Contrary to popular belief, negative SEO is real. It can drag your site down in the dumps and send your rankings plummeting. Most site owners play well in the sandbox together. They publish their content and promote it properly. They make the best of things every time an algorithm is updated or released. However, every once in a while, some unscrupulous competitors don’t share your good business ethics. Once your site is a target, they can do massive damage before the smoke even begins to clear. To protect yourself from negative SEO, you must take a proactive approach. It does require some effort, but it is totally do-able. The first time it saves your bacon you’ll be convinced its worth every single second. Here are some things you need to know about how negative SEO really can impact your website and its rankings.
Link Farm Spam
This is the easiest and most common way that many fall prey to negative SEO. The only way to catch it is with regular link auditing. You must constantly monitor your link profile and growth. If you notice a sudden spike or drop, you need to investigate. When there are changes to your link profile and you haven’t engaged in a link building campaign, it a red flag. You may be the target of a negative SEO attack. Unscrupulous anchor text can cost your site rankings and traffic. Undoubtedly, it affects your bottom line. It really is just sad, but people do it. If it happens to you, your rankings will free-fall. Sometimes these characters will hack your links and redirect traffic. This is more difficult to spot. The only way to safeguard your site is with regular link audits.
This is a more obvious attack, but it is harder to fix. When you’re the victim of a crawling attack, your site will become slow and sluggish. It may have trouble loading and can completely crash. Site speed is a key ranking factor, so this one really hurts. Your rankings will likely plummet even before your site crashes. Forceful crawling imposes a heavy server load. It will be painfully obvious when this happens. Tech-savvy whizzes can rectify this with some work. The rest of us need to contact our webmaster or hosting company to get it taken care of.
Content is king but not all content is created equally. Sometimes people will copy your valuable content and use it to beef up their unscrupulous sites. This is known as content scraping. Sometimes they will even attack your site with a link farm to buy some time. The thing is all content must be indexed. If it gets indexed on their site first, then yours is automatically devalued. Plus, you are preoccupied dealing with the link farm. There are tools on the internet that will help you find your copied content. You do have to be proactive about this. Once it is found, send the webmaster a friendly message asking them to remove your stolen content. Stubborn webmasters must be reported to Google Copyright Removal team.
There are other ways that sites can be attacked with negative SEO. The results are pretty much the same with minor differences. The rankings always plummet. Sometimes the site speed slows to a crawl. Other times the site crashes. Links can be manipulated. It all hurts business. Proactive monitoring can save you time and hassle. It also protects your investment and your bottom line.
Read More: Google’s Best Practices – SEO