Article read time - 6 minutes

Ranking higher in search engine result pages (SERP) is becoming harder and harder by the day, and this is because search engines like Google are constantly changing their algorithms.

As a result, all digital marketers are continuously changing their SEO strategies. Black Hat Techniques becomes less and less effective along with new algorithms updates. All these incidents lead to the establishment of new dark techniques to rank higher called “negative SEO.”

In this article, we will learn what negative SEO is, and the precautions that will help you to protect your website from negative SEO.

If your major source of traffic is Search Engines then this guide is very helpful. You can learn how to effectively optimize your site for search engines.

Lots of marketers are already victims of dangerous consequences. If you don’t want to be one then take a look at our handy guide.

What is negative SEO?

Let’s dig deeper and first of all understand the “negative SEO” phenomenon and its workings. Negative SEO is one form of Black Hat SEO Techniques in which people use some Dark Techniques to disturb their competitor’s ranking.

There are several practices that are used by Negative SEO attacks.

  • Hacking your website through different methods.
  • Making spammy links towards your website.
  • Content scraping is basically known as content copying – Manually or Auto (by RSS Feed)
  • Redirecting links to your website containing inappropriate keywords. (ex. Adult, Casino, Drugs, etc.)
  • Creating Fake Social Profiles on various Platforms & destroying your reputation in many ways.
  • Replacing your best backlinks with their own websites.

If an attacker gains access to your website, they can do a lot of damage. This very uncommon though. In this guide, we will study other methods of negative SEO.

These are practiced externally and do not affect your website directly. The negative results can only be seen in the decrease in your keywords ranking.

Is Negative SEO a Real Threat?

Yes, these practices are real and lots of marketers have faced problems. Well If you want to keep your website safe from “negative SEO attackers” then you have to follow some precautions.

Now we know “negative SEO” methods & effects – let’s see the Ways to Protect Your Website from Negative SEO.

Negative SEO Image

If you search on “negative SEO” on platforms like Fiverr or Seo Clerks, you will find many services starting from $5. It’s hard to believe that they are making over 200K backlinks for just $5 and no time.

All these backlinks will be from spammy websites and you will get them in bulk. This will look unnatural and search engines will treat them as spam backlinks.

For a short period of time, their website may get higher ranking in search engines but after the update, it will surely vanish from results.

You can see many people posting about the success of their negative SEO attack in many black hat forums. Also on Fiverr, more than 15,000 people are providing this service which means that this is very common. Why else would people provide a service which has no demand?

Google came up with the Disavow Tool in Webmaster which will help you to deal with this problem but you must use it at the last minute. This tool helps you to remove unwanted backlinks but if you use it in the wrong way then it will result in loss of ranking.

How to Prevent your Website from Negative SEO Attacks?

Secure Your Website from Hackers

The security of your website is very important. Prevention is better than cure. If you don’t want to get major effects on your website by hackers then you have to follow these basic things.

  • You can use the Google Authenticator Plugin & activate 2-step verification password on your website. It will send OTP on your phone each time you Login into WordPress.
  • Use Strong Password containing Upper & Lower Case, Numbers and Special Characters.
  • Create backups of your files and database regularly.

Set up Google Webmaster Tools Email Alerts

You must set up email alters for Google webmaster tools. This will alert you if:

  • Your website is affected by malware.
  • Server connectivity problems. (Server Down)
  • When your pages are not getting indexed.
  • Alerts for a manual penalty from Google.

If you have not set up Google Webmaster Tools Email Alerts already then follow these steps:

Google Search Console Image

  1. Login to your webmaster tool.
  2. Follow this link: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/preferences
  3. Enable email notifications & Save it for all notifications.

Now Google webmaster tool will notify for all manual actions needed to fix issues on your website. Make sure to fix all the issues as soon as possible so they don’t disturb your ranking.

Protect Your Best Backlinks

This way is used by only a few attackers but this deals highest damage. If your website ranking depends on mostly backlinks, what will happen if you lost your best backlinks?

Your website will lose ranking too in search results but you can avoid this by simple precautions

Ahrefs Image

  1. Whenever you communicate with webmasters, you should use the official email address of your domain. Your email should look like this: “yourname@yourdomain.com.”

This will verify your ownership and looks decent too. Avoid using the email from Yahoo or Gmail for professional works. This is necessary so that attackers don’t contact them to remove your backlink pretending to be you.

  1. Always keep track of your best backlinks. You can use various tools like Ahrefs or any other for this task. This will notify you if any of your backlinks are removed & you can ask them to put your link again.

How to Recover your Website from Negative SEO?

In this section, we will study how can you recover your website from damage caused by “negative SEO”. You should always keep your eye on your backlinks and if you notice something unusual then here’s what you have to do:

Create List of Bad Links

The first step is to create a list of all bad links to your website. You have to check each of these websites manually & decide which backlinks are affecting your website ranking.

Create this list of all the links that you receive through email alerts. You can also check existing backlinks to confirm if they are good and proper.

Remove the Bad Links

Not all bad links are created by attackers. Some of them can also be created naturally. To remove any backlink you can simply use Whois.com/whois to find contact details of the site admin.

Ask them to remove the link to your website. But always keep this in your mind that this is only recommended if links are really bad. Else you will lose ranking in search results.

Disavow Image

If your site is under attack by negative SEO then use Google Disavow Tool. This webmaster tool will help you to remove all bad links.

You can simply upload the Bad Backlinks File you created. In a no time Webmaster will remove all those links. Although these links will still appear but webmaster will not count them.

Conclusion

Website security and backlink profiles are the most important factor for any company. Above we shared all the major precautions which will help you to protect your website from negative SEO. We hope you found our guide really helpful.

What are your strategies to prevent damage from negative SEO? Which tools are you using for checking your site backlinks and stats? Have you experienced such attacks on your website? Let us know in the comment section.

About the Author

Stanley Emakpor is the founder of MyBloggingHelp. He is a digital marketer and a passionate blogger that loves exploring and sharing what he learns about blogging.

Leave a Reply
Comment policy: We value comments and the time that visitors to our blog spend to give feedback. Please note that all comments are manually moderated and any deemed to be spam or promotional will be deleted.