Any marketer, regardless of industry, would agree that getting your site ranking as high as possible on Google should be a priority, and for good reason: research shows that the first page of Google receives 95 percent of web traffic, while subsequent pages receive only 5 percent or less of total traffic.
High-quality backlinks are one of the most frequent strategies to increase your site’s ranks, and a recent analysis of one million Google search results found that “the number of domains referring to a page associated with rankings more than any other aspect.”
In other words, off-site links are an essential component of any effective SEO plan. However, Google and your rivals are aware of this, which is why it is critical to track the quality of your incoming links. Otherwise, you risk being targeted by one of two SEO threats: negative SEO or a Google penalty.
What Is Negative SEO and How Can You Spot It?
When someone attempts to reduce a site’s rating by unethical tactics, this is referred to as negative SEO. The most typical type of assault is the creation of hundreds of spammy links pointing to your site, but there are a few others:
Copying your site’s content and republishing it elsewhere on the internet (also known as “scraping”)
Using keywords linked with shady material, such as prescriptions, porn, gambling, and payday loans, to direct traffic to your website.
A high number of links from blog articles that make no sense at all
Although Google works hard to defend sites from these types of attacks through algorithm upgrades, over half of those polled by Alexa believe bad SEO is on the rise, with more than 40% of participants knowing someone who has been the victim of negative SEO.
Before you start panicking, bear in mind that certain sites are more vulnerable to this sort of rating danger than others. If your site is in a highly competitive vertical, for example, or if you’ve already been penalized by Google, you should be extra vigilant in monitoring negative SEO risks.
Whether you fall inside these limitations or not, you should do a backlink audit regularly—especially because it is the greatest method to defend your ranking from any type of harm.
There are several tools available to help you with your backlink investigation. Here are a few tools you may try to obtain a better view of your existing backlink portfolio:
Ahrefs: This allows you to compare rival inbound link portfolios to your own and identify missing backlink possibilities to assist you in building a stronger link profile.
SEMrush: Before Google penalizes you, take a comprehensive look at your backlink portfolio, identifying and removing any harmful backlinks.
Alexa: Perform a backlink audit to examine not just who is connecting to your site, but also to identify fresh linking possibilities to assist boost rankings.
Launch Site Explorer: Discover possible link-building possibilities as well as possibly harmful links.