SEO (search engine optimization) has been considered as one of the trickiest aspects of digital marketing. It’s ever-changing and continuous. Moreover, Google keeps updating its algorithms constantly that means even the best SEO techniques need to be changed accordingly. Many many expert digital marketers agree as well that there has been an enormous rise in negative SEO techniques.
In this, negative SEO performed by your opponent can destroy your organic growth. With this, their site appears more authoritative and relevant than yours.
Now, the question is that why does one even perform Negative SEO? What are the benefits one is going to get?
Well, around five years ago, it was quite easy to trick Google for boosting search ranking. Later, Google developed its system and comprised a series of activities which SEO experts refer as black hat SEO. Google got wise to these malicious practices and started to put penalties and blocks on such activities.
Types of Negative SEO Tactics:
One of the most common and apparent ways to decimate someone’s website SEO is performing a cyber attack on it. Precisely, cyber attack refers here to hacking someone’s website.
In it, hackers get into the CMS (content management system) and remove all the relevant keywords from the content. Further, they can kill your natural web links pertaining inside and outside the website. It’s very often that they alter your metadata and eventually demolish the SEO foundations of your website.
Defaming Website with Thousands of Spammy Links-
Here, your competitors purchase a sequence of unnatural and spammy links. Later, they send them to sites they want to destroy. Consequently, Google considers it as a black hat SEO and penalize your site for it.
Your competitor copies your content even before it is indexed in Google and publishes it on thousands of sites. Added to this, Google keeps a negative view on plagiarised content. Hence, Google finds your content plagiarised and penalizes your site for the same.
As a matter of fact, it is hard to distinguish a website’s content from others for search engines.
Overflowing a Site with Bots-
It is even a more sophisticated and unethical practice of hacking. Hackers overflow your site with thousands of bots. These bots take over a website infrastructure. These bots steal the content. Further, they undermine that website’s natural SEO.
This all decreases the website load time. And Google reduces the rank of slow websites.
Maligning Anchor Text-
As we have read above, hackers purchase unnatural and spammy links. Here, they go one step further and link your website to sites that are malicious and contain spammy keywords. For instance, a keyword like ‘online poker’ can demolish your website’s online presence.
Removing Important Backlinks-
Google gives preference to the sites that are linked with high-authority websites. For example, the Huffington Post and New York Times are two of the high-authority links. If your website is linking to such websites, Google notices it and ranks you higher.
Hackers know that very well and consequently, they remove all important backlinks pointing to your site.
Useful Tips to Combat Negative SEO
Use Software to Secure Your Website-
There are companies like Distil Networks that offer software to protect a website from bots attack and hacks.
It is designed especially for negative SEO. It creates a database of malicious bots and quickly eradicates them.
It is extremely important to keep track of your backlinks to avoid spammy backlinking. There are a plenty of effective tools and software available to monitor a website’s linking structure. Make the most of them and kepp securing your website.
Check for Duplicate Content-
As mentioned above, Google penalizes the sites containing plagiarised content. With that in mind, keep an eye on the content appearing on other websites. For this, use online tools to check plagiarism. There are tools available on the internet that will help you in finding duplicate content.
The main concern here is to make you aware of such practices that can destroy your online reputation. However, negative SEO doesn’t happen quite often, still, you should have a little knowledge about it. Being cautious is one important factor here to avoid it. Thus, strengthen your passwords and serve excellent customer service. Monitor backlinks profile, social mentions and Google search console reports.