Is your website the target of a negative SEO attack? Negative SEO tools represent an essential partner in fighting off the attempts of unscrupulous competitors at hurting your website’s reputation and ranking.
Without them, it would be impossible to counter the coordinated efforts of the army of bots and the sophisticated techniques that your competitors employ against you. The following are 10 SEO tools that should be a part of your defense strategy.
1. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is one of the comprehensive SEO tools in the market, and the best part is that it’s free. You can use it to access Google search statistics, track incoming links, get insights about crawling and indexing activity related to your website, as well as alerts if any malware is detected.
One downside of Google Search Console is that the information is separated. However, the fact that it’s a free app and it comes with many advanced features, such as sitemaps of your site and keyword performance evaluators, more than makes up for it.
2. Monitor Backlinks
Monitor Backlinks is an excellent SEO tool which allows you to audit your backlinks and check the performance of your keywords. Monitor Backlinks works hand in hand with your Google Analytics account, which allows you to access all kinds of useful metrics, including weekly updated keyword rankings.
As its name implies, Monitor Backlinks is particularly useful for backlink security since it sends you a notification every time you lose or earn a backlink and even a full report with the changes to your Alexa rank or indexed pages in Google.
Like Monitor Backlinks, Ahrefs comes with a free backlink tracking tool which provides accurate reports. Some of the features you can use include getting the domain rating of each backlink, the anchor text it’s using, and the amount of traffic your site is pulling for each backlink.
Besides excellent backlink monitoring features, premium Ahrefs versions can help you plan a successful SEO campaign by doing keyword and content research, as well as tracking your website’s Google ranking.
Monitoring backlinks is a long, exhaustive job. Thankfully, there are tools like CognitiveSEO to make our lives easier. CognitiveSEO allows you to quickly tell apart links that add value to your site from those that are likely to be a part of a negative SEO attack.
CognitiveSEO gives you a links list which comes with detailed indicators of the quality of each backlink. The presentation is especially useful since the anchor texts are featured prominently, meaning you only need to glance them to see if you’re massively linked from junk sites and take appropriate measure.
5. Authority Labs
The most obvious effect of a negative SEO attack is becoming invisible to potential visitors. Authority Labs can keep you notified about any changes in your keyword rankings, whether it’s through email or directly on their dashboard.
Even if you don’t have a negative SEO problem (yet), you can still use AuthorityLabs to get detailed ranking data and break it down by country, city, and even postal code.
Having your content stolen and published throughout the internet can hurt your site’s search ranking, and even earn you a penalty from Google. Trackbacks allows you to find out who is scraping your content by using the internal links and trackbacks from your content management platform.
As long as you include a link to an older entry in your new blog post Trackbacks will be able to track down anybody reposting your content somewhere else. Once you find the culprit, you can report him to Google to have his pages taken down.
7. Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a free content detection and monitorization service that allows you to keep track of what people are saying about your website on blogs, news sites, and online forums. In addition to that, you can also use Google Alerts to monitor interesting news or blog sites which could give you ideas to generate new content for your page.
Configuring this service is easy and allows you to choose how often you want to receive notifications and whether you get your updates via email or create an RSS feed to see them on your dashboard.
Fruition uses your Google Analytics data to analyze if your website is affected by a Google algorithm update. This is very useful for a variety of reasons. Not only does it allow you to update your SEO strategy to comply with the new algorithm but can also reveal if someone is using negative SEO antics against you, as sometimes the results are only visible when Google changes its algorithm.
9. BBQ: Block Bad Queries
Block Bad Queries (BBQ) is a powerful plugin that protects your website against potentially dangerous URL requests. This is done by checking all incoming traffic and blocking requests to unauthorized data or attempts at dong SQL injection on your site.
BBQ is a particularly cost-effective solution if your site lacks a strong .htaccess firewall. Not only does it block requests containing stuff like base64_ but also those using suspiciously long strings.
Copyscape is one of the most highly-regarded online plagiarism tools in the world. Although it offers a free version, the best results can be obtained using the premium version, which offers batch search, private index, copy-paste checks, among other services. Upgrading to premium also allows you to scan the web daily for copies of your website and get an email notification if any duplicate is found.
Despite the frequent algorithm changes, the sad truth is that negative SEO isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it seems to be becoming more popular by the day.
The good news is that for every bad guy attempting to cheat their way up to the top SERP, there is a team of experts developing newer and more powerful tools to combat them. So make sure to give them a try as you keep creating awesome content that your visitors will love to read, but your competitors won’t be able to steal!