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How to Protect your Website from Negative SEO?

by | SEO | 9 comments

negative SEO
How to protect your website from negative SEO attacks

What is Negative SEO?

Negative SEO  is the bad practice of using black hat and unethical techniques to sabotage a competitor’s search engine rankings. Negative SEO attacks can be of various forms: Hacking your website. Building thousands of spammy low quality back links to your website or putting many fake negative reviews on Google or other social media platforms from various IPs.

Negative reviews are not for the famous anymore! Any brand can be trolled or lampooned on the internet, and the worst part of the process is that online users do not take such negative content with a pinch of salt. The lack of credibility among many brands results in a complete disregard for the truth, whatever that may be. Online users quickly assume that the negative reviews speak the truth. This hurts not just the web traffic to a new website, but also the brand value that is in its nascent stages.

That is what makes combating against negative SEO such a prerequisite for every website. If you have a new website ready to launch or its out in the air for some time now, you need a plan to fight back negative SEO.

Boost Up Security of your Website

The first part of this plan is to boost up security on your website. Hacking is a more sophisticated art nowadays as compared to even a couple of years back. Hackers can smoothly enter your website and make damaging changes. You need a strong defense mechanism against these hackers. They will play havoc with your entire SEO strategy.

Focus more on Positive Brand Building

You need to make your brand name more visible than it already is. Negative views and reviews about brands crop up when online users are not getting enough information and updates from the horse’s mouth, that is the brand spokespersons. You need to get these updates and views out there on social media platforms. Let the consumers interested in your brand name find you on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the likes. Let them know that your brand is accessible and so, believable. That is very important to wall out negative SEO.

Do a detailed link audit & backlink analysis

Use the Disavow Links tool of Google with more regularity. Believe in the adage: You are known by the company you keep! When you have incoming links from dubious sources, your brand name gets affected and online users have an adverse view about your business. Use this tool to disavow entire domains that bring in spam traffic to the website. Remember that such artificial influx of visitors do no good to your website. On the other hand, they undermine your brand’s presence with their negative shadow. Get rid of such company to fight negative SEO effects. Read how to analyze your backlinks and useful tips on link audit

Negative SEO Can be Avoided through a Few Effective Steps

One of the biggest worry of the owner of a website remains, if other businesses hurt the ranking of his /her site by spamming it. There are a handful of things that can be done to avoid the menace. The head of Google’s anti-spam team Matt Cutts throws light on the most effective of them.

  1. Google designs its anti-spam algorithms in a way that they cannot be used to hurt its competitors.
  2. Bad backlinks have to be avoided. Such link networks often have negative influence on Google rankings, which includes automatically created backlinks in blog spam, forum profile sites and links that are often created by a tool.The disavow links from Google address negative SEO
  3. Negative SEO is usually not welcomed in any website. So, chances of negative SEO through spam link building are bleak. The disavow link tool gives Google a list of backlinks that are needed to be avoided by the ranking algorithm. This is done through enabling the webmasters.Attention diverted from negative SEO can be well invested in other things
  4. Damaging other’s site with spam links does not help anybody much. In fact, the links help both the owner of the linked site and the targeted site to disavow spam links. The disavow link tool might not help you much. Google usually ignores any sort of spam link. The disavow link tool does not have much role to play in increasing the rankings of the websites. Only good backlinks can increase the rankings of your website. But, just removing the bad backlinks is not enough. Only a handful of good backlinks can also outweigh a large number of bad backlinks.
  5. Make your website earn a strong position on Google

Make sure, Google is indexing all the pages of your website correctly. The website audit tool in SEOprofiler helps you in checking it properly. This service is available from Google for only $1. You need to make sure that all your pages are error free before starting the optimizing process. Apart from the website audit tool, the SEOprofiler has other tools for web page optimization, keyword research, link management, social media, result checking, link building and many more.

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Debajyoti Banerjee is the Founder, Director & CEO of Seven Boats - A leading digital marketing agency & digital marketing training institute in India since 2011. He is a Google & LinkedIn Certified Digital Marketer & Trainer, Brand Strategist, Consultant & Entrepreneur. Debajyoti has 17+ years of domain expertise & successful track records in Digital Marketing & emerging technologies. Learn more Schedule an appointment with Debajyoti Banerjee

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9 Comments

  1. Rajkumar

    Its really an essential information. Thank you for sharing it. New comers in SEO will find it very useful.

    Reply
  2. AAHANA GUPTA

    Although it is claimed that it is uncommon, but the numbers are going higher as time passes. We need to prepare in advance to guard our websites from such attacks.Sir are google algorithms not capable of reading them ? does negative SEO fall under the category of black hat activities??

    Reply
    • Debajyoti Banerjee

      Thank you Ahana for your comment. Yes sort of… you can say it comes under black hat techniques to intentionally downgrade search ranking of competitors.

      In general, it’s very, very hard to bring down a white hat site/page ranking well in the search results. Although Google isn’t perfect at catching spam, they seem to be excellent (almost prescient) at detecting the intent of links.

      Google can recognize patterns of unnatural links for a website and sometimes intimate through search console messages but it is always advisable that you should regularly check your own website’s back link profile from Google search console and as soon as you see anything unnatural that you have not done, inform Google via disavow tool. Further, you can read here – https://moz.com/blog/what-if-my-competitors-point-spammy-links-to-my-site

      Reply
  3. Aman Shukla

    Yes Black Hat SEO is giving a negative impact on our website ranking or growthing. We need to keep distance from Black Hat SEO. Some of the marketers prefering this for getting quick ranking and branding the business or websites but its look like a cyber crime in the eyes of google.

    Reply
    • Debajyoti Banerjee

      Google treats black hat mercilessly if detected. So for a brand or for an already trusted website, we should never use any of the blackhat techniques such as link buying, getting back links by link farming, unusual backlink profile from PBN sites (private blog network), or using automated backlink software to get thousands of dofollow backlinks with same anchor texts in short span or using too much keywords in page title, content, using automated generic internal link building by tools/plugins (always it’s advisable to go for manual interlinking). Also do not use hidden text, doorway pages or misleading 301 redirects on website.

      Reply
  4. Tanviya Mudi

    Very informative content sir..if anybody who did not study digital marketing can understand this too.

    Reply
  5. kavita verma

    really this is a lot of information. thank you giving it .

    Reply

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