Why Negative SEO Attacks Can Be Difficult to Spot and Prove

The Internet marketing world is always changing. It is always going through changes and developing. SEO is also changing with it. The tendency to achieve high ranking is still present today. However, the way in which websites try to do it is changing. This is causing the emergence of new ways of managing SEO and competing with competitors. Some of these changes however can’t be considered a positive SEO effort. Today we can talk about negative or anti SEO as part of a regular but not so positive internet marketing practice. These negative SEO attacks can be difficult to spot and prove but you must tackle them in today’s competitive world.

Understanding negative SEO

Negative or Anti SEO has become a reality in recent times. It is a result of many factors that are intertwined to bring on the creation of negative SEO and their attacks. First of all, SEO is evolving and making it harder to rank high. With more online businesses there is a tougher competition to rank. At the same time, Google is continually enhancing its algorithms making it harder to keep up. Changing guidelines are in place to enhance the customer’s experience and SEO has to keep up. With all this, the possibility of using black hat SEO practices is virtually impossible. As result, a new form of SEO was created and it is imposing a negative influence on competition and competitors’ websites.

Cyber security sign as a symbol of why negative SEO attacks can be difficult to spot and prove
Protection from negative SEO attacks is of paramount importance

Negative SEO attacks are now a reality and all present. So, to protect your business from them means that you should understand it. Without proper knowledge and understanding, negative SEO attacks can be difficult to spot and prove and almost impossible to protect from. Your whole business effort may be jeopardized by this anti-SEO and the potential for your growth was much hurt and limited.

Negative SEO defined

As a new emergence negative SEO has to be precisely defined. Simply put negative SEO is any malicious activity aimed at hurting your competitor’s rank. It is a sabotage of your competitor’s rankings using unethical methods. Due to its unethical nature and the damage, it can cause it is clearly a black hat SEO practice that you should avoid. There are many methods that negative SEO uses. These methods usually include:

  • Hacking the websites
  • Building spam backlinks
  • Copying competitors content
  • Pointing links using negative keywords
  • Creating fake social profiles
  • Removing backlinks.

Negative SEO attacks happen whenever a competitor wants to limit or decrease your ranking. These attacks are a real threat and you must not ignore them. They are widespread and both new businesses and established businesses and websites can become a victim to them. These practices are also very effective so they are a real menace that you have to tackle.

Hacked sign
Website hacking is one common way of engaging in negative SEO

Why is it hard to spot?

Many websites realize that they are a victim of these attacks when their rankings suffer. They are usually penalized by google or they have a drop in rankings. However, not every drop is a negative SEO attack. Sometimes a change in the Google algorithm will naturally lead to this drop. This is when you have to try and spot if it’s a real attack or just Google’s guidelines change. But if you are certain that an SEO attack is underway it can be difficult to prove. This is especially true for companies that have a new website or have spammy links and poor quality content.

Also if the website is dealing in toxic backlinks and black hat SEO it can be difficult to spot. In these cases, a normal google action leads to a ranking drop so you can complain about the damaging attack. To be sure that you are indeed a victim of such attacks you should take steps to comply with Google guidelines. Create quality content and audit your backlinks for safety. Once you are sure that your webpage is up to Google’s standards and clean of spammy content you can have a clearer picture. Any drop in rank in these cases can be a result of a negative SEO attack.

Preventing a negative SEO attack

First of all, these negative SEO attacks may seem like a change in Google’s algorithms. This is exactly why negative SEO attacks can be difficult to spot and prove. So, you can be a victim of Google’s penalty if you are dealing in any black hat SEO. To make sure that you are safe try to eliminate any such practice. This will help you discern and recognize a negative SEO attack as soon as it happens.

What you can do

Set your Google console for email alerts. In this way you will be notified of any malware attack, google penalty or server crashes on time. Also, make sure to track your own backlinks. This is one of the most important precautions to take. Spammers usually use low-quality links and redirects to jeopardize your ranking with Google.

Try to protect your best backlinks as best you can. You can also hire Link Department to handle your backlinks and protection professionally. A spammer can contact high authority websites and try to get them to remove your backlinks. This can be hurtful in many different ways. So, maintain formal contact with these sites and use Ahrefs and Semrush tools to keep track of your links.

Find a good hosting provider that can provide adequate protection. Make sure that the company provides strong malware and virus protection and creates strong login passwords.

Traffic sign saying SPAM
Spam and spammy links are often used in anti SEO

Use tools to discover duplicate content all over the internet. Spammers usually copy your content everywhere they can to get you penalized. Luckily there are tools to discover these duplicates. Also, check your webpage speed. Spammers can send many requests to your servers that can slow them down and cause a crash. keep track of your website speeds to spot a potential attack.

Keep your social media mentions in check. You can use Google alerts to keep track of any mentions of your brand. This is a sure way of preventing spammers create profiles using your name. If you find them report them as fake.

A couple of closing points

Although these sorts of attacks are relatively new they can happen at any time. These negative SEO attacks can be difficult to spot and prove but can cause you considerable damage. So, it’s important to be vigilant and use all of the tools at your disposal to prevent them. Being aware of them can make it easier to spot them and take them in the right way.

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