Are you curious about the negative SEO attack for the heck of securing your online business? So far, you must have been associating cybersecurity attacks with computer network, servers, etc. That’s a right thought; no doubt about it. But, did you know that a negative SEO attack can also be as bad as a massive cybersecurity attack? Have you ever thought that if a spamming website is associated with your website purposely, it can spoil the reputation of your entire business? Isn’t it as bad as a cybersecurity attack? Well! It’s time to stay updated about the latest SEO trends because staying updated with the technology can result better web security.
Getting back to the point! Researchers have revealed another negative SEO attack, which is known as canonical negative SEO. It is certainly a tough nut to crack when it is about identifying the attacker. What is more worrisome is that there is hardly any way to quickly recover from it if the attacking website is unknown. However, this negative SEO attack is observed, but Google has not announced anything officially on closing this exploit until now.
It is definitely a serious matter, and ignoring it can lead to devastating effects on the SERP of tons of websites worldwide.
The Story Behind Canonical Negative SEO Attack
Well! It all started from a company namely Hartzer consulting, a digital marketing firm situated in Texas wherein their client reported a massive drop in their website’s ranking. During the deep analysis of back links, this digital marketing firm identified a few back links that seemed suspicious. Hmm!
It seemed dicey because the client did not link their website to that suspicious website. Moving forward, they analyzed that doubtful website deeply made them identify the negative SEO website. Great that digital marketing agency was using the data mining website, Majestic that includes canonical data, which helped to figure out the negative SEO website. Now, let’s dig into the concept of canonical negative SEO for more information.
What is Canonical SEO and How the Attack is Performed:
Right question at the right time- huh!.Yeh?
A url may have various versions, such as https://example.com or http://example.com, www.example.com. Etc. . Now, the canonical tag lets search engines understand your preferred URL, which also reduces the content duplication issue.
As per Google’s definition, canonical urls are used to consolidate link signals on your preferred url, placed under the canonical tag. Here is the syntax if your preferred canonical url is: https://www.example.com
“<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://www.example.com/” />”
In canonical SEO attack, the attacker copies the head section of the website containing canonical tag of the victim webpage and replaces it with the head of spamming website. Now in layman terms understand it as it tells Google that the spamming webpage belongs to the victim’s webpage. Right after this, Google assigns the negative SEO score from that spamming website to the victim website. Strategic process, Isn’t it?
The Facts about Canonical Negative SEO Attack
This attack has been encountered by a huge number of companies globally, but John Mueller from Google has dismissed it for now without deep investigation into this matter for now. On the contrary, his argument against this attack is contradicted by XML sitemap exploit, which was confirmed by Google a few days ago. Victims and publisher’s believe that Google is going to take some strict action against this canonical exploit, which needs to be addressed seriously. Hope it happens soon before any further damage.
Possible Solution if Canonical Exploit is Confirmed by Google
So far it is not acknowledged by Google, but evidences have proven it as a negative SEO attack. Hope it is going to be confirmed by Google as a flaw. The possible solution for the search engines is to update the specifications associated with canonical tag. Let’s hope for the quick move by Google.