Negative SEO is the biggest threat to your website and doing away with these attacks needs to be your primary concern. This post is an attempt to give you insight into different kinds of SEO attacks with solutions. The threat of negative SEO is unavoidable, but a few safety measures can serve as a knight in shining armour for your website. Before digging deep into the negative SEO attacks, let’s first understand what negative SEO is and what is its purpose?
What is Negative SEO and why it is Harmful to your Website?
Negative SEO is summed up as a set of activities intended to lower a competitor’s rankings in search results. These activities often involve off-page, for example, creating unnatural links to a site or scraping and posting its contents again. In some cases, they may hack a site and tweak its content. Negative SEO, however, is not always the reason for a drop in the ranking of your website. Before someone deliberately tries to hurt the ranking of your website, factor out the common reasons for witnessing a drop in your website’s ranking. Here’s a list of them.
One or two spammy links do not have the potential to hurt the ranking of a website. This is the reason why negative SEO attacks are laced with building links from a group of sites that are interconnected, or link farms. Same anchor text is typically used for these links. The exact-match anchors are likely irrelevant to the site under attack, or they might incorporate a niche keyword to make the link profile of the site appear as if the owner is manipulating it.
How to Stay Protected: Thwarting a negative SEO attack is not in your hand, but having a discerning eye about the attempt and nullifying the damage is in your power. For that matter, you need to regularly have a tab on the link profile growth. The SEO spyglass tools offer you a report on progress graphs for the numbers of links in your profile as well as a number of referring domains. The spike in the graph is enough to give you an indication to check the links you unexpectedly acquired.
To check the links that are instrumental in spike, visit the Linking Domains dashboard in SEO spyglass and click on the header of the column two times to sort the links by Last Found Date. Try to check the links that were loaded when the spike on the graph materialized.
If you are not able to discover the source of the links, it’s worth checking the Penalty Risk. Go to the Link penalty risk tab, select the links that are unknown to you and hit Update Link Penalty Risk. After a few minutes, you will notice that the column is flooded with values on a scale right from 0 to 100. It gives an accurate figure as to from where the links are coming. It checks the various linking domains that appear from the same IP address.
When you discover spammy links, make a disavow file in SEO SpyGlass. To create a file, right-click the backlink domain and choose Disavow. Repeat the same process for all unnatural links you marked. Lastly, visit Preferences>Disavow/backlinks, check your disavow file, and export it if you are satisfied with it.
Another way your competitor can lower your rankings is through scraping your content and copying it on various other sites. When Google come across duplicate content across numerous sites, it picks only one set of content to rank. Google mostly is clever enough to discover the original piece unless it comes across the, “stolen,” set first. This is the reason why scrapers copy new content and promptly post it.
How to Stay Safe: One of the crucial tools that determines the duplicate content is Copyscape. On finding the scraped copies of your content, contacting the webmaster immediately and asking to remove it is always a good idea. If this approach is not helpful, you can report the scraper using copyright infringement report of Google.
Many site owners have malicious intention of trying to crash a competitor’s site by forcefully crawling it and giving rise to heavy server load. When Googlebot fails to access your site on the trot, your site might get de-ranked.
How to Stay Safe: When you notice that your site is not responding well and has become slow, do not delay contacting your hosting company. The service provider will tell from where the load is occurring.
The above-mentioned negative SEO attacks do not make a complete list as there are numerous other threats. If you are encountering low web traffic, it’s a red flag that you have fallen prey to a negative SEO attack. If you are not able to fix the issue following the aforementioned tips, contacting an SEO professional is more than worth. You can get in touch with Cosmolance Tech as our dedicated negative SEO counter-attack team can come to your rescue to give you suitable solutions.