What is Negative SEO and How Can You Safeguard Against Attacks?

By Garry Grant

What is Negative SEO and How Can You Safeguard Against Attacks?

Negative SEO involves using black hat SEO not to improve your own rankings, but to destroy the rankings of another site. It’s usually the result of an unhappy competitor, but that’s not always the case. Most people have no problem playing by the rules and supporting one another, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fall victim to an attack.

Learn what you can do to protect yourself, and what you should do if you ever find yourself up against a negative SEO attack on your website.

Google Search Console is Your Best Friend

If you haven’t already, sign into the Google Search Console and set up your website for monitoring. Make sure to set up email alerts, so you are notified if and when Google notices something wrong with your website. The Google Search Console will let you know if:

  • Servers are having connectivity issues
  • Pages are unable to be indexed
  • Malware has been detected on your website
  • Your site has received a manual penalty from Google

Using this alongside Google Analytics can help getting a better look at the big picture of your website activity.

Pay Attention to Site Speed

Your site speed is a major ranking factor. You can use a number of tools like PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom to check how quickly your pages are loading. Keep in mind that 47% of users expect a page to load in two seconds or less, and 40% will abandon sites that take longer than three seconds to load.

If your site is slowing down and you’re not sure why, you should turn to crawling software like Screaming Frog to see if you can find anything that looks suspicious. If you can’t find anything that could be causing the problem, your site may be a victim of forceful crawling. This causes a heavy server load, meaning your site will slow down, and possibly even crash.

If you suspect your site is being attacked with forced crawling, contact either your webmaster or hosting company for help determining where the load is coming from. Only then will you be able to take steps to stop it.

Check Your Backlinks Often

One of the easiest, and therefore most common, negative SEO attacks comes in the form of building a spammy backlink profile. It’s incredibly easy to hire people to build links to a website at a cheap price – and these links are anything but the quality Google wants – and they certainly don’t come naturally.

You can use tools like Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, and Open Site Explorer to manually check your backlinks. But if you’re busy and can afford to automate it, turn to Monitor Backlinks. You’ll get an email when there’s a new backlink on your website, so if you start seeing backlinks you’re not actively seeking, you know you need to take action.

If this happens, create a list of backlinks you want to remove. Try to get the links removed by reaching out to the webmaster, Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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