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SEO Attacks (Part 2): Protect Yourself from Negative SEO (and How We Help!)

9 Aug

Last week, we talked about negative SEO tactics, and the impact they can have on your SEO strategy. This week, we’ll be talking prevention.

While the risk of being targeted by a negative SEO strategy are slim for the majority of businesses and organisations, it’s still something you’ll want to keep in mind, especially if you operate in a highly-competitive, cutthroat industry.

As long as there’s money to be made in having a high rank in Google searches (and with 63,000 searches a second, that’s probably going to continue for years to come), there will be people who are willing to do anything to get ahead.

And that includes the negative SEO tactics we talked about last week.

Thankfully, there are several things you can do to protect yourself from suffering a drop in your page rankings…

1) Monitor your inbound links

Many negative SEO attacks will revolve around links, whether it’s removing good links or spamming low-quality ones.

The reason is because in the grand scheme of things, manipulating links is relatively easy and cheap – especially compared to more involved tactics like hacking attacks.

Performing regular audits of your website’s links can help you detect suspicious and potentially negative links. The vast majority of websites will include this in their analytics – for example, if you’re in WordPress, you’ll find an option to generate an inbound link report in the drop-down menu.

If you notice a recent and unexpected spike in inbound links, you might want to take a look at where these links are coming from to see if they’re legitimate.

Some hosting platforms will also assign a risk-factor to each link in your linking report, helping you identify negative SEO attacks. You can then appeal directly to Google to have these links disavowed and overlooked.

When applying to have links disavowed, it’s important that you’re 100% sure that the link in question is part of a negative SEO campaign against you, and not just a coincidence.

Unsure? An SEO agency in Melbourne may be able to help!

When applying to have links disavowed, it’s important that you’re 100% sure that the link in question is part of a negative SEO campaign against you, and not just a coincidence.

Unsure? An SEO agency Melbourne may be able to help!

3) Apply to have web pages crawled whenever you make an edit

You know you don’t have to wait for Google to crawl and index your site, right?

Instead of waiting for Google to crawl your site, you can manually apply to have it crawled – this will immediately establish that the content on your site is in fact yours.

By making a habit of this, you can protect yourself from being labelled a plagiarist, as well as the associated ranking penalty that comes with it!

Another good habit to get into is checking online tools for duplicates of your content. Sites such as Copyscape allow you to check for copies of your content – just paste a URL in there and Copyscape will scour the internet for other instances of content duplication.

If you notice any suspicious duplicates out there, you can flag them or even issue a copyright claim to have it taken down.

Before you do so however, you’ll want to be absolutely sure that this is a case of plagiarism, and not somebody quoting you – the first is bad, but the second reflects well on you, and can actually help you raise your online profile!

4) Beef up your online security

Even if you aren’t at risk of a negative SEO attack, this is still a great piece of advice to follow!

That means:

  • Keeping up-to-date with security patches for your website software
  • Installing anti malware software on your server (if you host your own site)
  • Converting from HTTP to HTTPS
  • Carefully managing login details and user privileges
  • Ensuring your content management system is encrypted

In addition to protecting you from negative SEO attacks, this is also just a good thing to get into, end-of-story.

5) Make backups of everything

If you’re the victim of a website hack, you may have to revert a lot of changes attackers may have made to your website.

The problem is that depending on how many backups of your site you have, that might be left with a considerable amount of work to get your site back to where it was before.

This can result in a lot of content, work and updates being lost – as a result, your search engine rankings might take a hit!

While this doesn’t really help you prevent a negative SEO attack, it certainly can help you bounce back following one.

Finally, get help from an SEO agency in Melbourne

At iformat, we do much more than just build websites – our team develop SEO strategies that are tailored for your goals and customers.

More than that, we ensure that the results we get you are sustainable in the long-run.

And when we’re talking about negative SEO attacks, that means helping you identify when you’re the target of a vindictive SEO campaign and working to limit the damage.

When we’re not building your site, we’re busy maintaining it. We constantly monitor how each of our clients’ strategies are performing, as well as traffic and visitors. This allows us to identify potential issues and take swift action, maintaining your hard-earned rank.

Find out how an SEO agency in Melbourne like iformat can help your SEO strategy. Contact us today by calling 1300 88 64 50, or by filling in this form.