Search Engine Optimization is a method that can help your site have a greater online presence. Employing SEO strategies can help your site rank higher in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) environment.
Many online businesses know how important SEO can be to their overall success. That’s why many companies hire a digital marketing agency or SEO strategists to ensure that SEO tactics can make a difference in their business.
But did you know that SEO can break a company as well as make it? While many are happy because they reaped SEO benefits, they may not know about the existence of negative SEO. Unfortunately, it’s all too real.
Negative SEO has been around for a while and is still prevalent in this day and age. Therefore, you must know how to protect your business and website from negative SEO attacks. In the next section, we will define negative SEO and talk about how you can protect your site from it.
Employing Routine Link Audits
Simply put, negative SEO is considered foul play in the SEO industry. It entails the use of black hat SEO techniques intended to de-rank your competitors. It can be done through forceful crawling, spammy links, and in some cases, plagiarism.
The first thing you need to do to protect your site from negative SEO is to have regular link audits. Chances are you might end up falling victim to suspicious link activity that can harm your website. You need to constantly monitor your links to be sure your website won’t be affected by negative SEO.
Combating Content Scraping
The next thing to consider is how to combat content scraping. Content scraping occurs when a small-time, underperforming website steals an authoritative website’s content. The latter will then try to pass off the stolen content as its own. If your site is among the high-performing ones, you might become a victim of content scraping.
Your content may be stolen, and the thieves will end up ranking high on SERPs. This will eventually cause your site to lose value and fall in SEO rankings. To combat this, you may use Copyscape tools to check for copies of your content on the web. If you find your content on someone else’s site, you can ask the webmaster to take it down or report them using Google’s Copyright Removal form.
Checking Site Speed
Negative SEO can potentially affect your site’s speed. This is done by forcefully crawling your website and causing a heavy server load. Chances are, this will cause your site to slow down or even crash.
This is what practitioners of negative SEO do to get ahead of the competition. To guard against such dirty tactics, use crawling software like Screaming Frog to check for any suspicious activity. Should you determine that your site is a victim of forceful crawling, contact your web host to find out where the heavy server load is coming from, then go ahead and block the culprits using robots.txt or .htaccess.
Having Security Upgrades
Finally and most importantly, having security updates is your best defense against negative SEO. Ensuring that your software is up-to-date can protect your site from cyber attacks. You should specifically consider getting CMS software with top-notch encryption, and switching to HTTPS is an important upgrade. Not only will your site get a good ranking, but it will also have better security.