No matter what industry you’re in, any marketer would agree that getting your site ranking as high as possible on Google should be a priority, and for good reason: research proves that the first page of Google receives 95% of web traffic while subsequent pages only receive 5% or less of total traffic.
One of the most common ways to boost your site’s rankings is through high-quality backlinks, and a recent study of one million Google search results revealed that “the number of domains linking to a page correlated with rankings more than any other factor.”
In other words, off-site links are a crucial ingredient to any successful SEO strategy. However, Google and your competitors know this, which is why it’s essential to monitor the quality of your inbound links. Otherwise, you can fall victim to one of two SEO threats: negative SEO or a Google penalty.
But how common are these threats? Alexa recently surveyed 17 SEO specialists and discovered that these are actually two of their biggest concerns.
What Is It, and How Can You Identify It
Negative SEO occurs when someone attempts to lower a site’s ranking by unethical means. The most common attack is creating hundreds of spammy links that point to your site, but below are a few other forms:
- Copying your site’s content and republishing elsewhere on the internet (sometimes referred to as “scraping”)
- Pointing links to your website using keywords associated with seedy content like prescriptions, porn, gambling, and payday loans
- A large number of links coming from blog posts that make no sense whatsoever
Although Google works hard through its algorithm updates to protect sites from these kinds of attacks, nearly half of those surveyed by Alexa believe negative SEO is on the rise—with more than 40% of participants knowing someone who has been the victim of negative SEO.
Before you begin to panic. Keep in mind that there are sites that are more susceptible to this type of rankings threat than others. If your site is in a highly competitive vertical, for instance, or if you’ve previously been hit with a Google penalty, then you’ll want to be more diligent in monitoring negative SEO threats.
Whether you fit within these parameters or not, you should conduct a backlink audit regularly—particularly because it is the best way to protect Georgia Phone Number yourself from any sort of threat to your ranking.
Google Penalties: How to Avoid Being Hit
Although I mentioned it briefly above. Google penalties can also hurt your rankings tremendously—and a majority of the. SEO specialists surveyed consider them a very real threat: more than 80% of respondents said they are at least. Somewhat concerned’ about Google penalties while 50% actually helped a client who got hit with one at some point.
So how can you protect your site? The first thing you want to do is understand the difference between the two types of penalties: