7 Tips to Protect Your Site From Negative SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 19, 2018

You work hard to create high-quality content that ranks high in search engine results and adds value to the marketplace. Sometimes, despite your efforts, you may notice that you don’t get the results you deserve.

In many cases, such performance problems can result from a negative SEO campaign launched by a competitor or even a former employee. Use the following seven tips to protect your site and keep it visible to search engine users and profitable for your bottom line.

Add SSL security

Search engines will promote your site in search results when you have a valid SSL certificate installed. Meanwhile, internet users increasingly recognize “https” as a sign of trustworthiness.

If you operate without SSL, you negatively affect your own SEO. Additionally, malevolent competitors can take advantage of your lax security to hijack browsers and spread malware. When word gets around, your site will plummet in search-engine results pages.

Audit your links

Link audits can help you detect sudden increases in the number of links that lead to your site that can indicate a negative backlink attack.

When you detect spammy sites linking to yours, submit a list of the problematic domains to the search engines to protect your domain and page authority.

Measure site speed

Although you may have spent a lot of time optimizing your images and code, you may discover that your site is dipping in the SERPs. Page speed may be the culprit.

Speed problems can occur when someone repetitively crawls your site to overload its resources and slow it down. If this happens, work with your hosting service to block offenders

Look for copied content

Search engines value unique content, so a competitor may launch a negative SEO attack by “scraping” your content and posting it to various sites across the web.

To combat this, sign up for a copy protection service. When you find violators, report them to the search engines to protect your page rank.

Monitor online reviews

Online reviews have much influence on consumer behavior, so competitors may launch a campaign that leaves disparaging remarks on your record.

Monitor business all the popular online business review sites, including those operated by the top search engines. When you see suspicious reviews, flag them so they can be removed.

Bounce-rate manipulation

Another negative SEO tactic occurs when a competitor identifies your top-performing keywords, searches for them, clicks your site in the SERPs and then quickly leaves.

Such actions increase your bounce rate and make the top search sites believe that your site is a poor match for those keywords.

Pay attention to your bounce-rate statistics to defend yourself. When you become a victim of a bounce-rate attack, file a disavowal statement to the top search engines.

Check search engine results

When you see that you’ve dropped off popular search engines or your top keywords, you know that something has probably gone wrong.

For example, someone might have maliciously submitted your URL to a search engine’s URL removal tool. Also, a search-engine algorithm change may cause you to lose page rank.

Protect yourself from these adverse conditions by using a third-party rank-tracking tool, so you can quickly react to any SEO problem.

As you use the above tips to protect your site from negative SEO, you will probably encounter even more ways to identify and protect yourself against this type of attack.

As long as you stay proactive and vigilant, you can keep your site ranking high in all the top search engines.