Negative SEO is sort of urban legend in the digital marketing world. This is because some people just couldn’t believe people could be so vindictive or malicious enough to execute a negative SEO attack. Unfortunately, it’s very real.
Put simply, a negative SEO attack involves the use of unethical and black hat SEO tactics against the websites of competitors with the intention of sabotaging the rank of the sites and getting Google to penalize them.
Is Your Website Under Attack?
If you suspect that someone’s trying to ruin your site’s ranking through a negative SEO attack, there are a couple of things to watch out for. These include:
- A penalty notification from Google. This is probably the most obvious indication since Google has already penalized you because they’ve uncovered activity on your site that’s not in line with their guidelines.
- A significant and sudden decline in your organic web traffic. If you’re not regularly monitoring your website’s traffic yet, you should. If you see any dramatic drops, you need to figure out why as soon as possible.
- Some of your links have been removed. Although there could be perfectly justifiable reasons for the removal of your links, if you’re suddenly losing multiple links and you can’t think of any obvious reasons as to why, someone might be carrying out a negative SEO attack on your site, warns a top SEO marketing specialist in Utah.
- The individual rankings for your keywords have suddenly dropped. It’s best that you monitor your keyword rankings for all the primary keywords that you’re using. They must ideally remain relatively static or consistently increasing. If you see their rankings dropping for no particular reason, you should figure out why.
Should You Be Concerned About Negative SEO?
The good news is that majority of website owners don’t need to worry about negative SEO unless your website is in an extremely high-profit and competitive niche like insurance, loans, or casinos.
That said, you must regularly check your back-links, check for warning signs of hacking, ensure that no one’s scraping your content, and only implement ethical SEO practices. Hopefully, you won’t have to ever worry about someone launches a negative SEO attack on your website.