How to Deal with Negative SEO
- December 29, 2021
- Scott Keever SEO
What’s Negative SEO?
Most SEO techniques are designed to boost the rankings of your site. With negative SEO, however, you work to lower the rankings of another site. It involves using black hat SEO methods. While people often use negative SEO to target their competition, that isn’t universally true. Even if you stick to the rules and use white hat SEO techniques, your site could still be attacked.
That’s why it’s important to find ways to protect your sites. In the future, if your sites are attacked, you’ll want to take action and minimize the impact of these attacks.
Take Advantage of Google Search Console
If your website isn’t being monitored by Google Search Console, you should sign in and do that as soon as possible. Create email alerts to ensure that you’ll be notified if Google does spot an issue with your site. If your site is being monitored, the Google Search Console will inform you when:
* There are connectivity issues with your servers
* There are pages that can’t be indexed
* Malware has been found on your site
* Google has given your site a manual penalty
By utilizing both Google Search Console and Google Analytics, you’ll have a clearer picture of what’s going on with your site.
Monitor Site Speed
The speed of your site has a significant impact on its rankings There are many resources you can use to check the load times for your pages, Pingdom and PageSpeed Insights. Approximately 47% want pages to load in less than two seconds. It takes more than three seconds for a site to load, 40% of users will leave the site and go elsewhere.
If you’ve noticed that your site speeds are slower than usual, and you don’t know what’s causing the problem, you should take advantage of software that can crawl your site, like Screaming Frog. If the software isn’t able to identify the issue, it’s possible that forceful crawling is slowing down your site. This can put a strain on your site’s servers, leading to slow-downs and potential crashes.
If you believe that forceful crawling is causing issues for your site, reach out to your hosting company or webmaster so that you can find out the source of the load. From there, you can take action and put this to a stop.
Keep an Eye On Your Backlinks
Creating a spam-like backlink profile for a site is easy, which is why it’s a frequently-used negative SEO attack. It’s possible to outsource low-quality link building at a very low price. While links from authority sites can help your site, links from spam sites can have the opposite effect.
There are many tools that make it easy to check backlinks manually, including Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, and Majestic SEO. You can also use Monitor Backlinks to automate this process. With this service, you’ll receive an email notification for every new backlink your site receives. If you notice low-quality backlinks you haven’t set out, you’ll want to resolve the issue before your site is penalized.
Put together a list of backlinks you don’t want. Contact the owners of these sites to see if they’ll remove the link. If you can’t find an email address or a contact form on the site, look at the WHOIS information for the domain. If the owner doesn’t respond or refuses to remove the links, you can ask Google to ignore the links by disavowing them.
Even small sites can be harmed by these types of attacks, which is why you’ll want to keep a watchful eye on your backlinks. It can be difficult to identify links that are potentially harmful, which is why you may want to consider professional help. If you suspect that your site has toxic backlinks, and you want to take action, work with an experienced professional that offers some sort of backlink enhancement services. If you’re able to remove these links, you can expect to see a surge of traffic.
Businesses can survive negative reviews. With that said, if you receive many negative reviews in a short period of time, it could have a lasting impact on your rankings. It’s unusual to receive negative reviews one after another. Unless your business has a major PR problem, a slew of bad reviews is a sign of an attack.
To keep this problem from spiraling, you should quickly flag reviews you believe to be fake. Use Google Maps to search for your business. Once you find it, click on “Review Summary” and then scan the left panel for “# Reviews.” Complete a report form for all reviews you believe to be fake. Don’t just pay attention to reviews on Google My Business. Take advantage of social listening tools so that you can monitor other reviews as well.
Be Wary of Scraped Content
Search engines penalize sites for duplicate content, which is why you’ll want to make sure that your site’s content isn’t being posted on other sites. You can check for copies via Copyscape. You may also want to take precautions to ensure that you don’t copy your own content unintentionally. Create a private library of the content on your site. Check new content against the old content you’ve shared before you post it.
Keep Track of Click-Through Rates for Keywords
Has a page on your site been getting a lot of traffic from users that don’t seem to be looking at your content? If this has been happening to you, it’s likely that you have a high bounce rate. Google uses bounce rates to determine if a page is providing users with relevant information. If users are clicking away from a page on your site immediately, search engines will assume that the page isn’t relevant to them. It’s possible to have bots target keywords on competitor sites. The bots will leave the site immediately, which will give the site a falsely high bounce rate.
It’s easy to miss these kinds of attacks, especially if you’re not looking closely at click-through rates. You can monitor your rates in Google Search Console. Head to “Search Traffic” and navigate over to “Search Analytics.” This will allow you to check the click-through rate of various keywords. If a particular keyword is seeing a significant traffic spike, and there’s not an explanation for that, reach out to Google. Disavow these links so that they don’t cause an issue for you.