‘All is fair in love and war’, goes the saying. Well, that might be the case in those scenarios, but when it comes to SEO, that is certainly not the case. Unfortunately, there are those who care nothing about what is fair and right, and who are perfectly happy to use dirty tricks to damage the business of another.
We are not talking here about people robbing your business premises, or defrauding you financially, but instead those who use certain tactics, tools and actions that deliberately harm your Google Adwords statistics and the SEO of your website.
In doing so, they are potentially negatively impacting your rankings, and as such are reducing the number of visitors to your website, the number of customers, and ultimately, your profits. They also use spam to take visitors away from your websites to sites that they are not expecting to land on.
These dirty tricks can be called many things such as a black hat, or cyberattacks, but for the purposes of this article, we are going to call them SEO spam.
What Is SEO Spam?
We have already mentioned that SEO spam is used to damage a business, and in particular to adversely affect that business’s website’s ranking in the search engines. What they could do, is convince Google that you are using tactics that they have effectively outlawed in order to rank your site.
It is akin to someone trying to look exactly like you, by dressing up in the same type of clothes and donning a wig which matches your hair, and then going out and robbing a bank, leaving clues behind to suggest you were the one who carried out the robbery.
The links and keywords will have no relevance whatsoever to the actual purpose of your website. When they are crawled by the search engines and they see those keywords and links, they will reduce the relevancy of your website for the keywords that you actually want to rank for.
What can also happen is the links take visitors from your website to other websites that they have no interest in. When that happens, they will blame you and are therefore unlikely to return.
You will also find that these spam websites are often elated to niches that many find at best distasteful, and at worse, offensive. These could be gambling sites, sites selling untested or low-grade pharmaceuticals, sites related to cannabis, and even sites containing pornography.
3 Ways You Can protect Your Website Against SEO Spam
Protect Your Website
This might seem like a very obvious step, but you would be shocked at how many website owners have absolutely no idea where to even start with protecting their website.
It can be done in several ways, and one of the first places you should start is with your hosting company. If they are any value, they should have basic website security in place anyway, but if you are particularly concerned, speak to them about moving your website onto an even more secure server.
There are also some security frameworks that can be employed to enhance the protection of your website, as well as cloud-based firewalls that stop SEO spammers from getting anywhere near your website.
Sign Up For Google Search Console
One of the best things about Google Search Console is it free to use, and it is extremely easy to use, so if you want a simple way to protect your website from SEO spam, this is it. Another benefit is that Google crawls the internet 24-7, and whilst it may not visit yours daily, it will certainly crawl it regularly.
By registering on this, you effectively have an early warning system, because whenever Google identifies something that does not seem right with your website, it will alert you. Best of all, it alerts you before any public action is taken such as red flagging your website or reducing its rankings.
This gives you a chance to put right anything which has occurred and also to eradicate any links or keywords which have been added to it by the spammers.
Employ A Website Monitoring Service
These operate using software, such as plugins in WordPress, which monitor the activity on your website, and flag up whenever something happens which is seen as an attempt at SEO spam.
They can spot activity that most website owners would never even know had occurred, even if they are normally proactive in their website’s control panel.
Normally these monitoring services can halt the attempt, but as a backup they have excellent reporting which you can check regularly in order to undo any SEO spam activity.