If you reach the top spot on your desired keywords, then it is definitely a good reason to celebrate. However, you need to cut the celebration short since reaching the number one spot is one thing, but staying there is a completely different one. Remember, other businesses in your field also want to reach that spot and by being number one, now you have a target on your back. That’s why you can often hear that SEO is never “a job well done” thing, but it is actually an ongoing process which requires maintaining your position.
Negative SEO refers to the practices that your competitors might take in order to knock you down from the throne and take your spot. And the sad news is that nobody is immune to that, apart from major websites such as Amazon or Ebay for example. Your competitors might not be able to directly influence your on-page SEO, but they still can do you harm by working externally. Here are few things you can do to monitor any negative SEO efforts from your competitors and how to minimize the damage!
Monitor Duplicate Content
It is well-known that duplicate content is a major issue when it comes to SEO. Your content is your intellectual property but that doesn’t stop someone stealing your content and publishing it elsewhere. This is not the easiest negative SEO practice to monitor, however it is still doable. There are some tools that will search the web for duplicate content such as Copysentry. If you catch someone acting like your content is their own, the best thing to do is report it to Google by filing a report through the Google Search Console.
Watch Out for Spammy Inbound Links
Checking the inbound links on your website periodically is a smart thing to do. This is one of the most common negative SEO practices and it can have devastating results on your online reputation and ranking. However, this is a practice that is relatively easy to monitor and you can quickly react if something goes wrong. By running an inbound links report by using tools such as Ahrefs you can see all links pointing towards your website. If you notice a suspicious link, check the website and its authority and if something is fishy disavow the link immediately. You can also report the spammy link through the Google Search Console so Google may take needed actions.
Anchor Text Over Optimization
Optimization is good, but over optimization can be very damaging. Your competitors might engage in a practice where they copy the exact same anchor text for links on your website. This to Google might seem like over optimization and ultimately spamming which can earn you nothing but a penalty. This can also be monitored through Ahrefs. If you notice that one anchor text appears times and times over, chances are that it is your competitor behind that entire operation. To deal with such situation you would need to do the same thing as you would for spammy inbound links- disavow them.
The world of SEO is an endless battle of who reaches the top spot. Don’t let negative SEO practices ruin your hard work and make sure you monitor them regularly.