The impact of search engine optimization (SEO) in the field of digital marketing has seen a vast number of effects online. There is the positive outcome of white hat
And then comes negative
While strategists and webpage makers are busy avoiding penalties caused by black hat
Getting to know the culprit
The strict algorithms, subsequent penalties, and constant updates on search engine systems make the battleground for
Here are some examples of explicit negative
- Abundant and purposive bad links. Bad links per se are not purely negative
SEOin nature. In fact, you might even be guilty of creating them due to a previous faulty SEOstrategy or a tactic gone wrong. But, when numerous bad links, such as those anchored on malicious keywords (think casino, Viagra, and the like), are constantly thrown towards your site, negative SEOis often behind the act. Even 301 redirects can also be used by negative SEOenthusiasts. For example, they can sneakily create links that redirect a heavily penalized page to your website so that the juice from the penalty will be passed on to your website’s credibility.
- On-page spamming. Another way someone can use negative
SEOto attack your page is by filling it with spammy and unnatural links. They typically use the comments section of your page or blog and fill it up with links to foreign forums or those that lead to bogus sites with low-quality content.
- Duplicates and plagiarism. Blatantly plagiarizing your site’s content is another form of negative
SEOattack. They do this by creating many copies of your content and distributing them online, making the search engine think that yours is not the original one in the first place.
- Removing good links. Your hard-earned backlinks from authority sites can also be a target of negative
SEO. These malicious troublemakers can go as far as contacting webmaster administrators and pretend to be you, asking the link to your page to be removed.
- Fake and negative ratings. Reviews and customer feedback are crucial to a business, which is why the search engine also gives credit to those sites that receive positive ratings from users. To counter this and pull you down, negative
SEOattackers create fake social media profiles that downright bash and give bad ratings to your company. They can even mimic your site setup and actually pretend to be you, just to give you a bad rep.
Recovering from an attack
These are just a few ways on how far some people are determined to go to pull your site from the ranks, and eventually get ahead of you. While your site ranking may be damaged by these acts, it is important to note that there are still ways to get back in the game. So, if you find your website to be the target of negative
- Take immediate action. Ranking among SERPs takes a while to achieve. Adding negative
SEOattacks to the pile makes it even harder. Once your site gets hit by these rank-demoting moves, you need to act fast. Search engines algorithms, like that of Google, are quick to detect which sites have suspicious activity. As a consequence, your site’s ranking will suffer.
It is important then to identify and make a list of which backlinks need to be removed. You can manually try to remove these backlinks by getting help and reaching out to web admins. Once you have a list of bad links you want to be removed, notify the webmaster (and/or hosting domain) and request for them to remove these links directed at your site.
If, on the other hand, your backlinks to authority sites have been stealthily removed, send an official email (either from your domain web address or from your legal department) to the site. Explain the circumstances of the attack and request for the good link to be reinstated. If all else fails, cautiously resort to Google’s disavow tool.
- Be constantly vigilant. Now that you have been a victim of negative
SEOattacks, you need to take on defensive mode. Turn on Google Webmaster e-mail notifications so you do not miss out on any penalty or suspicious activity reminder. Monitor your backlinks and conduct a site audit regularly to weed out malicious and spammy comments. Scan your social media mentions and deal with falsified ratings and erroneous claims on your site, head on. Make sure also that you respond to these fake social media accounts and disprove their feedback.
- Fortify with tools. The online marketplace is now chock full of site-building and media monitoring tools to help you keep your web pages well-maintained. For example, plagiarism-related attacks can be prevented by using tools that help scan the web for duplicated content. This can be a big help in finding out if your content is being illegally distributed to influence your search engine rankings. Free versions may be available, but most sites level up their security with paid subscriptions that offer a more thorough protection. Ultimately, it will not hurt to invest in tools that can help you ward off unwanted
SEOtactics, so you can concentrate on your ranking goals. Given that your competitors have found a way to make your site vulnerable to negative SEOattacks, it now becomes logical to enlist these tools for added protection.
SEO is a growing trend that will continuously affect the way businesses strategize to gain customers online. As such, employing various
Once your website has encountered this kind of digital attack, know that recovering is always a viable option. Take responsibility for your website and proactively reach out to authorities to fix the problem.
Be responsive to social media feedback and disprove any false review that can further damage your reputation. But do not stop there. Keep your radar on and monitor suspicious activity as well as general site performance to get ahead of any potential threat. Regular site maintenance helps identify and solve problems before they even escalate into a penalty. Finally, toughen up your website. Use readily available tools in the market that can secure your pages and content. By keeping your guard up and strengthening your security measures, you can protect your website from any future