Early on in the SEO community, many blackhat tactics were running rampant and allowing SEOs to dominate the first page that way. Stuffing keywords, backlink spam, and other poor strategies actually paid off, and bad practices were rewarded. Today much has been learned about these types of blackhat SEO strategies, so they’re not nearly as effective and often negatively impact the site. Google’s algorithms are smart and punitive when it comes to identifying negative strategies, sometimes even blacklisting a website. With a new website, owners can often be eager to add backlinks and include their keywords all over the site without considering the possible negative implications. Sometimes, hackers can access your site and implement their links, causing harm to your website. If you catch the attack early, you can minimize the risk and impact.
How to Spot Negative SEO Attacks
Throughout the years, we have seen many nefarious attempts and methods. Below are the most common negative SEO techniques that our team has run into:
It’s essential to have a good understanding of the websites that you’re linking to. Irrelevant or infrequently visited websites won’t help your website. If you’re a new website with many low-quality links, Google will view your website as utilizing black hat SEO tactics.
An older blackhat SEO tactic is adding comments with backlinks on blog posts. If you have older posts spammed with comments, this is likely a malicious SEO attack. Remove these comments immediately and monitor your website more closely. Comments are typically unrelated to the blog itself, so it also creates an uneasy user experience for your readers.
Poor Anchor Text
Calls to action are important for your website; they’re directing users to the action you want them to take. You want them to be easily identifiable, but it’s important that you don’t always use the same anchor text in CTAs and other links. Ensure the anchor text is always relevant within the content, or Google could be confused with your content. Remember to sound natural to the actual people reading your website in addition to focusing on the technical parts of SEO.
Negative SEO Cleanup
You never want to be solving a problem that you didn’t create. But part of owning a website is maintaining it. You want to make amends and fix any issues with your site before it can be negatively impacted by Google.
If you have access, remove all of the low quality and spam links from your website. If you don’t have direct access, reach out to your webmaster to remove the nefarious links.
Disavow Tool in Search Console
The reality of the internet is, you can’t control which websites link to yours. Google saw these issues and created the disavow tool within the Search Console as a result. This file contains a list of the links that you don’t want Google to consider as part of your rankings. It essential causes Google to ignore these links.
Build Quality Links
Doing things the right way can take time but implementing best practices in link building still remains the best way to rank well. Contextual link building is a great way to do this. Create engaging and original content to help yourself earn links on websites that are relevant to your industry and relevant to you. Negative SEO can be frustrating, but following best practices will help your site get back on track.
Contact Boston Web Marketing today if your website has been negatively impacted by SEO in the past. Our team can help revamp your website and have it ranking again.