Business owners that want to improve their website’s standing and attract more customers often rely on proven SEO techniques to boost their organic traffic. However, SEO trends are constantly shifting, and it would be best if you stayed up to date with the latest developer guidelines.
Adhering to Google’s recommendations will ensure that your website can reach a broad audience. Veering from this advice can lead to a drop in the volume of visitors your site receives or, in extreme cases, even get your website blacklisted. Since we always provide tips for entrepreneurs and bloggers, we will offer 5 simple ways to protect your website from negative SEO.
What is negative SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it includes a set of techniques and design guidelines you can implement to improve your website’s rank in SERPs. When you do things by the book and follow Google’s webmaster guidelines, people often say you are using ‘white hat SEO.’ On the other hand, going against Google’s policies can negatively impact your SEO, regardless if it’s done purposefully or by accident.
Therefore, you should be mindful of everything that can cause a drop in your SEO and research the most effective and simple ways to protect your website from negative SEO.
Here are the 5 best ways to protect your website from negative SEO:
1. Avoid black hat techniques
We previously mentioned white hat SEO as the best way to achieve a good rank for your website. However, doing things correctly often requires a lot of effort, and it also takes time to show results. Naturally, some business owners will look for shortcuts that can give them immediate results.
Unfortunately, when their website design goes against search engines’ terms of service, that is called ‘black hat SEO.’ Google’s algorithm has gotten much better over the years, and we don’t recommend attempting any black hat techniques since they will undoubtedly result in negative SEO for your website. Thankfully, many effective ways to boost traffic to your website that won’t drop your SERP rank.
2. Monitor your backlinks
Arguably, one of the essential contributors to your SEO is the backlinks and mentions you get from other websites. You can consider backlinks to measure your site’s social standing on the internet. If many relevant websites are linking to you and sending users your way, Google will notice and further promote your site. Similarly, backlinks from websites with a poor reputation can cause a drop in your SEO.
We suggest that you reach out to websites that have a good standing and are relevant to your business. Backlinks from these websites will give you the most significant boost in SEO. Of course, you will need to provide these websites with a reason to host links that direct users your way.
That can include writing guest articles for their blogs and hosting exciting articles on your website. This strategy can be critical for businesses in the service industry. For example, if your company offers storage and transportation services, you should rely on pros for this and look for SEO experts for moving companies. If you struggle to set up quality backlinks, you can always contact SEO experts for help.
Besides setting up quality backlinks, monitoring all the places that are linking to your site is a good idea. Your competition may attempt a negative SEO attack by setting up numerous low-quality links or website redirects. You can use Google Analytics to check your backlinks or use specialized software such as Monitor Backlinks.
3. Use Google Webmaster Tools
Instead of actively monitoring the health of your website, we recommend setting up email alerts through the Googles Webmaster Tools suite. If you are part of a traffic exchange, it can be essential to know where the traffic to your website is coming from. Email alerts can inform you when something is amiss with your website, giving you a chance to correct those mistakes.
You can also set up alerts for when your pages are not indexed or when you receive a manual penalty from Google. Simply connect your website to Google Webmaster Tools and select the issues you want to receive alerts for.
4. Protect your website from hackers and negative SEO attacks
With the rise of cyberattacks, website security has become a growing concern. Website hackers or even your competitors may wish to harm your business. Thankfully, there are a few simple ways to protect your website from negative SEO attacks and increase your security.
- First, you should create a strong password for your website to ensure that hackers can’t brute-force their way in.
- We suggest regularly updating your website and any third-party plugins you are using.
- Periodic backups can prevent anyone from holding your data ransom.
- Implement multi-factor authentication to prevent someone from accessing your website by simply knowing the password.
- Brief all your employees on the security protocols you use since most successful hacking attempts result from human error.
5. Avoid duplicate and scraped content
Quality content has become the lifeblood of any website that wants to stand out and attract a large online following. It’s only natural that Google and other search engines have started using content as one of the key determining factors when they rank websites in the results pages. To help you create unique content which will also boost your SEO, we have put together a list of SEO tips for bloggers.
You should avoid scraping content from other websites since that can quickly result in a negative SEO penalty. You should also be mindful not to duplicate content on your pages. Every page on your website needs to be unique and serve a specific purpose. If you think others may be stealing your content, you can use websites like Copyscape to determine if there are duplicates of your articles on the internet.
As you can see, avoiding black hat SEO is not enough since other websites can also impact your SERP rating. Fortunately, we’ve gone over 5 simple ways to protect your website from negative SEO that you can use to keep your site safe from malicious SEO attacks. Remember that it’s always advisable to regularly perform SEO audits if you want your website to function well.