Negative SEO Attacks: How to detect and protect yourself?

If your site develops and reaches the top positions of search results, sooner or later there will be those who will seek to hinder you. They will do it secretly, so at first, you will not notice anything. This is called negative SEO.


Negative SEO is the unfriendly actions of outsiders to impair the credibility and position of the site and, consequently, reduce traffic and sales.

Popular ways of negative SEO

Purchase of spam links from low-quality resources the attacker expects that search engines will impose sanctions on the owner of the site for the mass placement of links from spam resources. Although Google said that their search engine ignores such link-building services, there is still a huge chance to fall under the filter, as a result of which the site will fly out of search results for a long time.

Deleting Good Links 

Attacker persuades resource owners to remove links to your site.

Content Theft

Copying content from your site and posting it on spam resources.

Site Hacking

Introduction of a virus to your site or sending Spam. Sanctions are inevitable.

Compromise on the Site

Attacker spoils your authority in the eyes of the target audience by conducting negative marketing.


The purpose of this attack is to disable the site with a large number of requests from different PCs. Thus, the server is forced to process all these requests, and the site becomes inaccessible to real users.


Signs of Black SEO:

  • a sharp decline in attendance;
  • the sharp deterioration of positions;
  • search engine filters;
  • Problems with the technical performance of the site (incorrectly displayed pages, long loads, etc.);
  • Complaints from users and subscribers.

Tools for checking negative SEO

1. Google Search Console

You can use the Google Webmaster Panel to check:

  • whether there are reports of problems;
  • external links (Links / External links):
  • The presence of manual filters and malicious code on the site.

2. Google Analytics

With the help of a web analytics service you can monitor the level of traffic, user behavior on the site (session duration, number of pages viewed per session, bounce rate, etc.) and other technical indicators, site load speed, behavior map, etc. e.)

3. Google Alerts

Google offers its service, which is great for detecting negative marketing. You can set up Google Alerts to receive emails every time someone on the Internet mentions your company, site, products, employees, etc. Moreover, you can immediately go to the resource where you were mentioned.

4. Google PageSpeed ​​Insights

This service allows you to find out the speed of loading the site pages and ways to speed them up. We recommend that you check all landing pages regularly in this service.

5. Ahrefs

With this service, you can see the most complete list of external links to your site. It will help to find missing and new links. (Backlinks / New or Lost):

6. Mention search services in social networks

Such services will help to follow the mentions of the company on social networks.


Methods of protection against the effects of negative SEO will depend on the identified problem:

Resham External Links:

  • use the Disavow links tool
  • send letters to site owners asking to remove the link to your resource;
  • File a complaint with webmaster support.

Delete Natural Links:

  • write a blog article with a list of emails from which requests to remove links came;
  • write a letter to the owners of resources that still have links to your site;
  • ask those who removed the links to return them;
  • Contact the attacker directly.

Content Theft

If you write quality content, it will often be copied. Keep in mind that not all copy pasters are anti-seo scammers. Therefore, first, write to the webmasters of the sites where your content is posted with a request to put a link to the source. If they do not, then:

  • contact search engine support;
  • in RSS and email, configure the output of only a short description of the publication;
  • Go to court.

Hacking the Site

Hacking affects not only SEO and marketing, so it is very important to regain control of the site as soon as possible:

  • contact your hosting provider and report the hacking;
  • check the site for viruses and eliminate them;
  • Apologize to users for the inconvenience.

Compromise of the Site

If you constantly keep in touch with your target audience and become an authority for them, then information attacks will not be scary for you! If an attacker is found, inform your audience about him in all possible ways (website, newsletter, social networks, articles on news portals, etc.).

DDoS Attack

To eliminate the possibility of DDoS attacks – use the services of quality servers that have minimal vulnerabilities and quickly resolve them.


In any case, if you regularly monitor the performance of site analytics and the opinion of visitors, you will notice in time the negative methods of influence. This will allow you to solve problems quickly. As for the information attack, it will not be effective if you are an authority in your business niche and maintain the loyalty of the audience.

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