The competition in the online domain is daunting and there is nothing businesses stop at to damage the rivals. One of the practices is negative SEO, which competitors adapt to damage your rankings and reputation online. They can use black hat techniques such as spammy links, plagiarism and forceful crawling for this purpose. The biggest concern for businesses, therefore, is whether they can do anything to protect their site from negative SEO. If you are vigilant and smart enough, you can definitely do so and here are some strategies that can help.
- Be watchful about content scraping
Content is undoubtedly one of the most critical elements of SEO and having copied content on your site can land you in trouble. You may have invested the best efforts in creating quality content on your site but if a competitor copies it and gets it indexed before your content, they get the credit. Not only does it risks your content but also may get you penalized for copying it. This practice is called content scraping and you should be watchful about it.
- Check your website speed
Another factor that negative SEO can affect is the loading speed of your site. Speed is an element that determines the user experience and should be checked regularly. If your site seems to load slowly without any obvious reason, it may have been subjected to forceful crawling. This is a serious concern because the server may get loaded and your site may even crash subsequently. Contact your hosting service and get the issue resolved if you suspect an attack.
- Perform regular link audits
Auditing your website’s link on a regular basis is a good measure to safeguard it against negative SEO. Backlink management is important because it gives you a clear view of your link profile and makes it possible to uncover any suspicious activity before further damage is done. A sudden increase or decrease in the site’s links is a warning signal, particularly if you have not been engaged in a link building campaign recently.
- Keep an eye on My Business Listing
You need to monitor your Business Listing page on a regular basis as well. This is where the competitors can attack your reputation directly by posting fake negative reviews. Not only do these reviews damage your reputation, but affect your search rankings too. If you have a proof that these reviews are illegitimate, report them to Google and they will remove them if convinced. Conversely, you will have to work on getting positive reviews to push the negative ones down if you want to deal with them yourself.
- Watch the search rankings
Checking you SERP rankings is not something that you would not be doing already. But it needs to be done with the perspective of identifying negative SEO too because rivals may be perpetrating plans to damage your site. A sudden ranking drop could indicate a malicious intent and knowing in time enables you to take timely action. If you do notice something amiss, check the site’s crawl stats and ensure that robots.txt is set up properly.
- Focus on the security of your site
As an SEO best practice, you should ensure top-notch security for your website at all times. Not only will it protect you from hackers and malware but also fortify against negative SEO attacks as well. Ensure that you run the latest software versions, have all the security patches installed and use top-notch encryption to strengthen the site’s security. Switching to HTTPS is the best bet because it will make you secure as well as have a positive impact on your search rankings.
- Follow your social media mentions
Competitors may also attack you through social media instead of targeting your website directly. They may create fake social media accounts using the name of your brand or website and use them wrongfully. Therefore, it is necessary to keep track of your social media mentions and take action to report fake profiles and get them removed before the worse happens.
Combating negative SEO is as crucial as running a positive campaign. After all, you would not want enemies to destroy all the hard work that you have done to take your website to the top. Following the right strategies to keep a check on negative SEO and setting wrong things right goes hand in hand for protecting against the damage and preventing it. Being watchful and taking action at the right time is the best way to handle this situation.