In today’s world, it can be seemingly more difficult to stay ahead of the competition. Naturally, companies adopt several SEO techniques in order to gain an advantage over others. While some of these techniques are fair, others can be deemed as unethical and unfair. One technique deemed as very unfair, is negative SEO. Negative SEO is the practice of harming website rankings by making use of malicious tactics. This technique is primarily deployed by competitors, although it can also be used by hackers and unassuming employees.
Negative SEO attacks
Negative SEO attacks are basically Black Hat tactics that will have a significant impact on your search engine rankings. One of the most common ways competitors can do this is by adding low-quality links or videos to your website. If you are not aware and allow visitors to post malicious links of your website, this can reduce your search engine ranking to a great extent. Another way that you could suffer from negative SEO is if a competitor creates a fake social media profile on your behalf and spreads negative information. In such cases, malicious and harmful hashtags are used to undermine your business. Finally, competitors can pay black hat SEO’s to post do-follow links to your website on hundreds of spammy, questionable and low quality websites.
Dealing with Negative SEO
Use Free Online Tools
There are several ways to prevent and deal with negative SEO if you find yourself to be a victim. The first way is to make use of Google Webmaster Tools. These tools can be used to set up email alerts. These alerts could warn you about malicious links being posted on your website and elsewhere. It can also notify you if there are any issues in terms of server connectivity. Once you can see where the negative links are, you can contact the host of the website and ask them to remove the link. If you contact them with no luck, then using Google’s disavow tool will notify google to ignore the links of your choice.
Check Your Website Settings & Security
The second method is to look at the security arrangements, and settings for your website. There are several tools available that could help protect your site from malware. You will also want to check your sites settings, if you use a CMS platform such as WordPress. Negative SEO’s can leave spam comments on all of your site’s posts if you allow it – so make sure you’ve got your site set up so that you have to approve any comments before they are posted.
Monitoring Brand Mentions
Thirdly, you should keep track of your social media mentions, and any reviews of your business or website. Google takes into account your online brand presence, and therefore knowing what is being said about your business online is a great way to identify negative SEO at an early stage.
Link Removal Tactics
As previously mentioned, you will want to remove any toxic links. Although this can be a time-consuming task, it is important to improve your SEO ranking. Malicious links can have a serious impact on your rankings, and they need to be removed as soon as possible. If you are not open to the idea of removing them manually, there are various software programs that can help you by removing these links automatically.
In order to maintain growth in your site’s SEO, it is important that you monitor it on a regular basis. If you see any significant drop in rankings, it could be possible that you have been a victim of negative SEO. In these cases, you will need to take urgent action and ensure that malicious links are removed from your site and elsewhere on the web. If you need assistance in dealing with negative SEO and the repercussions of it, why not get in touch to see how we can help you.