Negative SEO is something that’s becoming more and more of a threat.
If you spend months or even years getting your website to the very top of the search engine results for a tough keyword, the last thing that you want is for someone to ruin all of that hard work by waging a negative SEO campaign against you.
The problem is though, it’s very hard indeed to protect a website against negative SEO attacks due to the number of automated tools out there that make it simple to blast millions of links at a URL in just a matter of hours.
In this article we’re going to look at those who are at the biggest risk of suffering from negative SEO and what they should do about it.
There’s very little written on the internet about negative SEO – especially from search engines themselves.
Although most search engines do claim to have a firm grip on negative SEO and systems in place that are there to limit the damage caused, how effective are they? The answer is that we really don’t know.
Who’s at risk of negative SEO?
Any website that ranks highly for a search term that’s competitive could be perceived to be at risk of negative SEO from an unscrupulous competitor. It has fast become the competition’s weapon of choice when it comes to taking rival websites out.
Those people who target highly competitive search terms are likely to be at risk of being targeted – as are those people who peddle affiliate products.
Affiliate marketing is a dog eat dog world with some pretty shady individuals operating in it – some of them will stop at nothing to get their websites to the pinnacle of the search engine results, even if that means destroying all of your hard work.
Keep an eye out for attacks
The best way to keep an eye out for negative SEO attacks is to look out for link warning notices in Google’s Webmaster Tools, as well as keeping an eye on the links to your website that pop up in there.
Another way to keep tabs on negative SEO campaigns is to use back link checking services – the problem with these though is that most low quality links fired at sites as part of a negative SEO campaign can take months to be crawled for them to show up.
If you do discover that someone has been firing low quality links at your website it’s important for you to disavow those links immediately.
If you receive any link warnings from search engines then those should be appealed too so that they can be manually reviewed.
Be very careful what links you build yourself because sometimes they can break the terms laid out by search engines, which means that your site cannot be reinstated in the search engine results.
Negative SEO is a growing problem but by remaining vigilant there’s a lot that you can do to combat it.