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How To Detect (And Deflect) Negative SEO Attacks

If your competitors can’t do as well as you, they’ll work on bringing you down. Yup, you read that right.

SEO is a nasty net. While there are many people genuinely struggling for success, adopting white hat SEO techniques, several minds are figuring out how to cheat the system. And quite unfortunately, cheats are much easier and cheaper than organic growth and efforts.

So, before your competitors benefit from cheating and bring you down, allow us to introduce you to some essential concepts and explain how you can build a defense mechanism to protect your website.

In this post, you’ll be reading about:

  • What is negative SEO?
  • What are the types of negative SEO?
  • How can you deflect negative SEO attacks?

Let’s get started!

What is negative SEO?

By definition, negative SEO refers to an unethical practice adopted by your competitors. When they fail to rank on the first pages, they will do their best to put you down in the search results. They invest money, time, and brain in doing so.

The question arises; why do they do that? Well, it’s simple. When they put you down, they make room for themselves. They rank and make it to the first pages irrespective of their quality.

With that said, you ought to know that Google’s team terms negative SEO ‘a meme’ and denies any effectiveness of negative SEO practices. They believe Google’s algorithm is too smart to be cheated and sometimes companies may feel like blaming negative SEO for little to no results of their SEO efforts.

However, SEO experts and field leads say otherwise. They believe negative SEO is still bringing down lots of websites for real.

In any case, knowing won’t hurt. Explore the next section to understand what negative SEO can look like.

 

Types of Negative SEO Attacks

Some of the common types of negative SEO attacks are as follows:

  • Hacking a website
  • Creating toxic backlinks with spammy anchor text
  • Content copying and mass distribution
  • Removing a website’s links by fake removal requests
  • Fake negative reviews about a website

And there are plenty more ways. You should be able to identify when your haters and unethical competitors adopt these methods.

 

Identifying Negative SEO Attacks

By the rule of thumb, you’ll witness a visible downfall in your traffic when your unethical competitors adopt any of the ill practices listed above.

Other than that, here are a few indicators to help you stay alert:

  • A sudden drop in the rankings of a particular keyword or multiple keywords: Note that this applies only if your rankings for those keywords have been relatively stable for a considerable amount of time.
  • Google Alerts: When you become a victim of negative SEO, you’re likely to receive Google alerts that will notify you about the situation. Google will warn you with a penalty asking you to remove unnatural links or spammy content from your website.
  • A sudden increase in the number of backlinks: If you witness a sudden increase in the number of your backlinks, there’s a high chance you’re being targeted by your competitors with ill practices.
  • Scraped Content: Perhaps, the most solid indicator of negative SEO is scraped content. When your content appears on several other sites, you’re a victim of negative SEO for sure.

 

How do deflect negative SEO Attacks?

You’ve identified negative SEO and recognized what it looks like. But how do you prevent it? How do you keep your competitors from damaging you?

 

Conduct a link detox

To implement this, you ought to know what is a link detox? Link detox basically refers to the tracking of your links using a backlink tracker tool. Identify high-quality and low-quality sites and remove your backlinks from any site that appears to be affecting your ranking negatively or happens to be toxic.

 

Upgrade your security

Set up a two-step verification process as well as other security measures to keep the competitors from hacking your website.

 

Set Up Emails for Google Webmaster Tool

You don’t want to discover you were penalized for an offense, years after it affected your website. Hence, we recommend setting up Goggle Webstore to stay updated all the time.

 

Final Words

All in all, negative SEO can be very damaging for your business. We recommend keeping a keen eye on your competitors and your site’s health. As soon as you notice any of these signs, take measures!

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