It’s a well known fact that Google penalizes sites that violates its quality regulations. The problem is that your site can fall victim to these violations without your doing or even knowledge. This happens when your competitors decide to attack your website with negative SEO tactics. Negative SEO, for those who do not know what it is, involves implementing black hat SEO tactics used to improve SEO rankings. Negative SEO attacks can quickly destroy the success of a website. In this post, I will discuss some of the measures website owners can take to mitigate the effects of negative SEO.
Dealing with Website Intrusion
Some unprofessional competitors can hack your site and manipulate its contents. If you think that the objective of such attacks is to thrash your website, then you are wrong. What most of these attackers do is to install malware into your HTML source code to edit your content or restrict a large number of IP addresses from accessing your site. You can protect yourself from these attacks by using the latest servers with the latest security patches. Other security measures you should use include reliable anti-virus software as well as strong passwords. You should also monitor your site to identify and repair any damages as soon as they occur.
Dealing with Bad Links
Google tracks and penalizes sites with low-quality links. This distinction between low-quality links and high-quality links became even more important for post-Penguin SEO. Attackers who decide to use this method of negative SEO on your site will create numerous (enough to tip the balance from the effects of your high-quality links) low-quality back links to your site. It is not easy to defend your site from this kind of attack, but it is possible. First, you need to ensure that your website is of very high quality. This involves linking with press releases, news mentions and others.
Dealing with Content Manipulation
There are also competitors who will make copies of your website and post them on other sites. Naturally, this shouldn’t be a problem because Google recognizes sites that had the contents first, and ranks them high. The complication arises when a website with new content is duplicated and the duplicate site is indexed before the original site. In fact, Google sometimes awards high ranks to sites with higher PageRank at the expense of those with low rankings. This means if a competing website with a high PageRank duplicates your content, it will get the benefit of the indexing. To deal with this threat, you ought to check for duplicate content regularly and report sites that have extensive copies of your content. You should also update your web content regularly.
Dealing with Fake Reviews
Fake reviews are also abhorred by the major search engines, and unscrupulous competitors can take advantage of the fact to ruin your ranking. In this case, they add fake reviews to different business listings. This means you should monitor your reviews regularly and notify Google whenever you identify a problem.
Dealing with Unwarranted DMCA Removal Requests
Unwarranted Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) request can effectively ruin your website because it targets your high-quality backlinks. It starts with the competitor sending notifications to the webmaster claiming that pages containing your links are infringe on some copyrights. If you are not careful, your pages can easily be pulled down this way. You can preempt this by establishing prior relationships with any sites you backlink to so that the links are recognized.
As you can see, negative SEO tactics can ruin your website, and by extension, your business. You need to have a strong SEO foundation for your website and monitor it carefully for any changes. You should also register with Google Webmaster Tools so that you are warned early in case your site is marked as using negative SEO techniques.
About the guest author: Charles Dearing is a website marketing consultant. He is constantly looking at ways for his clients to improve their SEO performance. Click the link to learn about an inbound marketing agency and their solutions.
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