Negative SEO is a very real problem for those who’ve been victimized by it. Watching your website rankings that you’ve fought so hard for tank virtually overnight is not only heartbreaking, but a real financial pain as well.
So what form do these negative SEO attacks take? It can from a variety of techniques, such as spamming the Web with tons of highly suspect anchor text keywords pointing to your pages, such as for Viagra, gambling, and porn. They may even go so far as to impersonate you and ask other webmasters to take down links for your best performing keywords. How can you protect your site from this kind of attack? Here are some tips you’ll want to make sure you’re using to help keep this at bay.
5 Ways to prevent Negative SEO
Use alerts – One of the best features of Google Webmaster tools is it can send you email alerts whenever your site is under various types of attacks, such as if you have a malware problem, pages are not indexed and more.
Keep an eye on your backlinks – If out of the blue you notice a huge spike in backlinks, especially if you haven’t actively been seeking them, suspect something is afoot. Sites like Monitor Backlinks can be a huge help here.
Keep an ear open for social media mentions – Track any mentions of you or your brand in social media, as you can be getting trashed and before long, are in full reputation management mode. Sites like Mention.net can send alerts for these.
Kill any duplicate content – One of the ways you can be a victim of negative SEO is by having people simply copy your pages and paste duplicates of them all over the Web. Google will not be happy, and you’ll get a penalty.
Secure your site – Make sure you have a secure installation. This is partly your host’s and partly your responsibility, but you really don’t want someone getting access. If you are running WordPress, this is doubly true, as it is a hacker’s playground.