How Small Businesses Can Protect themselves From Negative SEO
Marketers 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 are trying 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.
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How to Prevent Negative SEO attacks?
1. Google Webmaster Tools Email Alerts
Google Webmaster Tools is a must for any website owner. 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 back line
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 this, 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. 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
If your site takes a very long time to load, you have to make sure that it is not because someone is sending thousands of requests per second to your websites’ server. A higher loading time might put down your server.
You can monitor the server loading time by using tools like pingdom.com. By creating an account and enabling email alerts, have can get access to when your website is down.
8. Rival IQ
Rival IQ is a competitor research tool which 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.
Initially, marketers never thought of it, but now negative SEO has become a grave concern for the millions of websites which have to deal with it. People are available to work at low prices for negative SEO. It’s an example of unethical practices and tactics that can incapacitate a valid ranking – done using white hat optimisation techniques – and take over the search engine. Using these tools can help your website to compete in this hygienic digital space.
What other methods are you using to prevent negative SEO? Have you experienced such attacks?