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How to Detect (and Deflect) Negative SEO Attacks

Have you been trying to increase your rankings on Google through SEO but scared of facing negative SEO attacks? It's understandable. Negative SEO attacks have a bad history of bringing down website rankings severely.

The good thing is, they're mostly in the past. However, it's still necessary to know how to detect negative SEO attacks and how to stop them. This article will help identify both.

What Entails a Negative SEO Attack?

A negative SEO attack is when an organization uses black hat SEO tactics to sabotage the rankings and statistics of another website. Whether this intention maliciously against one website in particular or a group of them is subjective to the attacker.

If you're unfamiliar with what black hat SEO is, it's a form of SEO that's unethical and mostly discarded in modern-day marketing. It's composed of techniques such as excessive and fake backlinking, paying for traffic, and copying content.

Black hat SEO techniques are very unethical and in some cases, even illegal. For negative SEO attacks specifically, they're done by website owners who cannot gain rankings by themselves. So instead, they bring down the rankings of other sites to improve theirs.

Do They Work?

Sort of.

Google's new Algorithm, Penguin, works to devalue link spamming or fake backlinking. Prior to 2016, Penguin would identify large chunks of spam links heading to a specific website. If tons of spam links lead to one website, that website gets demoted in the search results.

Post-2016 update, spam links are still identified but the aftermath is different. Websites are no longer demoted for spam links leading to the website, but rather the links themselves are devalued.

This means that the focus is more on the links now as opposed to the whole website. The new update to Penguin also helped the algorithm become more granular. Penguin now chooses to demote rankings based on the context of the spam links.

It can either choose to devalue the whole website if more links are directed there or just a single website page.

Since the focus of the devalue was shifted from websites to links, the chances of negative SEO attacks working have dramatically decreased. However, it's still possible for negative SEO attacks to harm a website. The chances of that happening are now just much lower.

How To Prevent Negative SEO Attacks

Since backlinks point to your site and affect your SEO rankings, there are a few things you can do. Here's a list of some preventative measures you can take to deflect negative SEO attacks:

  • Use a backlink tracking application to identify where places are backlinking to your site
  • File a DMCA complaint
  • Check coverage reports in Google Search Console
  • Report fake reviews to your site
  • Install anti-hack security for your website

More Help With SEO

SEO is designed to bring you the best search results you can imagine, straight to your website's front door. But this can only really get done with white hat and organic SEO strategies. Using black hat techniques will land website results nowhere, and might even result in punishment from Google.

You can prevent this by following this guide to prevent negative SEO attacks. If you're looking for more help with SEO, then you're at the right place.

At Soderman Marketing, we live and breathe SEO. Need any help with the ever so confusing world of SEO? Feel free to visit our blog for more information.

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