What is Negative SEO and How to Protect Your Website from Negative SEO Attackers?

I’m pretty sure that you have hardly heard anything about the negative SEO. Negative SEO is really a threat to your business and website. This version of the SEO is new and very harmful for all website owners who have reputed websites.

If you are really serious about your business or brand, then you must learn about the negative SEO and how to protect your website from Negative SEO attackers.

In this article, you will be finding the detailed information about the Negative SEO. So, let’s start.

What is Negative SEO?

Negative SEO refers to the practice of using unethical techniques to sabotage a competitor’s rankings in search engines. It is a type of malicious attempt that is taken against your website to harm your rankings.

In simple words, Negative SEO is just a technique to decrease the rankings of a competitor’s website. It usually happens when a company desperately wants to push you out of the rankings for a particular keyword. The activities in this technique include are

  • Unnatural links to the website
  • Building a lot of spammy links
  • Content scraping
  • Hacking a Website
  • Ruining your reputation online by creating fake social profiles

Negative SEO is undoubtedly a threat to your website. There are a number of websites who have had this problem. Moreover, there are plenty of people available on the internet who do negative SEO for a small price.

How to Detect if Your Website is Affected by Negative SEO?

If your website is affected by negative optimization, the first thing that will happen is the continues dropping of your rankings in search engine result pages. So always check your rankings on continue basis. If your website is being attacked by spammy links you can use some paid SEO tools to check out the spammy links.

How to Protect your Website From Negative SEO

Check for Duplicate Content

Most of the spammers use this technique to harm your rankings. They copy the content from your website and paste it everywhere on the internet. So when search engines find duplicity of your content in many places, your website rankings drop.

  • How to check duplicate content

To check the duplicate content there are many tools available. To get the best results, I prefer you to buy the paid one. Among all the duplicate content checker tools, Copyscape is the best in my opinion.

Set up Google webmasters tools Email Alerts

You should connect your website to the Google webmaster tools. If you are connected to the Google Webmaster, follow the below tips:

  • Log in to your Google webmaster account and click on “Webmaster Tools Preferences”
  • After that enable the email notification and choose to receive alerts for all types of issues
  • Then click “Save”

Now, you are ready to get the emails alerts from Google if:

  • Pages are not Indexed
  • There is server connectivity problem
  • The website is being attacked by malware
  • You get a manual penalty from Google

Protect your Website From Hackers

If you want to save your website from negative SEO, then security is very important. There are a lot of things that can help you to secure your website.

If your site is in WordPress, then you can install Google Authenticator Plugin. After installing it, create a 2-step verification password. Now, whenever you log in to your website, you have to add a code which is generated by Google Authenticator plugin. This code will be sent to your smartphone.

Except this, you can create a strong password with special characters to secure your website even more. Also, you should create a regular backup of your database. Moreover, if your website allows users to upload data, then you can ask your hosting provider to install an antivirus to prevent malware.

Always Track Your Backlinks

You should always keep track of your backlinks. That’s because spammers can try to link low-quality links to your website or they can try to remove your best backlinks. To prevent spammers from doing this you can use ahrefs. With the help of this tool, you can monitor your backlinks. If there are unnecessary backlinks, you can remove them and if you find some of your best backlinks missing, you can contact the webmaster and ask them why they removed your link.

Sometimes spammers can send an email to the webmaster on your behalf and they can ask webmasters to remove your link from their website. So to prevent this always use an email address from your domain to communicate with the webmasters. Example of such email is yourname@yourwebsite.com. This is because spammers can easily make any other email from Google or Yahoo but not of this type. So, this is the best way to keep spammers out as they cannot send any email to webmasters using your name.

Keep Checking Your Website Speed

The speed of the website is a major ranking factor. Always keep an eye on it. You can use GTmetrix If you find slow website speed just try to find the issues. If after trying a lot you found nothing, in that case, you might be a victim of forceful crawling. With forceful crawling, your website will load very slowly or even it can crash. You can contact your hosting provider to determine from where the load is coming.

Always Check Google My Business

It takes a lot of efforts and time to stand a business. How would you feel if someone ruins your reputation in just a few days? Yes, it is possible. Google my business is very popular. There anyone can write a review about your products and services. And, spammers use this to ruin your reputation. They can give negative reviews to your business. So it is must to always keep an eye on Google My Business. If you suddenly found a lot of negative reviews, just report them. You can do that in just a few steps.

  • On Google Maps, Search for Your Business
  • Then find your business and select it
  • After that click Review Summary
  • Here you can flag the fake reviews
  • Next, fill out the report form

Sometimes You can be a Victim of your Own Strategies

Yes, that’s true. To get the results faster we buy backlinks in bulks. But we forgot that in SEO quality is better than quantity. So if you buy a lot of links from the websites which have a very low reputation, it will definitely affect your website rankings. So don’t buy links from such websites.

Also if someone offers you some money to get a link from your website, do use the “nofollow” attribute. Moreover, keep in mind that majority of your anchor text should contain your website name.


Negative SEO is very rare. It does exist. So, always be careful and use the above-mentioned methods to prevent the negative SEO.

Hope you find this article helpful. If you have any question or suggestion, please comment below.


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25 thoughts on “What is Negative SEO and How to Protect Your Website from Negative SEO Attackers?

  1. I had heard of negative seo before but never fully understood what it meant. Thanks for clarifying. Great article.

  2. Thank you for this information, I never thought someone will be interested in reducing my ranking on Google, I will be taking these steps to protect my site as soon as possible. I am hosted by blogger I hope to find a way to manover.

  3. What an incredibly informative post! I didn’t know about the exixtence of negative SEO. Very interesting and helpful

  4. In a world of too much information, this is really important stuff to know. Thanks for sharing in a way that I can understand.

  5. This is a very informative post. While we look at positive seo we do tend to ignore negative seo. Pinning this.

  6. It’s really an informative post. Can you please tell me any free or premium tool which I can use to detect negative seo. Thanks!

  7. damn, I m still learning SEO. I recently bought the SEO for dummies book online. I didn’t know about the spamming backlinks

  8. Really useful post I work in Online marketing so a lot of what you say is true but there are also free tools to check DA and PA and the quality and amount of back links like moz

  9. Why would anyone go to that extent to ruin another person’s hard work? I just can’t understand it but having been a victim of numerous attempts of hackers kinda makes me think it is possible.

  10. I never knew negative SEO existed, I thought it was SEO or no SEO. Thanks for sharing this I will be careful as I do not want to ruin our reputation.

  11. This is very informative. And I think I really need to activate some plugins to protect my website from hackers. Thanks for sharing.

  12. From a VA’s viewpoint, this post is very helpful. Never have I tracked my backlinks. I never thought spammers can try to link low-quality links to my website. Worst, I never knew they can try to remove my best backlinks. I learned a lot from a single post. Thanks once again.


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