Negative SEO damages a site by utilizing backlink spamming and malicious backlinks. It is harmful because it can lead to loss of search visibility and even money, and is created by a jealous competitor who wants to lower your rankings.
Sometimes, people can play dirty, sending fake reviews, spammy links, and even hacking your site. The good thing is that you can always prevent these malicious attacks. The following are ways of avoiding potential attacks.
Check Link Audits Regularly
It's crucial that you check your link growth frequently. It will help you spot any suspicious activities quickly. Ensure that your performance graphs remain regular. Any huge rise or drop should raise eyebrows.
Website audits will also help you notice any attacks. Attacks are hard to spot since they are generally insidious. You can perform a manual inspection or use link auditing software to check if your backlink is safe. Report any link that spams your backlink to Google.
Monitor your site speed
You should be worried if your website starts becoming slow abruptly. Use a crawling software to determine why your site is sluggish. If the software can't find anything, then there is a possibility that someone is forcefully making your site to crawl. Forceful crawling can cause crashes because of the heavy server load. You should contact your webmaster or hosting company to determine the source of the load. You can try to find where the load is coming from you are a tech guru.
Look for scraped content
Some people can't develop their content and will, therefore, copy from your website. Scraping has bad implications. Your page may be devalued if the scraped content is indexed before yours. Your page will fall in rank if they notice it.
You should, therefore, use plagiarism tools such as Copyscape to know if someone has scraped your content. You should ask your webmaster to remove your content or even report them to Google if they refuse.
Monitor your Google My Business listing
We work hard to improve our online reputation and conversion rate. It's normal to receive negative reviews since they tell us where to improve. However, sometimes, we may receive a lot of negative reviews out of nowhere. Unless you did something wrong, then you might be a victim of negative SEO (find out more about search engine optimization). Someone might be trying to taint your reputation by sending a lot of fake reviews. Monitor your Google My Business listing and also keep an eye on your online reputation. Check your review summary and flag fake reviews.
Monitor your SERP ranking
You may think that there is no need for checking your SERP ranking. A drop in SERP can be a signal that someone is attacking your site. You can check the performance of your website by using a rank tracking software. It will enable you to monitor your visibility. Check your crawl stats if you notice any drop in your SERP ranking.
Update your Security
Negative SEO is not that common, but hackers increase day in day out. Ensure that you upgrade your software to the latest version, apply all the security guidelines and also protect your users via a CMS software that has powerful encryption.
It's also crucial that you move your website to HTTPS, especially if you are storing vital customer information. HTTPS encryption offers advanced security and might help you improve your ranking. Remember that Google all hacked accounts and you may lose traffic if you are flagged.
Don't use strategies that might hurt your rankings
Only use techniques that are accepted by Google. The following are some of the things that you should avoid:
Avoid buying links
Restrain from linking to penalized websites
Don't publish low-quality content
Restrain from using many anchor texts that contain money keywords
Avoid selling links on your website
Negative SEO is not that common, and Google has measures to curb any problems that may affect your SERP. However, cybercriminals are coming up with ways to sneak through these measures. You should look for the problem and notify Google if you feel that you are a victim of Negative SEO. Check the performance of your website and avoid making enemies. Lastly, single out bad links and remove them immediately.