Negative SEO includes off-page activities that lower your competition’s SERPs. It offers a remote threat that’s daunting when you consider how easy it is for your competition to ruin your rankings. However, it’s important to understand that this isn’t always the reason your SERPs drop.
Negative SEO Attacks From off Page
This type of attack doesn’t always interfere with the internal parts of your site. Some of the most common examples of this include:
- Building links from link farms (a group of interconnected sites), using the same anchor text that isn’t related in any way to the site that’s under attack will hurt your site’s rankings. Sometimes these are obvious because they include a niche keyword that looks as though the website owner is manipulating it.
- Scraping your website’s content and copying it on to other websites also ruins your SERPs. This is because when Google finds duplicated content it only ranks one version. So, if it finds the stolen content first, that’s what they’ll rank.
- A competitor can crash your website by having it forcefully crawled. When this happens your server has a heavy load, which means that the Googlebot can’t access it. If this happens a couple of times in a row, you’ll get de-ranked.
Negative SEO Attacks From on Page
Your competition will find it much more difficult to carry out this type of attack. This is because they’ll need to hack into your site and make changes to it there. Some examples of this type of attack include:
- Making such subtle changes to your content that they’re difficult for you to notice often occurs simply by using an isplay:none tag in your HTML
- Redirecting your pages to theirs typically happens when you have a high authority website not only steals your traffic but if Google notices this is happening before you do they’ll penalize you for redirecting to a malicious website
- Making a small change by adding a disallow rule in the robots.txt can wreak havoc on your whole SEO strategy because it tells Google to completely ignore your website
- Hacking your site hurts your site if Google finds out because they want to protect their users so they’ll de-rank your site or at least they’ll add a warning to your listing
Protecting Your Site From Negative SEO
Clearly, you can see just how bad negative SEO is in Google’s eyes. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to protect yourself, including:
- Monitor the growth of your links with tools like SEO SpyGlass.
- Use Copyscape to find anyone who’s duplicated your content. If you find any, contact the site owner and if that doesn’t work, use Google copyright infringement’s form to report them.
- When you notice that your site is slow or unavailable contact your hosting company to see where the load is coming from. You can then block the villains with robots.txt and .htaccess.
- Use a tool like WebSite Auditor to conduct regular site audits to catch subtle attacks. This allows you to spot changes that you wouldn’t otherwise spot such as redirects.
- Use Rank Tracker to make sure your site doesn’t get de-indexed.
Today it’s tempting to take the easy way out when it comes to SEO. Unfortunately, that’s what negative SEO offers. Yet, it comes with some dire consequences that you simply must avoid. Fortunately, there’s another easy way out. You can contact us at ISEOU. With over 12 years of experience in the SEO industry we never take the easy way out. Instead, we take our time and work hard to get you the results you need – the right way.