Not many of us have been the target of a negative SEO attack, but for those who have, it’s generally not pretty. This type of activity can lead to lost revenue and damaged reputations. Not to mention all the time and effort you’ve spent getting your sites positioned well in Google.
So what form do these negative SEO attacks take? It can come in several ways, from 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 do you inoculate your site from this kind of attack? Below are some tips you’ll want to make sure you’re using to help hold this at bay.
5 Ways to prevent Negative SEO
Use alerts – One of the best features of Google Webmaster tools is that it can send you email alerts whenever your site is under different kinds of attacks, such as if you have a malware problem, pages are not indexed and others.
Keep an eye on your backlinks – If all of a sudden you notice a huge spike in backlinks, especially if you haven’t actively been seeking them, suspect something is afoot. Sites like Monitor Backlinks is a huge help here.
Keep an ear open for social media mentions – Track any mentions of you or your brand in social media, as you can be getting trashed and before long, are in full reputation management mode. Sites like Mention.net can give you alerts for these.
Check for duplicate content – A very old school technique used by people intent on harming your SEO is copying your content and pasting it all over the Web. Having the same content everywhere you look on the Web is an easy way incur a Google site penalty.
Secure your site – Be sure you have a secure installation. This is partly your host’s and partly your job, 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.