Unfortunately, sometimes a site will get hit with negative SEO by unforeseen circumstances out of our control. With today’s technology, it is almost impossible to be completely “hack proof” or “negative SEO-proof.” However, in a world where Google clearly lays out its algorithms and penalty violations for us to see, there’s plenty of steps we can take to be proactive in preventing negative SEO campaigns. There are ample resources and information available to help protect your site. Below are a few precautionary steps you can take to make sure you’re not blindsided by negative SEO effects.
Being on a shared IP address with several other domains, which may be flagged for distributing malware, can negatively impact your site. Your site should at very least have a dedicated IP for your specific domain and if possible its own server. When you have your own server, you reduce the risk of others being able to gain access to your hosting through a less secure domain on the same host.
One of Google’s recent algorithms, Google Panda, has cracked down on penalizing for duplicate content. You can work hard to create your own unique and fresh content, but this won’t stop others from copying and pasting your content on their site. This is known as “content scraping.” Being proactive in making sure your writing or images are not being used on the web elsewhere without your permission is key. You can use a service such as Copyscape or Plagium to seek out content thieves. If you find that your content has been successfully stolen, you may need to contact their hosting company to request it be deleted, or issue a DMCA order.
Inbound links can be difficult to monitor because you cannot control what other people do. For many reasons, it’s important to make sure that you have as many quality inbound links as possible. If you’re consistently focused on producing good content, you will consequently earn good links. By increasing your percentage of good links, this can help prevent being penalized for an attack of several bad links pointing toward your site. You can also protect your internal links from negative SEO effects by using carefully worded anchor text. Over optimization is a common mistake that people are still making. Be sure to change up the wording of phrases, and do not keyword stuff.
There are many precautionary steps you can take to help prevent being attacked by negative SEO effects, and these are just a few. To learn a couple more, check out another one of our posts on negative SEO!