The entire SEO industry has experienced a major transformation over the past few years. Many marketers have changed their strategy according to Google the update. A few years ago, a high ranking in Google for competitive keywords was not that much of an easy task because black SEO is harder to execute and deliver low results. So Let’s have a look at what is negative SEO and how we protect our site?
What is negative SEO?
Negative SEO is a set of activities to lower the competitor’s website ranking on Google SERP. Negative SEO refers to a set of practices using black hat and unethical techniques to damage competitors ranking on search engines. Negative SEO happens when someone or company intentionally wants to drop your ranking on specific keywords. Let’s look at how Negative off-page and On-Page SEO affects our website ranking.
Negative Off-Page SEO
Negative off-Page SEO targets the site without internally interrupting it. Here are the most common techniques that take place in negative SEO.
One of the very common techniques is scraping in this scraper, falsifying the content. It involves copying your website content to the other website. According to the Google Panda update, duplicate content can be penalized. So when Google finds the duplicate content across multiple sites it will pick one website and rank. So it will affect your website ranking.
One or two spammy backlinks will not hurt your website. That’s why negative SEO attacks usually involve links from interconnected websites or link farms. These links use the same anchor text to hurt your website. Google penguin update strictly against the link farm it will penalize websites who’re creating backlinks through link farm.
This technique also comes into SEO through heavy crawling disparate site owners try to crash competitor site by forcefully crawling it and causing heavy server load. If Google bot is not able to crawl your site due to slow response so you will lose some crawl budget also your site will de-ranked from SERP.
Negative On-Page SEO:
Website Hacking(per se):
When hackers don’t have an idea to hurt your website SEO, they directly attack per se on your website. Google always provides safe experience to its users so if a website is suspected to be hacked they may de-rank or show some message as in a snippet in SERP. Example;
Modifying Website Content:
In this technique hackers change your website content and add some spammy content, this attack can also be very difficult to spot. Regular site audit tools like website auditor are the best way to spot this attack.
Methods to prevent negative SEO:
Negative SEO includes all the above activities that may negatively affect your search engine ranking performance. Here are the methods to prevent negative SEO from affecting your website.
- Link Auditing: To prevent negative SEO you should perform link auditing regularly. This is the safest way to stay safe from malicious attacks. You can use semrush, aherf, and open site explorer to audit your links.
- Monitor Your Website Speed: As we already know that website speed is a key factor in SEO ranking. If you have discovered that your website speed is not steady and it is slower than the normal without any apparent reason, you should start looking for any suspicious activity on your website. This happens because of a heavy crawling attack. To prevent this you should contact a webmaster and hosting company to try to find the real cause of your website’s slow page loading speed.
Avoid Content Scraping: Google hates content scraping. If any site is using duplicate content, google picks one site out of the two and ranks it. So you should be worried if your content is distributed on multiple websites. You can use plagiarism tool copyspace, quetext, etc to find copied content. If you find that your content has been scraped, contact the webmaster to take it down.
- Upgrade Your Security: Negative SEO is not that much common but cyber-attacks increase day by day. You should make sure that your software is up to date, you apply all security patches to your software and your CMS is equipped with powerful encryption to protect your users.
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