5 Ways to Defend Against Negative SEO Attacks

Updated: May 1

Negative SEO is the act of using Black Hat SEO on other websites in order to get them penalized by Google. Negative SEO can also include reducing the effectiveness of a website’s SEO properties by disabling or altering them.

Dealing with Negative SEO techniques can be quite tricky since some of them is out of your control, like pointing bad links (a.k.a link bomb) to your site. Another thing is, they are also a bit hard to detect. Unlike some hacking practices that aim to deface or simply take down a website, a Negative SEO attack doesn’t affect a website’s look and feel. Instead, the effects are only apparent once your website takes a dip in search ranking and incoming traffic.

1.Protect Your Best Backlinks - Very often, spammers will try to remove your best backlinks. They usually contact the website owner of the link, using your name, and they request the webmaster to remove your backlink.

To prevent this from happening, you can do two things:

When you communicate with webmasters, always use an email address from your domain, instead of using Gmail or Yahoo. This way, you will prove that you work for the website and that it’s not someone else pretending to be you. Your email should look like this:

Keep track of your best backlinks. For this, you can use Monitor Backlinks again. Go to your list of backlinks and sort them by Page Rank or social activity.

Add tags to the backlinks you value the most so you can verify if any of them get removed.

Select your backlink and click “edit.”

Add your tag, so you can later filter and find these backlinks easily.

After you have created your list, filter them by your tags, and monitor if their status changes. If any of these links are removed, you should contact the webmaster and ask why they removed your link.

2.Social Media Attacks - Social media accounts don’t play a huge part in SEO, but they do contribute. If someone is on social media mentioning your company negatively, spamming with your links, and generally presenting a bad image of you, it’s going to affect your website eventually.

3.Comment spam - Comment spam links are usually built in one of two ways: manually or by using spamming software. What makes data collection and interpretation easier when it comes to comment spam is the ability you have to access server logs and isolate which IPs were used in the posting attempts.

Comment spam is pretty easy to spot and easier to fix. You can turn off comments until you can add stronger CAPTCHAs and spam traps like Personally, I would leave comments off unless you absolutely need them, as I have yet to encounter a CAPTCHA that hasn’t been cracked.

4. Keep an Eye on your Site Speed - Speed is a key ranking factor. If your website is becoming lethargic and you have no idea why you should use the crawling software to look for anything suspicious. If you cannot find anything and there is still a problem, you might be the victim of forceful crawling. This causes a heavy server load, which means your site will slow down and might even crash. If you are a victim, you should contact your hosting company or webmaster to try and determine where the load is coming from.

5.Check for Duplicate Content - Repeatedly copy-pasting the same content of your webpage again and again in different places on the web is a part of prevalent negative SEO practices that Google is cracking down actively these days.

Black hat SEO practices may work for the short term, but it definitely poses a danger for any website in the long term and may lead to an irreversible penalty and legal actions.


Hi, this is Rizwan Khan, Marketing Assistant who supports the entire Marketing department by completing a variety job.I had a spell no more striking than other people in my job description. I did all the things you weren't supposed to do. I had a motto: When in doubt, try it. Take a few minutes and drop me a message. I’d love to chat!

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