You’ve worked hard to galvanize your business’s search engine optimization (SEO). You’ve streamlined your site’s content, bolstered user experience, maybe even powered up your network’s operating speed. But all of a sudden, your SEO rankings have started to slip. You may be the victim of negative SEO—“black hat” schemes that lower your search engine rankings using dirty tricks like link farms and scraping.
While it’s highly possible that your rankings have dipped due to algorithm updates or changes in user behavior, negative SEO does happen. If you think your business has fallen victim to negative SEO—whether at the hands of a competitor, disgruntled former employee, or other attacker—it’s time to take action.
To help you out, here are some useful tips that can protect your business against negative SEO—and keep your rankings strong.
Conduct regular link audits
You can’t prevent negative SEO—but if you spot it early, you can minimize and reverse the damage it causes. You can do this by using software or manual audits to keep an eye on your site’s link profile.
A sudden increase in the number of links or referring domains in your profile could be an indication of a negative SEO attack. If you notice unnatural links or domains during your audits, disavow them immediately so your site doesn’t remain tied to them.
Monitor your site’s speed
Malevolent attackers can forcefully crawl your site, leading to slower load times and, in some cases, unavailability. If Google tries to access your site and can’t, your SEO rankings will take a hit.
Keep tabs on how your site is operating. If it seems sluggish, get in touch with your webmaster. They should be able to tell you what’s causing the slow-down so you can block the offending crawler.
Keep your content safe and unique
The shady practice of copying content from one site and pasting it across other pages is called scraping. As if someone copying your well-crafted words wasn’t enough, Google usually ranks only one version of duplicated content. So if it finds scraped content before your site’s original content, your rankings will suffer.
Protect your site by using anti-scraping tools to identify copied content across the web. If you discover scraped content, contact the site’s webmaster and ask them to take it down. You can also report the site to Google directly using their copyright infringement report.
Review your site frequently
Hackers can impact SEO by attacking your site directly. They might add unnatural links directly to your source code or modify your pages to redirect to another site—both of which will negatively affect your rankings.
You can ward off these attacks by auditing your site on a regular basis. At least once every three months is a good rule of thumb. When you conduct these reviews, you’ll be able to spot and remove outgoing links or page redirects that shouldn’t be there.
Check your SEO rankings
Tracking your rankings can help you identify an unsuspected stumble or worse, a sudden de-indexing. De-indexing is when your site disappears completely from search engine results, and could be the result of a disallow rule being written into your site’s robots.txt (code that instructs web robots on how to approach your site).
If your site has been de-indexed, check your robot.txt. Keep watch for any “disallow: /” rules you didn’t put in place yourself and remove them as soon as possible.
Secure the ranking you deserve
You know how important it is for potential customers and clients to easily find your site. Keep it high in the search engine rankings with a little help from the SEO experts at Liqui-Site. Our proven “white hat” SEO techniques can help extend your reach, streamline your strategy, and avoid a sudden plummet down the results pages.
To find out more or to get started, contact us today.