative SEO refers to the use of black hat techniques to attack other websites. The objective is to choose a rival website and reduce its search engine rankings. As a result, the person conducting negative SEO has a better chance of ranking higher than the other.
In many ways, negative SEO is much worse than black hat SEO. For instance, implementing black hat SEO strategies will only damage your website and online reputation. However, with negative SEO, you are putting other websites at risk, which is much more unethical and inconsiderate to the persons (or “victims” involved).
White hat SEO is the only legitimate SEO practice that will help you maintain the integrity and growth of your website. Your SEO services should follow white hat guidelines if you want to establish credibility and increase your rankings in the long run.
Unfortunately, following white hat SEO will not protect your website from potential threats. To prevent attacks on your website, here are some tips that should help you defend your search engine rankings and online reputation.
How To Protect Your Website From Negative SEO?
1. Use Google Webmasters
Check your website for signs of potential threats. Use Google Webmasters, a web service tool that allows you to check the indexing status of your website. The best part about utilising Google Webmasters is that it will alert you and send an email if your website is in danger.
Google Webmasters will notify you if the following scenarios take place:
- Malware is attacking your website
- Your website is experiencing unstable network connectivity
- You are getting a penalty from Google
Take note that not all alerts are a sign of a potential attack. However, you should make sure whether or not your website is in danger. Enable your notifications in the settings so Google Webmasters will send you an email whenever your website is encountering unusual activities.
2. Protect Your Backlinks
Did you know that some people pay experts to attack other websites? It’s an unethical profession, but it is very much real. Spammers can even take your best backlinks if you are not careful. How does this happen, anyway?
In this scenario, a person will contact you and ask for your full name. Afterward, he or she will request the webmaster to remove your best links. For that reason, you should never give your full name. You can also protect your backlinks by using the email for your domain when communicating with the webmaster. Doing so will prove that you work for the website, so no one else can pretend to be you and tamper with your links.
Monitor your backlinks from time to time so you can see if they are still present. You can also filter your backlinks based on their performance to make monitoring more efficient and manageable.
3. Monitor Your Content
Duplicate content is a black hat SEO technique that people can utilise to get better rankings and attack other websites. There is no official penalty for copying content from other web pages. However, if someone copies your content, they could get better web visibility compared to your website.
Since duplicate content can affect your SEO, you need to monitor your website once in a while to see if other pages share similar content. However, when checking other web pages for duplicate content, you should know the difference between sharing and plagiarising. You can let others share your content since it can benefit your SEO, but at all costs should they never make an exact copy of your hard work.
Most types of negative SEO attacks are uncommon, but that does not mean your website is 100% safe. Monitor your site frequently to see if your rankings are at risk. Your SEO rankings are on the line, so you should be on the lookout for threats against your website at all times!
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