November 9, 2016 Last updated November 8th, 2016 2,286 Reads share

Simple Ways to Protect Your Website from Negative SEO

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Negative SEO refers to the use of unethical techniques such as black hat with the aim of sabotaging the rankings of a competitor’s website. This is a real threat and it has affected many websites. It is so serious that Google released the Disavow Tool, which enables webmasters to handle this issue. Understanding the local SEO ranking factors and learning how to prevent negative SEO is important for every website.

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Before you can start protecting your website from negative SEO, it is imperative that you understand the different forms that the threat takes. They include the following:

  • Hacking of a website
  • Building Spammy links to your site
  • Setting up fake social profiles that damage your online reputation
  • Copying your content and reposting it all over the web
  • Using links that point to you with bad keywords, such as online poker, Viagra and so on
  • Removing your best back links

These are just some of the forms negative SEO takes. Your objective when protecting your website from these issues needs to be identifying the threats and making use of relevant tools to make your work easier. Apart from that, in addition to understanding the local SEO ranking factors, what are some of the best things you can do to protect your website from these negative practices?

#1. Create Google Webmaster Tools for Email Alerts

Google is involved in helping webmasters prevent negative SEO. As a result, they have provided a number of tools, all of which make work easier on your part. One of the best things you need to do is to set up for Google Webmaster Tools email alerts. This will help you do the following:

  • When your website is being attacked by malware
  • When you receive a manual penalty from Google
  • Your pages aren’t being indexed
  • You have any server connectivity problem

To set this up, you just need to log into your account and select the ‘Webmaster Tools Preferences’. Enable the email notifications and make sure you select to receive alerts for all issues. Click ‘save’ and you are done.

#2. Keep track of your links

Links are crucial local SEO ranking factors. As a result, when it comes to negative attacks on a website, Spammy back links and the removal of the best back links are a common problem. It is common for your competitors to pay casinos, pornographic and other malicious websites to create links that point to you. Alternatively, your competitors can pay hackers to remove your best back links.

Keeping track of your back links is important when managing online reputation. This is more so when considering that most people will damage your online reputation by building bad links or redirects that point to your website. It is your duty to know when such low quality links or redirects have been created.

Keep an eye out for such links as:

  • Links from websites that are in foreign language
  • Links from adult, gambling or any other illicit topic
  • Links that trigger malware or virus warnings
  • Links from websites with more than 50 links in their body text
  • Links from web pages whose purpose is spamming search engines

The good news is that there are many tools you can use to keep track of your back link profile. Top on the list include Open Site Explorer and Ahrefs. A more recommended tool is the This will send you alerts via email whenever you lose or gain back links. You can then follow up to check the quality of these links.

#3. Keep your best back links protected

Your best links are important local SEO ranking factors. They are what give you the great search engine rankings. Consequently, some of your competitors will want to remove these back links so as to compromise your ranking. They do this by contacting the website owner that gives you the link using your details and ask them to remove the back link.

There are two best ways of preventing this problem. The first is to always communicate with the webmaster using your domain email instead of Yahoo or Gmail. This will help prove to him that you are not pretending to be someone you are not. The second method you can use is that of keeping track of all your best backlinks. You can do this with monitoring tools like This tool will notify you in case the backlinks are removed.

#4. Keep your website secure from hackers and malware

Keeping your website as secure as possible is the trick to preventing negative SEO. A website that is not secured from hackers and malware will be more susceptible to attacks that damage its reputation. In securing your website, there are a couple of things you will need to do.

  • Install the Google Authenticator Plugin. This is an option you need to consider if you use WordPress. You also need to create the two-step verification password. With this option, you will have to add a code that has been generated by the Google Authenticator on your Android or iOS device. Without this code, you will not be able to log into your account.
  • Another thing you need to do is to create a much stronger password. Make sure your password contains both special characters and numbers.
  • Create backups of your web files regularly. Backing up your website will help recover fast in the event that you are hacked.
  • Install an antivirus if your website allows your users to upload files.

#5. Check for duplicate content

As aforementioned, one of the methods ill-minded competitors will use to compromise your website is by copying your content and redistributing it. This leads to plagiarism, which can be very bad for your SEO ranking. Preventing plagiarism is one of the most important local SEO ranking factors.

From time to time, you need to check if your site has duplicate content. You can do this using such tools as If you have duplicate content, consider creating new content and delete the old one.

Other things you need to do in managing your online reputation is to monitor social media mentions, monitor the speed of your website, and try not to make enemies online. Other than that, the aforementioned tips will come in handy when protecting your website from negative SEO.

Rahul Bhardwaj

Rahul Bhardwaj

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