Negative SEO is the real danger for websites. It is so because there are so many ways of affecting a site’s natural ranking with negative methods like link spamming, copied content and artificial CTR. The negative SEO can affect a site in the following ways.
- Perform regular link audits
Regular auditing of backlinks is the only safeguard against link spamming and link hacking. Keep track of all your backlinks and report immediately to Google to disavow the links you don’t own. If you find any spike or drop in the backlinks, you should become cautious about the sudden change in the number of backlinks. A link farm could share plenty of spam links with your site or a smart hacker could hack your site and modify existing links for personal gains.
- Keep testing your site speed
Do you know forceful crawling? Your site could become bulky for no visible reason like heavy media file and unzipped images. The unnecessary load will make your site sluggish and even crash. You can notice changes in site speed with regular speed test. If you find anything unusual and there is no reason for change in site speed, you should immediately contact your hosting company to find the reason and remove the unnecessary load from your site.
- Search for scraped content
Content marketing is the best way to promote websites on search engines and social media. Also it is considered the safest way to optimize websites but it is learnt that fraud SEOs have also found ways to hack content. What they do is they copy quality content to save their time and use that content verbatim on their sites. The problem comes with the copied content is claimed to be original and the site with original content is penalized for using copied content. Use Copyscape to determine originality of content before publishing it in your site and if you find the content to be copied, report it to the concerned webmaster. You can also use Google’s Copyright Removal form to remove that content.
- Monitor Google My Business
Brand value is the result of hard work but a negative review could impact reliability and value considerably. If you haven’t done anything wrong; you people shouldn’t write negative reviews on your website. But if you are receiving negative reviews despite doing a legit business honestly, it is an indication that someone is trying to malign your image. Here Google My Business listing and social media listening software could provide real help.
- Watch CRT of your keywords
You see a sudden increase in the incoming traffic through a specific keyword(s) but the visitors bounce back. The bouncing back of users will create a bad UX that will negatively affect ranking of those keywords. The problem is that a bot is hitting keywords and creating a false SERP bounce rate to harm your site. Contact Google for false SERP and start disavowing the links.
- Check SERP ranking
You won’t check SERP of your site often but there is a reason to do so. Compete de-indexing due to a hack could drop your SERP considerably and force you to think why this devalue in search ranking. You can’t do much to prevent de-indexing other than to keep your robots.txt in proper condition. Check SERP of your site with rank tracking software to notice any change in SERP.
7.Upgrade your site security
Immediately make your site to HTTPS compatible, if it is still running on HTTP. Upgrading security will have long term results in preventing the negative SEO away from your site. A cyberattack can’t effect your site technically but it has some impact on overall SEO.
Today, you don’t have to worry much about negative SEO because Google can notice the problem and suggest remedies before it hurts your site. But you should also take precautions to prevent your site from getting affected by negative SEO.