How to Prevent SEO Spam in your Website
When you bring your business online, your company will be accessible to everyone who has an internet connection. If your website has a blog, users will be able to leave comments. Such forms are a great way for people to communicate with you. Unfortunately, it also creates room for spammers and bots to flood your website. Spam is an issue that all business owners struggle with.
As the owner of a small business, your website is an important part of your success – In fact, these days it is difficult to be in business without a website. SEO is necessary for ensuring your website gains the most visibility in search engines.
It is estimated that small businesses spend $500 per month on SEO services to improve the visibility of their websites. This increased focus on SEO among small business owners has resulted in a popular type of cyber-attack with the potential to destroy your search rankings.
SEO spam attacks or negative SEO attacks accounted for more than half of all cyber-attacks and have become more popular. These attacks destroy the rankings of a website in search engines by flooding sites with countless files that have malicious keywords and backlinks.
Search rankings can make or break a small business; therefore, understanding how to make your SEO security stronger and avoid such attacks is a must.
How SEO spam attacks work
Cybercriminals depend on various means to carry out negative SEO attacks. They might place malicious links into website pages, make new pages full of dangerous links and spam content, or make web pages lead to other sites using website redirects.
One of the most common kinds of negative SEO attacks is website redirects and they account for 8 percent of malware files. When a website redirect happens, people going through your website will intentionally be redirected to a malware-infected or phishing website and get exposed to cyber-security risks. Due to this, you lose traffic.
The best way for spammers to carry out negative SEO attacks is by including spam to blog posts or your comment session. They make use of black hat SEO techniques that place bots to leave endless spam comments on websites. These comments make your site look suspicious and can discourage customers from doing business with you.
How to increase the SEO security of your website
SEO spam attacks don’t only affect the rankings of your website; they also hurt your credibility with clients and visitors. Additionally, they open up other pages of your site to security breaches and can cause search engines to flag or blacklist your website.
To prevent cybercriminals from carrying out SEO spam and reducing your rankings and credibility, strengthen the SEO security of your website with the following steps.
1. Regularly update your software
When you have outdated software and plugins it can lead to vulnerabilities that cyber-criminals can take advantage of. It is therefore vital to keep your content management system’s software updated.
As recommended by Netsec.news, your company should carry out regular checks to make sure all software is up-to-date and ensure you have complete security patches. It is also a good idea to remove applications that are not necessary. The more make use of applications made by third-party developers, the higher your security risk.
2. Use a CAPTCHA
A captcha is a field in the form that has a value that is randomly generated. It will show text that is difficult to read text that the user will have to properly enter for the form to submit. Spam bots have difficulty getting past this step.
Including a CAPTCHA to your website forms is a good way to avoid spam bots from filling out your forms and sending spam. A CAPTCHA can be a challenge question or image to verify that you are a human fill out a form online.
3. Sanitize input fields
It is best for you to always sanitize your input fields to protect your website from bad bots and stop cybercriminals from inserting modified queries. These modified queries can cause a bigger security threat, such as a data breach.
To sanitize the input fields on your website, predefine what a user can enter into a text box. For instance, phone number fields should make it possible for users to enter only numbers, parentheses, and hyphens.
4. Prevent email harvesting
If your email address is listed on your website, chances are it will be harvested by bots that spam emails. You should replace your email with a picture of your email address. These bots can only read text, they will not be able to read your email address, and humans can still view it.
5. Keep track of all backlink profiles
Building low-quality redirects and links is a common way cybercriminals carry out SEO attacks. It is important to keep track of these items on your website. As a best practice, make use of SEO monitoring tools that can track keywords and backlinks to help you quickly detect when a cybercriminal is creating malicious redirects to your website.
Building the search rankings of your business requires a lot of work and is an investment for your company. Don’t let cybercriminals take that power away from you. Follow the recommendations of Netsec.news to strengthen your SEO security by understanding how and why these attacks are carried out. Begin by implementing a comprehensive web security solution that can block these SEO attacks to keep your business secure from SEO spam.
According to Netsec, the spam filters used by the likes of Microsoft and Google are great at preventing mass emails. To protect against malware, ransomware and phishing, use a dedicated, third-party anti-spam solution.