Negative SEO and Negative SEO Attacks

All of the websites that are achieving success are planned to work on SEO and the conditions are changing day by day. While everyone wants to be in the higher places on the search engines, it is not easy to have a higher place on Google as in the past. Especially in the last few years, the website owners are struggling intensely to have a better position on Google and it makes the competition higher between the websites and the online marketing, e-commerce sites at the same time. 

Negative SEO and Negative SEO Attacks

Being successful with the black hat SEO method on the internet does not provide good results for website owners and people tend to prefer other methods as well. In recent years, negative SEO is used by people often who are aiming to have better positions than their competitors and you need to protect yourself and the website on the internet. You will be able to learn how to protect your website from negative SEO and negative SEO attack in the article that we prepared for you. In addition to that, we shared the required information which may guide you at the same time. Let’s look at detailed information about negative SEO, negative SEO attacks, and the things that you can do for these situations. 

What is Negative SEO?

Negative SEO is a method by those who are sabotaging the websites of their competitors and it is also part of the Black Hat SEO at the same time as we mentioned above. The methods that these people are using are not ethical as well. A lot of different ways can be used for negative SEO attacks. Those who are using negative SEO, often aiming to get a better position than their competitors on the search engines. You might have to face various negative SEO attacks and you will be able to know about types of negative SEO attacks, how to determine them and how to protect your website from these attacks in the following parts below. 

Types of Negative SEO Attacks 

Negative SEO attacks do not happen only by one method. Your competitors may use many different ways to get a better place on the search engine than you. You can see the most used and preferred ways for negative SEO attacks and have more information about them that we listed for you. 

  1. Hacking the website is one of the most common negative SEO attacks.
  2. Creating countless spammy links for your website. 
  3. Pointing your website by used keywords on the internet. 
  4. Sharing negative comments about your website by creating fake social media accounts on the most used social media platforms. 
  5. Copying your website and your contents and sharing them on the internet. 
  6. Destroying the backlinks which are the best on your website. 

Hacking the Website

For the negative SEO attacks, hacking the website is significantly one of the most common and most preferred methods. When these people would like to ruin the website, hacking the website is the most effective method to achieve their goals but it is also costly at the same time. When someone hacks your website, you will not be able to be shown on the search engine and it will directly affect the place that you have on Google as well. In addition to that, your website might not be reachable at the same time. 

Building Spammy Links for the Website

Creating thousands of spammy links and backlinks is also one of the most preferred methods for negative SEO attacks. The number of links can be changeable and it can directly affect the website at the same time. Usually, those who would like to damage the website of the competitor by generating thousand of backlinks and spammy links are using automated software, link farms, and public blog networks (PBN) as well. 

Pointing the Website by Used Keywords 

Negative SEO attacks can also be happened by used keywords on the internet which can change the direction of the website. Those who would like to damage your website can point it by links with these keywords.  

Sharing Negative Comments and Destroy the Reputation 

Sharing negative comments, reviews, and rating is also the most used negative SEO attack. These attacks can happen in many different ways. Usually, hundreds of fake social media accounts are created by those who would like to destroy your website and share negative comments, reviews and give bad ratings at the same time. This attack can directly affect the traffic of the website. This method is often used on known brands and companies on the internet. In addition to that, your reputation can be affected by these negative comments, bad ratings, and negative reviews as well. 

Copying Your Website and Sharing 

In this attack, attackers copy your website and the contents that you shared on your website, then they share the copies that they took on the internet and this situation also affects your website directly because the attackers share the copies in every possible way. In this situation, you can easily lose rankings and your website can get penalties at the same time. 

The other attack to destroy your website is attacking the best links of your website by targeting the SERP positions of your website. These attackers can pretend as an agency and contact you to remove the links of your website. You should be prepared for these situations. 

How to Determine a Negative SEO Attack

How to determine if you've been hit by negative SEO

As you can see above, attackers can use many different ways to damage your website. If your website is not prepared for the negative SEO attacks, it will directly destroy your website or you can have great damages after the effort that you made for your website. To make your website prepared for these kinds of attacks you must inform yourself about the processes that you can secure your website. There are some ways that you can comprehend the negative SEO attacks that we are going to share with you in the following part. You will be able to know the best ways to protect your website from negative SEO and how to determine the negative SEO attacks at the same time. 

9 Effective Ways to Protect Your Website from Negative SEO Attacks 

While negative SEO attacks are used unethically on the internet, you need to protect yourself and your website. People are struggling hard to provide better positions for their websites and these unethical ways can destroy all of the efforts easily. If you do not want to face these kinds of situations, you must know how to protect your website from negative SEO attacks. We listed 9 effective ways that you can improve the security of your website below. You can look at them and make your website prepared for negative SEO attacks. 

  1. Google Webmaster Tools Email Alerts 
  2. Protecting the Best Backlinks that You Have 
  3. Make Your Website More Secure 
  4. Checking Your Site for Duplicate Contents 
  5. Controlling the Speed of Your Website 
  6. Tracking Your Backlinks Profile 
  7. Checking the Mentions of Your Site on the social media 
  8. Working on SEO Strategies 
  9. Having Good Relations with Clients 

Google Webmaster Tools Email Alerts 

Google Webmaster Tools Email Alerts 

Google Webmaster Tools email alerts are one of the most preferred methods to detect negative SEO attacks for websites. You can directly use these tools and get notifications and email alerts from Google. When your website is getting attacked by malware, you will be able to get emails from Google. Also, it will notify your about when your pages are not indexed or when there are server connectivity problems on your website as well. The manual penalty notification is also another notification from Google on the email alerts. If your website is not connected with the Google Webmaster Tools, you can easily do that by the steps that we shared with you below. You can follow them and connect your website to Google Webmaster Tools to protect your website easily. 

  1. First of all, you need to log in to your account. 
  2. When you click on the settings icon, you will see the “Webmaster Tools Preferences”. You should click on that button. 
  3. After that, you should enable email notifications by clicking on them. 
  4. Under the enable email notifications, you will see the “type” part. You should choose “All issues” to receive email alerts from Google. You can also choose your email address to receive the alerts as well on the “email” section. 
  5. You must click on “Save” when you completed your selections. 

After you complete 5 easy steps to log in to Google Webmaster Tools, your website will be connected and you will be able to get notifications and email alerts from Google when there is something wrong. As we mentioned above, there can be many different reasons that you get notifications from Google. 

The other way to protect yourself from negative SEO attacks is by protecting the best backlinks of your website. Attacking the best backlinks that you have is one of the most common ways to damage your website and you need to protect your website from these attacks. There are 2 different ways to protect the best links that you can see below;

  1. Firstly, you can use Monitor Backlinks to track the best backlinks of your website. To do that, you need to go to the list of the backlinks and check them according to the page rank and the social activity. Then, you should tag the best backlinks that you have. In this way, you will be able to notice if there is a change and removing on the best backlinks directly. It is easy to add tags on the best backlinks, there are some steps to tag them easily that you can see below. 
  • You should select the backlink that you want to tag.
  • You should click on the setting icon and select “edit”.
  • Then, you can add the tag that you want to see on the backlink.
  • You should do the same for all of the best backlinks that you would like to tag. In this way, you will be able to see the list of them easily when you filter them. 
  • After that, you can check the best backlinks that you tagged regularly and if there is a change or the best backlink that you tagged is removed, you can directly contact the webmaster and learn the reason why the backlinks are removed. 

When you follow these steps, you will be able to understand if there is an attack on your best backlinks and you can easily protect them with this method as well.

  1. The other way is using your domain on your email address when you are contacting the webmaster. You should not prefer to use Google or Yahoo. 

Make Your Website More Secure 

The most important thing is being sure that your website is secure enough. Various ways can be used to protect your website from negative SEO attackers. You can see some recommendations below which guide you to make your website more secure and prepared for the negative SEO attackers. 

  • First of all, you need to have a strong password. You should add strong characters, letters and make a better combination for a strong password. You can also search how to make your password stronger and effective for hacking. 
  • You should never forget to backup your data. You must save and backup your data regularly. 
  • You should inform yourself about the antivirus to protect your website from attacks. 
  • The other step is installing Google Authenticator Plugin. In this way, you will be able to create a 2-step verification password. You will get a code through on your phone and you will need to enter the code when you are trying to log in. Consequently, nobody will be able to log in to your account without the verification that you get on your phone. In addition to that, you will be able to get the code for both Android and iOS at the same time. 

Checking Your Site for Duplicate Contents 

As we mentioned in the different methods of negative SEO attacks, duplicate contents are a used method to damage your website. While the attackers share your website and contents, you can directly get the penalty and you can start to lose the ranking at the same time. To avoid this situation, using the Copy Space is a recommended way. You can easily search your content and detect if your content is sharing by attackers on the internet. 

Controlling the Speed of Your Website 

Your website should not have an extremely low speed and you should check it regularly. When the attackers send countless requests to your server, it can cause to destroy your server instantly because the attackers send numerous requests to your website in a second. You can use the recommended tool Pingdom to check the server and the speed of your website regularly. Also, you will be able to get email alerts about the situation of the server at the same time. 

Tracking your backlinks profile is one of the most required steps for protecting your website. You must know and determine the low-quality links that are redirected by the attackers to your website. You will be able to determine these links by using some tools such as Open Site Explorer or Ahrefs. 

In addition to that, the other ways to detect the links are by using Monitor Backlinks as well as we mentioned before. If you would like to check the links manually you can use the tools but if you do not prefer to check them manually, you can also use Monitor Backlinks which is easy to use. You can directly create an account and connect it with Google Analytics. You will be able to get emails about the backlinks of your website on Monitor Backlinks as well. 

Checking the Mentions of Your Site on the social media 

To damage your reputation, the competitors or the attackers can create fake social media accounts on the most used social media platforms on the internet. They keep sending negative comments, bad ratings, and negative reviews about your website, brand, or company. This situation mostly happens to the known brands as well. You must detect fake accounts before they damage your reputation. Mention.net is a recommended tool to determine fake profiles and remove them. You can detect fake profiles and report them as spam directly. In this way, the fake account will be removed. 

Working on SEO Strategies 

If you would like to enrich the security of your website and have a more successful website, you should work on SEO strategies perfectly and follow the guides of Google at the same time. If you do not work on SEO perfectly, you may damage your website by yourself. You must be sure that your website is suitable for SEO and the requirements of Google as well, otherwise, you will not be able to notice the attacks. 

Having Good Relations with Clients 

Having good and effective relations with your clients is significantly crucial for your reputation, brand, company, and your website. Even if you are having problems with the clients, you should never do something against them and you need to keep improving the communication with them positively even in the worst situations because you cannot know the person who you are contacting. It is common to see that some of the clients who have problems with the company may try to damage the brand because they cannot take a good service as they expected from the company.

For this reason, aggressive or unhappy clients might tend to create fake social media accounts and share negative comments, reviews, and bad ratings about your company and your website. This situation can directly affect the traffic of your website and the reputation of your company at the same time. Consequently, you should never argue with the clients and find a common point to turn the situation in a positive way. 

FAQ

Is negative SEO illegal?

While the negative SEO is significantly unethical, some of the big companies can follow the situation by lawyers when they face the negative SEO attacks and it damages their reputation and the website itself at the same time. When the IP address is found, the company or the website owner can sue those who used negative SEO attacks. 

If you would like to remove spammy backlinks on your website, you can use Webmaster’s Removals Tool on Google Search Console. You can visit the website of Removals Tool on Google and have more detailed information about the steps that you need to complete to remove the spammy backlinks from your website easily. 

Is negative SEO still used? 

When there is competition between the companies, brands, or website owners, people sometimes try to damage the website of their competitors but nowadays, almost all of the websites are secure and prepared for the negative SEO attacks on the internet. Especially, the useful tools do not let the negative SEO attacks as well. If your website is not secure for negative SEO and if you would like to make your website more secure, you can look at the article that we prepared about negative SEO and negative SEO attacks and make your website more prepared and secure for them. 

Is it hard to detect negative SEO attacks? 

In some cases, you may not comprehend the negative SEO attacks. There can be a few reasons why you cannot detect and prove the negative SEO attacks for your website. 
If your website has countless toxic links,
If the contents of your website are weak,
You might not understand the attacks directly. In addition to that, you must check the algorithms regularly and if there is decreasing in SEO, you need to find the reason because sometimes it can be misleading to see the decrease as usual. Eventually, you must pay attention to understand the reason, otherwise, it can be also negative SEO attacks.

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