What is Negative SEO Attack & How to Prevent it

Your competitors. Hackers. Anyone who wants to harm your reputation. All of these can carry out a negative SEO attack on your site. The threat can be serious, but some simple steps can minimize the risk.

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What Can Happen During a Negative SEO Attack?

A negative SEO attack, simply put, is any malicious or unethical attempt to harm your site’s ranking

Here are some ways in which your site can be harmed.

  • It can be hacked via malware.
  • Hordes of spam-associated links to your site can suddenly pop up.
  • Your original content is copied and then distributed on other sites without permission.
  • Fake social media profiles are created to affect your online standing.
  • Your backlinks can be removed, causing a drop in search rankings.

As you can see, the potential threat can be cause for concern. Always remember: prevention is better than cure.

The Steps You Can Take to Prevent a Negative SEO Attack

First of all, don’t panic.

Online tools, search engine help and expert advice are always at hand to ensure that you and your site are well-guarded to avoid negative SEO attack.

Here are some helpful hints and tactics to keep in mind:

  • Many search engines have a system of alerts that issue warnings when your site is a victim of malware. Or if your site is facing other problems such as connectivity issues. Make sure you sign up for such alerts. Monitor them regularly so you can act fast.
  • Online tools can let you know when your site is losing backlinks or is gaining new, suspicious ones. You should also protect backlinks by always communicating from your own domain address, for proper verification. So the people concerned know that it is you corresponding with them, not an imitator.
  • You can also add tags to the backlinks that you value the most so you can regularly check on them and monitor status changes.
  • To prevent and limit malware, create a strong password with numbers and special characters. Create database backups regularly. And ensure that the latest, strongest anti-virus software is installed.
  • Passwords apart, you can also use other authentication factors, such as phone codes, so unauthorized log-ins are prevented.
  • There are sites on the web that will show you if your content is being published somewhere else, without your permission. Every once in a while, it’s important to check this and take necessary steps if it has happened.
  • If your website loading speed is suddenly slow, it could be a sign of the start of an attack. Ensure that thousands of requests are not being maliciously put to your server. Speed is of the essence here.
  • Some search engines have a system wherein you can inform them that you don’t want selected links from external sites to be part of counting links to your site. This is known as disavowing links. It should be done sparingly, and often as a last resort. Only disavow links if you are sure they intended to be harmful.

The above are some principles of good practice when it comes to ways to protect against negative SEO attack. Follow them regularly and without fail. And you can ensure that your site always remains healthy and positive.

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