How To Protect Your Business From Negative SEO
In a highly competitive Internet marketing industry, many businesses have turned to black hat tactics in an attempt to damage competitor’s online marketing efforts. Although black hat SEO becomes increasingly harder to implement, the threat of negative SEO is nonetheless real and should not be ignored. Negative SEO can cause significant damage through various methods making it extremely important for a business to be informed of the threat and equipped to prevent it from happening.
What Is Negative SEO?
Negative SEO is the practice of using black hat or unethical SEO techniques to damage other websites and cause penalizations from Google. These tactics are most commonly used to damage a competitor’s rankings in search engine results in order to backhandedly improve their own.
More About Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO tactics are aggressive strategies and techniques that do not fully abide by search engine guidelines in the attempt to force a quick return. These tactics are often focused on manipulating search engines rather than reaching a target human audience.
Using black hat tactics for SEO will put a website at high risk of being banned by search engines and other affiliated sited. Search engines such as Google and Bing have denounced black hat SEO tactics such as:
- Keyword stuffing
- Automatically generated content
- Doorway pages
- Hidden text
- Hidden links
- Link schemes
- Filling pages with irrelevant keywords
- Pages with malicious intention and behaviors
- Sneaky redirects
- Automated queries to Google
- Duplicate content on pages, subdomains or domains
- Reporting a competitor
Using Black Hat Techniques For Negative SEO
Because using these black hat techniques can damage SEO efforts of their own websites, competitors will attempt to implement them as an attack on others. These attacks can affect your website through various formats including:
- Sabotaging or hacking of your site
- Building spam links to competitor sites using link farms
- Scraping, or copying, your website content and redistributing it across the Internet
- Forcefully crawling a site to cause a heavy server load
- Creating links from poor sites using keywords involving gambling, payday loans, pornography or more
- Producing falsified copyright complaints
- Modifying content on your website
- Altering or removing backlinks for your site
- Creating fake social media profiles with your company name to damage your online reputation
Preventing A Negative SEO Attack On Your Site
The risk of a negative SEO attack from a competitor succumbing to dirty tactics is real, however, you can protect your business from these attacks. Preventing damage from negative SEO is easier than it is to fix damage from a successful attack making it extremely important for businesses to learn how to safeguard your website.
1) Take Advantage Of Google Webmaster Tools Email Alerts
You can connect your site to Google’s Webmaster Tools and edit your preferences so that you receive email alerts when negative actions are taken against your site or when negative actions are happening within your site. You could receive email alerts if your site is attacked by malware, pages are not properly indexed, there are connection problem with the server, or if you have received a manual penalty from Google.
2) Remain Diligent About Monitoring And Protecting Backlinks
Performing routine link audits on a regular basis is a good habit for any successful website and can be a crucial means for preventing a negative SEO attack. Through a link audit, you can quickly identify when spam links or redirects have been built to your site.
You also want to take regular action to protect the high quality backlinks to your site. You can do this through simple measures such as solely using an email address from your domain rather than one from Gmail or Yahoo, adding tags to your most valuable backlinks, and then tracking them.
3) Upgrade Security For Your Website
Be careful to invest in proper security for your website. Updating your site’s URL to an HTTPS encryption can go a long ways in protecting your site from cyber attacks and spam.
4) Watch for Duplicated Or Copied Content
Scraped content is content that has been copied from your site, using it on other websites, and claiming it as their own, which can lead to penalties on your site for duplicated content. Using sites such as Copyscape.com can help you to check for duplicated content from your site.
5) Stay On Top Of Your Reputation On Social Media
You can do so by monitoring any mentions of your business on social media or fake accounts created using your name and being quick to report them as spam. You can use sites such as Mention.net to get notifications anytime you are mentioned on social media or another website helping you to take action before any damage is done.
6) Monitor Website Speed
If you noticed your site is slower than usual or there are slow loading times, make sure that you quickly investigate what is causing the slower speeds and take action to address the problem before your server is brought down.
7) Be Careful To Only Employ High Quality SEO Tactics
Just as important as monitoring the actions of would-be attackers are to commit to using acceptable techniques yourself. Trusting in a dependable Internet marketing agency with experience in catching negative SEO attacks before they can affect your website and who can also use the tactics proven to produce long-lasting results.
1 Source Media Group in Las Vegas has years of experience implementing trusted and effective SEO techniques and strategies along with the expertise needed to preventing an attack from negative SEO.