Negative SEO is a very real problem for those who’ve been victimized by it. Seeing your website rankings that you’ve fought so hard for tank practically overnight is not only heartbreaking, but a real financial pain as well.
So what form do these negative SEO attacks take? They can from a veriety 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 Strategies for handling Negative SEO
Use site alerts – In your Google Webmaster Tools there is the option to send alerts that will notify you when things like malware strike your site, or if you’ve been penalized for something you might not have been aware of.
Look at your backlink profile – One way negative SEO can harm you is if you get a sudden spike in backlinks that are of the spammy variety. You’ll need to especially be aware for any spam keywords. A site like monitorBacklinks.com is useful.
Listen for social media mentions – Set up alerts on a service like Mention.net to monitor anytime anyone mentions you or your brand. Social media can catch fire quickly, so this is a must.
Check for duplicate content – An old school technique used by people intent on harming your SEO is copying your content and sticking it all over the Web. Having the same content everywhere you look on the Web is a good way to incur a Google site penalty.
Secure your site – Be sure you have a secure installation. This is partly your host’s and partly your responsibility, but you really don’t want someone gaining access. If you are running WordPress, this is doubly true, as it is a hacker’s playground.