The ranking of your website on search engines depends on the quality of the SEO characteristics. While everyone usually focuses on the best SEO strategies and tips to implement, it is also vital to understand what not to do. Negative SEO is a real thing, and you must learn how to protect your website from it. Furthermore, by understanding the don’ts of SEO, you will have a better grasp of the most efficient SEO techniques that will boost your website.
The definition of negative SEO
Negative SEO is a tactic mostly used by hackers to sabotage websites and drop their ranking on Google. They can do it in several ways:
- hacking – if someone hacks into a website, they can negatively alter SEO, lowering the performance of a website; other options include duplicating the content of the website, posting it online, and adding bad links; this can also affect the clients of the website if they don’t realize that it’s a duplicate one;
- fake website reviews – another dirty tactic used to drop someone’s rating online is to post fake website reviews. These reviews are never based on facts and are entirely made up, with the single intent to slander the website’s name and reputation.
- link farms – one of the more common options that people use to increase the number of backlinks for their website is to create link farms or join public blog networks. This is a way for blog owners to share hundreds of links to increase traffic. Since this is not something that Google likes, you should avoid it.
- fake backlink removal requests – website owners sometimes receive a request from a blogger or another website to remove links they used in their articles. Although this happens, there are also cases when an unknown party sends a fake request to remove a backlink, resulting in the loss of traffic and quality content.
If you wish to protect your website from negative SEO, learning how to recognize these threats is the number one step.
How to prevent website hacking?
One of the biggest dangers of being hacked is not knowing that it happened. A hacker could stay hidden for days or weeks, slowly destroying your website, even though you still have control over it.
The best way to detect a security breach is to do website audits and fix any issues you find regularly. If you notice an unusual number of bugs, someone else might have accessed it. With that in mind, set up notifications in the Google console to see if something changes.
It is also a good idea to stay informed about the latest SEO trends that can boost your business. The more quality SEO features you add, the harder it will be for the hacker to mess with all of them.
How to spot and remove fake backlinks?
If someone out there wants to lower your website ranking, they might try to generate thousands of bad links, all leading to your website. It is a dirty strategy, and you must know how to protect against it.
First of all, you need to be present on all social media. Check if your website’s name has been mentioned in a bad way, or if there are any complaints. Also, try to Google your website after clearing browser history, and see what comes up. You might find a link on a suspicious website leading to your home page.
Another good idea is to use SEO tools for bloggers. A backlink audit tool will monitor your backlink profile. Furthermore, regularly check the Authority Score. If you notice that it goes down rapidly, something is not right. It could be a sign you have someone creating fake backlinks. You should also use the disavow file to add bad backlinks and notify Google that it should not look at them. Still, it is quite a bit of manual work, and you will have to take care of them one by one.
How to deal with fake online reviews?
You should always be present on all social media profiles to hunt fake online reviews. People may write nasty things about your business to make you look bad in the eyes of the public.
To prevent that from taking a turn for the worse, you need a team of people who will continuously monitor all posts that include your website’s name. Furthermore, if a bad review shows up, immediately investigate and try to determine if it’s a real one or a fake.
Fake reviews are almost always generic, and they miss a personal touch, so it will be easy to recognize them. Just make sure to address the issues as soon as they appear, and don’t engage in any bad conversation with the person online. That can only harm your business even more.
Keep your website updated
Keeping your website updated is good practice and it’s extremely important. If you want to be up to date regarding new information about potential threats or find useful advice on how to deal with them, you should regularly follow the news from the SEO world. Moreover, try to keep an eye on the latest negative SEO trends as well. You must be familiar with all possibilities, so you don’t get an unpleasant surprise one morning.
Negative SEO explained – protect your website from it by implementing the best practices!
Understanding negative SEO is imperative if you wish to protect your website from it. Reading this article is a good start, but you need more to familiarize yourself with potential threats and solutions. If you are running a business, this is a must. Do not let yourself get caught in an unpleasant and highly detrimental situation that may result in spending thousands of dollars to remedy the issue. Play it smart, and stay ahead of the game!
Jim Bowers is an SEO expert and a freelance blogger in his spare time. He enjoys writing about SEO guides and tutorials to help people stay up to date with the latest trends in the business.