What is negative SEO? How to protect your website from negative SEO?

Have you ever heard of negative SEO? if not, this article is for you. Know what is negative SEO and its effect on your website. Also, know how to protect your website from the impact of negative SEO.

Almost every blogger learns Search Engine Optimization and some even go for blackhat SEO to rank their blogs and websites on Google. With the advancement in Google Search Algorithms, blackhat SEO is no longer an easy job. So, the only way to reach your goal is applying SEO in a Google friendly way. Wait, have you ever heard of negative SEO? If not be careful, your website may be the next target of this negative SEO. Scroll down to know what is negative SEO and how it impacts your website.

What is negative SEO?

It's a kinda site optimization using blackhat techniques and making its rank go down in Google. Generally, this job is done by outsiders i.e. your competitors or attackers. Negative SEO can be employed in several forms for example, removing your quality backlinks, making fake social profiles, bulk commenting with links, building spammy backlinks to your website and pointing to your website using irrelevant keywords etc. These techniques doesn't need any coding or hacking skills, any individual can do this to bring down your website. There are thousands of people available to do this negative SEO for a few bucks. And this kind of practices are mainly seen in case of starting out blogs.

blackhat seo

When someone tried to spam your website with this negative SEO technique, sometimes you may not predict the results. If you didn't recognize what had happened to your site, you may have to bear penalty by Google. Your reputation in search may drop drastically making your visitors unable to reach your website. So, daily monitoring of your website's stats, performance and errors is a must.

You have many free tools from to check the traffic sources, backlinks, comment moderators etc to assist you. So, how to stay safe from such attacks using those tools? Since it is your blog, it's your responsibility to keep it safe. Here are the best methods or tips to make your website safe from negative SEO.

How to stay safe from negative SEO?

I hope you use Google Webmaster Tools and Google sends alerts when there your site is effected by malware, when pages are not indexed, when you get manual penalty etc. But those alone may not protect you from being a victim. So, besides using WMT, monitor your backlnks, check if someone had copied your content, moderate comments etc. Let us see them in detail now.

Check for duplicate content on web
Yes, you should check if your content is being misused by anyone giving no credit or without your permission. There are several free plagiarism checking tools like Writecheck, Turnitin, Plagiarisma etc that checks the text or tools like Copyscape that scans the entire website.

Monitor backlinks
It's recommended that you check backlinks every day or at least week to keep an eye on whats going behind. Don't let a spammer build low quality or spammy backlinks or redirects to your blog. You can use tools like Ahref and Backlink Checker from small SEO tools to monitor backlinks, referring domains etc. If you find any irrelevant backlinks try to get them removed by contacting the admin of that particular site.

Also, you need to track your quality backlinks from time to time. Spammers remove your high quality backlinks by contacting admins of those sites with your name. So, its recommended to maintain contacts with webmasters using a domain specific email address.

Moderate comments
If you are using WordPress this task is the easiest one for you. There are comment moderators like Akismet, Disqus, Livefyre etc. These plugins moderate comments and remove any comments that appear to be spam with external links to other websites. Also, Google allows Bloggers to apply comment moderation, enabling this feature allows users to comment using their social accounts. Also, bloggers can hide any backlinks if they don't want to show in comments.

A few more tips to kill negative SEO

Fake profiles are common for famous celebrities and brands. Have you ever checked for fake social profiles of your website? Act now. Check if someone id promoting(negative) under your name on social media to effect your reputation. Inform your followers and audience about that page or community or person. Also, check your website speed and ensure that its is fast enough. Generally, more fake requests to a website drops the speed by consuming more bandwidth so, also consider monitoring its speed.

You may never get response from some webmasters and those spammy backlinks will not be removed. In that case list out all those links and use Google Disavow tool to make them neglected by Google. You can have a list of backlinks from Web Master Tools and you need to upload the text file with links that need to be disavowed. Disavow tool is generally used in the worst case if those backlinks are really irritating. Please go through this post on Disavow Links for more guidance.

Never let your own SEO methods ruin your website. As shown in the above image, many newbies will be traffic hungry and use such paid methods. They try all the possible methods and tips to draw traffic without even knowing what they're doing; i.e. either white hat or blackhat SEO. So, be consistent, monitor your website regularly and act in a Google friendly manner to rank better.

Hope this article helped you. Waiting for your response.

Read more about effective link building strategies for 2015

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Guest Author: Davis Morris18 Sep 2015

This article give a good explanation about negative SEO.

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