Negative SEO – What You Need to Know to Fight an Attack

It wasn’t that long ago that search engine optimization (SEO) consisted pretty much entirely of building links to your site. It didn’t matter where the links came from–more links was always better. Today, however, things have changed. These days, Google doesn’t just consider the number of links pointing to your site; it also considers where the links come from as well, and if your site has too many links from spammy sites, your site could be penalized or even taken out of the search engine rankings altogether.

Negative SEOFor most people, this change simply means that they have stopped buying links from less than reputable sources. For hackers and spammers, however, this new system has completely opened up a new field: negative SEO. Negative SEO consists of spammers creating hundreds or even thousands of spammy links to a site that is not their own in order to have it taken out of search engine results. Spammers can do this either by creating links on spammy sites to the site they are trying to take down or by leaving links on the site that they are trying to take down to spammy sites.

The Effect of Negative SEO Attacks

If your site is unfortunate enough to be hit by a negative SEO attack, the effects can be devastating. Your traffic can drop dramatically, causing your profits to plummet as well, while you scramble to get the situation sorted out. Early detection and prevention are both critical for avoiding and repairing this problem.

How to Prevent Negative SEO Attacks

Prevent negative SEO attacks with Phoenix SEO company by avoiding spammy linking sites and by building up quality backlinks on reputable sites. The more reputable backlinks you have, the harder your site will be to take down. Make your outgoing links “nofollow” links by default, and watch your incoming and outgoing links. If spammy links show up on your site, delete them immediately. If links to your site show up on a spammy site, send a letter or an email asking for your links to be removed. Keep a watchful eye on your analytics, watching for sudden decreases in traffic.

How to Spot a Negative SEO Attack

Unfortunately, website owners often do not know that they have been a victim of a negative SEO attack until they notice that their search engine traffic has completely died or until they receive an update  from Google Analytics or a Manual Action from Webmaster Tools. At this point, the damage has been done. Be proactive and spot negative attacks before they have a chance to take down your site by watching your incoming and outgoing links for suspicious, spammy links.

How to Fix a Negative SEO Attack

If your site is affected by a negative SEO attack, take steps immediately to fix the problem. If the attack was minor, you may try to delete any spammy links, write the spammy site and ask that your links be removed, or disavow any links you cannot have removed.

Sometimes the mess is too great for you to handle alone, however. After all, the process is very time consuming, and spammers aren’t generally friendly, helpful people. This is why it is often in your best interest to hire a professional, such as the friendly Phoenix SEO professionals at instead. They have the knowledge and skills you need to get your website clean and up and running again quickly.

Newer, smaller websites are usually the easiest targets, but larger, more established websites have the most to lose. No matter what type of website you own, your site may be at risk. Get to know the latest tactics spammers use and implement safeguards now. Then, when your site comes under attack, you’ll be ready.

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