Has your website ever been hacked? Not a fun experience! What if it was hacked and you don’t even know it yet! Your domain could be sending out thousands of spam emails right now!

Security is vital, especially in today’s world. Hackers and malware try to steal sensitive information, redirect your traffic to other sites, use your hosting account to send spam, or occasionally just break your website for fun. As the security landscape continues to evolve, you need to take preventative steps to protect your online presence.

This month's article jumps away from the SEO topic we've been following. Instead, just in time for Christmas, we wanted to give you some free tools to help your communications and productivity.

Before Google’s “Penguin” update back in 2012, having a multitude of links pointing to your website, no matter where they were from, was a positive thing. The combined total of links pointing to you actually helped your SEO.

However, after “Penguin” was released, things changed drastically. Sites with backlinks from completely unrelated sources were penalised, and consequently, backlink removal services started becoming popular. Today, it’s not the number of links that matters as much as the quality of those links.

In our continuing series on Negative SEO, today we’re talking about backlinks.

A backlink, also called an "inbound link" or "incoming link", is created when one website links to another. The link between the two websites is the backlink — so named because it points back to the page that linked to it.

If you have a website and you’re serious about it, you are -- or should be -- very familiar with the term SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). However, did you know there is such a thing as “Negative SEO”?

Negative SEO is the practise of using unethical techniques to sabotage a competitor’s rankings in the search engines. In plain English, it’s a new way of cheating to get to the top.

There seems to be no limit to the number of ways you can improve your search engine rankings. Here are a few more basic tips that you can do yourself and that won’t cost you next month’s profits!