Ranking in Google for industry terms can be extremely competitive, and sometimes webmasters will do anything to get to the top. Negative SEO is the act of using malicious and aggressive link building tactics to damage your competitor’s performance in the search results.

If your site is targeted with negative SEO it can be detrimental to your organic performance and lead to a devastating loss in sales. Whether you think you may have been a victim of negative SEO or just want to protect yourself from a potential attack, keep reading to find out how you can protect yourself.

Links Audits

We’ve covered the reasons why you need to perform a link audit in depth in one of our previous articles, but to summarise it is essential that you perform regular link audits so you can identify a sudden influx in spammy and suspicious links as this is a tell-tale sign that you have been targeted with negative SEO.

You should regularly monitor your backlink profile and ensure all spammy links have been added to your disavow file in Google Search Console so that Google knows you do not want to be associated with that site.

Get in touch to discuss our link analysis service.

Website Audits

Another thing to keep an eye out for is if the attacker has hacked into your site and altered your content to include malicious links that redirect to their, or another, website. Unlike with backlinks, spotting these attacks can be more difficult to spot which is why you must perform a website audit to identify all outbound links coming from your site to see if any news links have appeared.

Get in touch to discuss our SEO website auditing service.

Duplicate Content

We all know that when it comes to performing well organically, content is king. Unfortunately not everyone is inclined to write their own quality content and will try to take yours. Scraping content can be a real issue, especially if the copied context is indexed by Google before your original content is!

Free tools such as Copyscape can help you identify any plagiarised content on external competitor websites which you can then contact to get the content removed. In the instance they refuse or do not respond, you can report them to Google using their Copyright Removal Form.


Gaining customer trust and clientele is crucial to business, so negative reviews can really put bullet holes in your reputation. Real reviews from customers who have had negative experiences can be used a learning curve and help you improve your internal systems, but it’s a different story when these negative reviews are false!

Ensure that you are monitoring your Google My Business page, Yell business profile and other authoritative review sites to ensure that you aren’t getting a glut of fake reviews. On Google My Business you can flag the reviews as fake to Google and get them removed.