SEO has become a widespread marketing tactic for businesses around the world. There is, however, a dark side to it. A dark phenomenon known as Negative SEO has begun terrorizing business’s in recently. To help businesses protect their sites from becoming affected from this terrible tactic, we’ve developed a list of 5 things you can do to identify negative SEO attacks. Negative SEO is the practice of implementing black hat SEO techniques on another site. Usually, an SEO attack is unleashed by a disgruntled competitor and his or her minions with the goal of reducing that site’s rankings. Essentially, negative SEO includes all those activities that may negatively affect your search engine ranking performance. What happens is that some malicious people create loads of spammy links and direct them to your site so that you can end up being penalized by Google.
1. Sudden Drop in Search Traffic
If you happen to notice a recent and sudden drop in your search traffic, there is a chance your website is a victim of negative SEO. Provided you haven't made any SEO mistakes yourself and have not changed your normal procedures. Be careful to not get carried away when you see a sudden drop. Just know your normal SEO performance and contact the search engine that you are performing your SEO under and contact a specialist for a diagnostic.
2. Penalty Notification from Google
Google has become aware of the growing number of sites reporting that they are victims of negative SEO and is taking preventive measures for websites that are potentially affected. If your website appears to be a victim of negative SEO tactics like keyword stuffing, broken links, spammy link sharing or content milling, Google will send you a
notification making you aware that you are a victim.
3. Drop in Keyword Ranking
Building on the previous point, if you have experienced a drop in search traffic, then the probability of your keyword rankings being affected too is a real possibility. In
order to keep up with and monitor the performance of your keywords, we recommend using tools such as Ahref’s Rank Tracker or Link Research Tools.
4. A Drop in Your Website’s Speed
One of the other usual signs of websites being affected by negative SEO is a drop in your site's speed. One thing we recommend using is Google PageSpeed Insights to test
the speed of your site and identify any issues that may have been affecting your site’s performance.
5. Fake Link Removal Requests
This is becoming quite common. Sometimes, you might receive link removal requests that seem sneaky. The aim is to remove quality links from your website. If you receive a link removal request of links from reputable websites, then it is a red flag.
Negative SEO is becoming more prevalent and business owners need to start becoming aware of some of the most common ways to identify if they are a potential victim of this dreadful practice. Hopefully, with this blog, you can take those first steps to protecting your website from negative SEO.