How Small Businesses can protect themselves from Negative SEO

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Negative SEOMarketers use various tactics to boost their small businesses. Some of the prominent approaches used these days are SEO, social media, content marketing and others. The integration of these tactics are profitable and give a long-term benefit to SMEs and start-ups. But many websites indulge in the practice of negative SEO, which damages their competitors’ organic search rankings. It occurs when someone makes an attempt to lower a site’s ranking on the search engines.

What is Negative SEO?

If the goal of any business is to achieve the position of Search Engine Result Page (SERPs) for relevant keywords on the search engine, negative SEO is meant to weaken this strategy. The competitors try to damage and manipulate your website’s SEO profile with the help of targeted attacks. Their goal is to classify your site as a spammer on the search engine, which will eventually result in the lowering of your website’s ranking on your search engine.

How to Prevent Negative SEO attacks?

1. Google Webmaster Tools Email Alerts 

Google Webmaster Tools is a must for any website owner as they are highly beneficial in preventing a negative SEO attack. You have to set and verify your site, after which you can sign up for the email address with this tool. Google can send you email alerts when:

  •    Malware is attacking the website
  •    Your pages are not indexed
  •    You have server connectivity problems
  •    You get a manual penalty from Google

2. Protect Your Business Backline

Spammers often try to remove your best backlinks. They contact the website owner of the link by using your name and request the webmaster to remove your sites’ backlink.

To prevent such a negative SEO attack, you can do two things:

  • The website can communicate with webmasters and use an email address from the domain of your site, instead of using Gmail or anything else of the sort. This way, you can prove that the work for your website is authentic, and you’re not someone else who’s pretending to be you.
  • Keep track of your best backlinks. For this, you can use Monitor Backlinks. Go to the list of your backlinks and sort them by page rank or social activity.

3. Keep Track of Your Backlinks Profile

Keeping the backlink profile is an important action that should be taken to prevent spammers from succeeding. More often than not, they will perform negative SEO on your website by redirecting or making low-quality links. It is of vital importance to know when someone is creating links to your site. You can use various tools like Open Site Explorer or Ahrefs from time to time to check if someone is building links or redirecting to your website.

Websites like monitorbacklinks.com are one of the many tools that send you an email alert when your site gains or loses valuable backlinks. Once you have created your account on their website, it will require you to add your domain and connect it to your Google Analytics account.

4. Prevent Attacks From Bad Bots

Bad bots are commonly used for malicious objectives such as credential stuffing, DDoS assaults, data theft, price scraping, and unauthorised crawling, among others, resulting in significant financial losses for enterprises. Bots are a significant addition to online fraud/cybercrime, as their sophistication and lethality continue to rise. Therefore, bot attacks must also be avoided to improve web application security.

Given the variety of bots and how they attack websites, there is no one-size-fits-all bot prevention solution. However, there are several simple steps you may take to avoid negative SEO attacks from malicious bots, such as:

  • An intelligent, comprehensive, and managed WAF is required for efficient protection against bot assaults, including DDoS attacks. 
  • Bot traffic must be identified and classified using a combination of analytics technologies and human skills. 
  • To provide successful defence against bots, comprehensive rules for bot management must be created and regularly tweaked with surgical precision by security specialists once they have been found and classified.

5. Duplicate Content

One of the most common techniques that spammers use is called content duplication. They copy the content of your website and post it everywhere they can. If there is duplicate content, then there’s a possibility that your site will be penalised and lose its rankings.

Tools like copyscape.com can check your site to see whether your website has a duplicate page or not. You can add your website or the article of your site you want to verify, and it will show you if your content is being published somewhere else without your permission.

5. Monitor Social Media Mentions

Spammers can create fake accounts on social media by using your company or website name. You can remove these profiles by reporting these fake accounts as spam before they start to get followers.

You can use the tools like mention.net to monitor who is using your brand name. As soon as your name gets mentioned on any social media platform or website, you have the power to decide whether to take any action or not.

6. Authority Labs

Authority Labs keeps an eye on changes in your keyword rankings via weekly email or historical changes in their dashboard. Not all the decreased rankings can be traced to negative SEO, however, they are still worth investigating so you can work towards reclaiming your rankings.

7. Website Speed

Slow loading rates will harm your rankings, and a longer loading time can cause your server to crash; thus, it is critical to avoid it from happening. One cause of sluggish website speed is competitors’ use of automated programmes (bots) to forcefully access or crawl your website, causing your server to slow down. Someone sending thousands of queries per second to your website’s server is another reason.

Google’s Core Web Vitals – Are You on Top of This Big SEO update?

You can access when your website is unavailable by creating an account and configuring email alerts. Using tools like www.pingdom.com, you may keep track of how long it takes for your server to load. If your site is loading slowly or crashing, you can also contact your web developer or hosting company. Slow speeds can be caused by various factors, including WordPress plugins that aren’t working properly or software code that isn’t up to par. Moreover, a combined Web firewall and content delivery networks can limit the impact of a bot attack.

8. Rival IQ

Rival IQ is a competitor research tool that allows you to monitor your position in the search for keywords that drive traffic to your website.

You can also use this tool to see what your competitors are doing to get ahead in search rankings. You will be able to analyse the keywords that drive traffic to their websites, their on-site optimisation, their landing pages, and their paid search strategy with data provided by SEMrush.

Negative SEO was not considered a serious threat a decade ago, but it has become a huge source of concern for the millions of websites affected by it. Furthermore, the likelihood of a negative SEO attack has increased dramatically due to the availability of cybercriminals willing to labour for little pay. These unscrupulous approaches and tactics lower a legitimate ranking useless and take control of the search engine. However, it’s important to note that not every time your website lags, it’s because of terrible SEO. A website’s speed is determined by a variety of different factors that work together. If your website is subjected to such attacks, the SEO practices listed above can help your site compete in this safe digital space. All you need to do is keep your website secure and regularly watch it to catch any problems early. The sooner you recognise a problem, the faster you can resolve it.

Know more about the Best SEO Techniques to Rank #1 in Search Engines.

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