Search engine optimization (SEO) can help your website to get ranking and enhance the visibility of your website. However, if you have competitors that want your website ranking to get lowered, they can adopt certain strategies to malign your brand online.
Several such instances have been reported and in this article, let us find out how you can keep such negative SEO attacks at bay and even if your website has been negatively publicized, how you can recover from such a situation. Let us delve deeper into the subject in the paragraphs that follow
Strategies of hurting your brand by negative SEO
There are few ways in which this can be achieved and few of the same has been explained in brief below-
- Bad Backlinks
Building bad backlinks is one of the ways in which your business can be jeopardized reputation-wise. Someone might build bad backlinks directed to your website. For instance, if you an adult or gambling website backlinks back to you and the direction has been given by your competitor by shelling out thousands of Benjamins, the ranking of your website could nosedive
- Malicious attack on your website
This is an instance when the robots.txt file is altered by a hacker. Your website is hacked; the hacker will block Google, insert bad and spam content to your web pages. Also, the links will be manipulated adversely to harm your online reputation.
- Generating spam reports
If a visitor feels that the content that you have updated on your website is irrelevant, inconsistent, or wrong, he might report non-compliance of webmaster guidelines to Google by generating spam reports that go against your reputation.
The above instances are just few ways in which there might be a negative SEO attack. How will you get out of it and recover has been discussed in the paragraphs that follow-
How to fix negative SEO attacks?
There are 2 ways in which you can find out that you have been subjected to negative SEO attacks. You will find a notice in Google Webmaster Tools for malware notification or you might be warned for unnatural link building. The other way is from your analytics data that will indicate a remarkable reduction in search traffic.
- First of all make sure you have plugged all the security holes that allowed hackers to invade.
- Opt for a good hosting company that is reliable and one that adheres strictly to security commitments and agreements.
- Update your software solutions on a regular basis
- Check your robots.txt file from time to time to find out if you are blocking Google
- Make sure you check your linking habits to ensure that you are not linking to any unwanted spam websites that will jeopardize your reputation and brand image.
- You must also double check to find out if your content is irrelevant and not using words that are prohibited or related to adult and gambling industry.
- You can hire the services of a professional service provider to ward off the negative effects of SEO attack.
- Make use of Open Site Explorer to find out the websites that link back to your website. Alternatively, you can also use service Ahrefs.
- As far as spam reports are concerned, there is an advantage and that is search engines tend to ignore them because they have been mostly associated with black hat SEO so they are considered tools for manipulating rival website rankings.
- The most crucial part is if you have offended Google webmaster’s guidelines. Make sure you stay away from breaking any norms while your website optimization is underway.
Last but not the least, you have to worry only if you are adopting or turning to black hat SEO tricks that take your website to nowhere. Operate ethically and chances are that you don’t have to worry about your online reputation as long as you are keeping a check on your analytics.