find out what it is and how to protect your website – WAU
Negative SEO: do you know what it is? Learn here the best practices to ensure the protection of your website.
If you have a website or blog you know how complex it is to develop SEO strategies that allow good positioning in organic search results. Now he imagines that this whole process has been compromised through practices carried out with the objective of damaging the positioning of his website.
This practice – which is also known as Negative SEO – has scared many companies.
In this post we have prepared some tips to help you better understand this subject and know how to protect your site.
What is negative SEO?
Negative SEO is done through a set of actions carried out in order to impair the positioning of a website on search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo, for example.
With the update of Penguin and Panda (Google’s algorithms) a few years ago, the debate over negative SEO practices (like the black hat concept) has taken on new proportions.
From them it became possible track and promote sanctions for websites that do not comply with the Google webmaster guidelines, such as, for example, sites that use cloaking techniques and that use duplicate content inappropriately.
In practice this means that even if you develop a great SEO strategy to place your site among the first if you do not keep your site protected and it is a “victim” of negative SEO actions it can lose its position or even suffer more severe sanctions search engines.
Who promotes this type of action?
During an internet search it is possible to find companies and people who report having suffered threats, blackmail and even effective attacks by people interested in damaging the positioning of their sites.
But why would anyone do that?
In a simple search on the internet you can find hackers willing to do this job for just $ 5.
Another possibility mentioned by companies that report having suffered attacks is from competing companies interested in improving the positioning of their own website and, for that, they practice negative SEO actions in order to benefit from the loss of position from another site.
The fact is that it is not possible to predict who will carry out this type of attack, that is why it is so important to know the damage and how to prevent these actions.
What damage can it do to your website?
Hurts the duplicity policy and can promote sanctions
Negative SEO practices can cause content from other sites to be copied and placed on your site, violating the search engine duplication policy, especially that of Google.
And if he understands that this action on your site is intended to harm another site, your page may receive sanctions, such as adjustments to the ranking or even the exclusion of search results.
May harm your website links
With backlinks it is possible to track other web pages that have links to your page. And that’s not always a bad thing: you can have links from your page on other sites as a means of promoting your site.
But in cases of negative SEO the intention is to damage your link, causing it to have low quality or violate the quality guidelines of search engines, causing your site to lose its position in the results.
Other damage that can occur because of negative SEO
Hackers can invade and delete your website or even change your website’s code so that it doesn’t appear in search engines.
And they can also cause the company’s reputation to be damaged by creating fake websites and profiles on social networks, spreading false information.
How to protect your website from these attacks?
There are so many negative impacts that you may be asking yourself: how do I protect my website from these attacks?
It is very important to be aware of the actions you receive and that are being carried out by your website. Some of these actions may be an indication that your site may be a victim of negative SEO.
1. Watch out for malicious programs
You need to keep your website safe.
Observe the presence of viruses and malware and delete it immediately. If your site starts sending these viruses to users, your reputation will suffer and you will be susceptible to punishment.
2. Note the duplicity of information
There is generally no harm in publishing the content of another website on your website, as long as you tell where that information is coming from.
But, as we said, the duplicity of information, when done improperly, not following the search engine policies, can be an indication that something is out of the ordinary.
Stay tuned! If you notice these actions, see how to deal with this problem.
3. Observe the social mentions
As we have already reported, social networks can be a powerful weapon when making attacks on a website or company. Monitor what is being said about you frequently and be attentive.
This does not mean that users cannot express themselves negatively against the company, but the creation of false profiles or even the propagation of lying messages is indicative of a problem.
4. See how your backlink list is doing
Find out how the link mentions of the page you manage on the internet are going.
If these are producing bad content or even disqualified links stay tuned, this can cause your positioning to be impaired.
5. Reject harmful backlinks
If you have tried to remove links with spam or low quality from the internet and have not achieved the recommended is to reject them.
This process must be carried out in two stages:
- You must download a list of links to your website
- Then, you must create a file with only links that you want to reject and send them to Google.
But be careful! If this technique is used incorrectly it can harm your website in search engines, instead of helping you. See more details about this process on Google’s backlink rejection page and learn more about how to do this.
6. Monitor the speed of your website
Frequently see how your page is doing and try to make modifications in order to improve it. Observe if there are signs of malicious actions that aim to harm the SEO work developed by the site.
Search engines consider several aspects when assessing the relevance of your site, so that you can define your position in the search results. To protect your site from negative SEO actions you need to keep an eye out to avoid these problems.
What tools and software can also help you?
Google Search Console
Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) is a tool that helps in the SEO process of a website.
Through it is possible evaluate how your site is doing and whether you need to make any improvements to it, in addition to knowing how your page is doing.
It can be of great help in preventing negative SEO, as it allows you to identify links to your website and duplicate content, among other things. It is one of the best tools for optimizing your website and it is essential that you learn how to use it.
We have prepared a comprehensive guide on it, which you can access here.
Google Disavow Tool
Part of Google Search Console, the Disavow Tool is used to disable links within your site that may be damaging your page. But be careful when using this tool – it is best to contact an SEO specialist for this task. You can learn better how to do this here.
Bing Webmaster Tools
With a similar purpose to that of the Google tool, Bing Webmaster Tools (Microsoft) aims to expand and monitor the positioning on its results pages.
Copyscape helps to verify that the content on your site has been copied (duplicated) by other sites.
The Mention tool controls what is being said about your social media pages.
As its name says it helps to monitor your Backlinks.
Pingdom monitors the functioning and response time of your website.
How to maintain safe practices to reduce the risk of attacks?
We all know that the work of digital marketing, specifically that of SEO, is developed constantly, through the construction and application of tactics aimed at promoting and a good reputation for your website, which is the “face” of your company on the internet.
It cannot be built overnight and requires a lot of attention and dedication to not only create, but achieve maintain good positioning in search results.
When you manage to get there, after all this work, it is very difficult to accept that bad people and companies want to not only harm your work, but to destroy a hard-earned reputation.
That’s why we stress the need to keep an eye out for all possible attacks, even if they don’t seem harmful at first.
There are several tools available on the internet for you to make this constant assessment on the site in order to preserve it. But keep in mind that there is no 100% safe technique that can claim that your site will not suffer any kind of action or damage through negative SEO practices.
O constant monitoring is the keyword for reducing the chances of suffering these actions. And this must be done not only on the website, but also on links, pages and social media profiles, among others.
How to be careful not to sabotage your own website?
Although we have placed emphasis on negative SEO actions carried out by other companies and people throughout the text, it is worth emphasizing the importance of also checking that your own practices are not causing positioning problems.
You must be asking yourself: but how can i be sabotaging my own website?
And the answer is simple: there are some measures that are contrary to the policies of positioning and ranking of pages in search engines. They change periodically and you may have used outdated practices. So it is recommended that:
- Do not link to sites that have already been penalized by Google;
- Do not use keywords hidden in the source code;
- Do not post too many publicity posts;
- Serve the same content to users and robots that will periodically scan your site;
- And, most importantly: don’t buy links. They do not usually have a good credibility for the mechanisms.
That is why it is so important to stay informed about the search engine guidelines. This can help you develop safe strategies that contribute to the optimization and positioning of your website.
After all, winning and maintaining a good position in search results can contribute to the good development of a company on the internet.
What have companies done to improve this system and prevent these attacks?
The scanners that inspect the relevance of a website and indicate what its position in the search results should be constantly undergoing updates to improve the system, in order to minimize negative SEO attacks.
Google has already stated that they are aware of negative SEO actions, but that small businesses and individuals do not have to worry about these negative advances.
The sites that are experts on the subject say that negative SEO practices are a real threat and that it is necessary to take effective actions to ensure the protection of your site.
But as you never know who these tactics intend to target and how they will be really done, it is not enough. If you develop your company’s SEO actions always try to promote actions that help protect your website and always pay attention to possible attacks.
Millions of users browse the network daily and to be able to prospect and promote engagement between them, it is necessary to be focused not only on practices that effectively contribute to the improvement of SEO, but also to be aware of the negative impacts of actions from other companies and people who aim to harm your site.
Avoid punishments and sanctions by search engines, always promoting good actions on your website and always trying to monitor external activities. That way you can further protect your website and avoid possible negative SEO attacks.
See how SEO is doing and promote these tips to further improve the potential of your website.
So, what did you think of the theme? Want to learn more about SEO? Then check out our complete ebook on the subject!