In some instances, website owners suffer from the effects of negative SEO. Either they unknowingly practice methods that they don’t know are detrimental to the ranking or a competitor site does ways to ruin the opposition. As a webpage owner, you surely want to know how to dodge this harmful bullet.
Before getting to the helpful tips, let us first define what negative off-page SEO really is. It is the exact opposite of search engine optimization. According to WP Site Care, the main purpose of this is to drop your site’s rankings too far down that no user can view your domain on search engines.
As what was mentioned earlier, you could mistakenly hurt your own site by doing practices that you don’t know can ruin your SEO or a rival site maliciously attacks your page to hurt your visitor traffic. The former is likely to happen if you personally see through the ranking optimization of your site and might have stumbled on tips to do so in the internet. The latter, well, it happens if a rival feels threatened of your site’s sudden popularity.
So, how do you exactly arm yourself and dodge these effects of negative SEO? Here the most common reasons for negative search engine optimization and how you can keep your site safe.
A site’s ranking may not be totally damaged by a couple of spammy links. In contrast, negative ranking happens when links are built through link farms, Search Engine Land reveals. Link farms are a group of interconnected sites that use the same anchor text, which when clicked, directs the visitor to your website.
This sounds harmless. It actually is if the anchor text is a niche keyword to your domain and you don’t OVERDO the linking. However, if the anchor text is completely unrelated to your website and your page is linked to hundreds of it, Google makes you pay dearly for it.
A classic example of the effects of negative SEO this is what happened to WP Bacon, a partner of WP Site Care. An immense spam attack happened to the site in 2016. WP Bacon was linked more than a thousand times to an anchor text that is completely unrelated to its purpose and services. The keyword was “porn movie.” Although WP Bacon tried its best to retract the spammy domains, it didn’t gain its site back and eventually the page shut down for good.
If you’re personally trying to improve your SEO, you can moderate off-page links to your site. A few backlinks a week is enough to optimize your ranking. However, if the effects of negative SEO from a competitor, just like what happened to WP Bacon, you should regularly monitor your site’s link growth. This way, if you find a suspicious link, you can easily disavow it and prevent it from hurting your ranking.
One very helpful tool you can use is the SEO Spyglass. It shows you an abnormal spike in link growth and even allows you to disavow if you find a spammy link.
Competitors use scraping to deliberately lower your site’s ranking. This strategy involves copying the exact content of your site and posting it across other webpages. How is this damaging?
The effects of this negative off-page SEO are felt because Google usually chooses only one version of the content to rank. Often, the search engine is able to detect where the piece originally comes from. However, these days, it has become more difficult to identify the original. Competitors typically monitor rival sites’ pages and as soon as new content is posted, it is copied and reposted right away.
To avoid this negative SEO, you could check duplicates of your content. There are various sites that can help you find duplication. Copyscape is one of the most useful tools for this. Once you find out that there’s a copy of your content in other websites, you can initially contact the webmaster and request for the piece to be taken down. However, if the owner won’t comply, the best solution is to file a copyright infringement report to Google.