Negative SEO is the process by which a competitor builds low quality backlinks to other websites in a negative fashion so that it affects rankings in the search engines. This is usually achieved by trying to trigger penalties for the targeted page by pointing a high number of low quality, irrelevant and spammy links to it. It can be detected by a lowering of traffic to the site, change in keyword ranking and an unusual increase in the website’s backlinks.
How to Identify the Attack
- Watch the backlinks
- Check for duplicate content
- Monitor the content and social media mentions
- Conduct backlink audit
- Monitor the website speed
How to Combat the Attack?
If a negative SEO campaign is noticed, then here are the ways to fight it:
- Create Lists with the Backlinks to be Removed – Check the website connections that were created recently and choose the bad ones to be removed by adding tags.
- Remove the Bad Links – After identifying the backlinks to be removed, contact the webmasters of the websites and request for their removal.
- Create a Disavow List – After having identified and made the lists to be removed, submit the data into the Disavow Tool and Google will then remove any credit positive or negative that these connections had towards the site.
- Backlink Auditing Tools – Using tools such as Google Webmaster Tools, Ahrefs, majesticseo.com and Open Site Explorer, spammy connections to the site can be detected.
- Google Webmaster Tools – Google Webmaster Tools is an invaluable resource to monitor the health of your website and other potential security issues. It can also be used to send email alerts if the website is being attacked by malware.
- Ahrefs – This is a tool for monitoring and analyzing backlinks to a specific site that can show new and internal connections, linking domains, anchors, and the best pages of a domain.
- Majestic SEO – It is an analysis tool with one of the largest link intelligence database. The main benefit is that it provides a credible detailed report on website backlinks.
- Open Site Explorer – It can be used to explore all web pages indexed by search engines and gives a huge amount of information about your or your competitor’s website.
How to Prevent Negative SEO
- Build strong domain authority and popularity for the site, which will make it less vulnerable to attacks
- Secure the website from malware and hackers
- Create email alerts from Google Webmaster Tool
- Keep track of social media mentions
- Review the links regularly
- Produce unique content
Security and search engine impressions are extremely important for any website that wants to succeed. Negative search engine optimization is a potentially serious threat that can damage site rankings. However, as long as we practice good search engine optimization tactics by providing quality and relevant information with constant website monitoring, the webpage can be kept safe from malicious attacks.