You invested time and money in organically and ethically building and cleaning up your backlink profile when, come your next audit, you still detect hundreds and thousands of low-quality, spammy links to your website. You wake up one morning and discover that your search rankings and traffic are dropping dramatically. Google has penalized you, and you have no idea why.
If this happens, there’s a big chance that one of your competitors is sabotaging your website by practicing black hat and unethical SEO techniques. A hostile competitor can pay for negative SEO services because they know it will attract the attention of Google to your site. To curb such practices, Google released the Disavow tool in 2012 to remove manipulative and spam links.
Identifying Negative SEO Attacks
A healthy backlink profile is a critical component in maintaining your business website’s search ranking. Competitors can sabotage your page rankings by buying low-quality backlinks to your website so Google will penalize you. Link-based penalties are a result of such links, which offer no value to the Internet.
Hostile competitors may sabotage your page ranking in different ways. Negative SEO attacks include hacking, building thousands of spammy links to your website, pointing links to your website using manipulative keywords, creating fake social profiles to ruin your reputation, removing your best backlinks, and even copying your content and distributing it all over the Internet.
Protecting Your Website from Negative SEO
There is no doubt that negative SEO is a threat to your business and your reputation. There are webmasters and SEOs who still practice black hat techniques for profit, and many of them succeed. To protect your website from negative SEO attacks, you must learn how to conduct a link audit like a pro or invest in link removal services.
If you set up Google Webmaster Tools Email Alerts, Google will alert you if your website is being attacked by a malware or getting a manual penalty, or if your pages are not indexed. The worst scenario is if Google drops your page rank to zero. Your site traffic will dramatically decrease, which will then affect your sales. This is why you need to regularly monitor and clean up your backlink profile. Apart from creating content and building up your ranking, you should also secure your website and protect your business’s online reputation.