Search

Negative SEO – What It Is And How To Avoid It

You’ve done your research. And despite repeated pronouncements by some experts that SEO is dead, the information that you have collected says otherwise. You’ve allocated ample resources toward SEO and you have made the effort to find a reputable digital agency to help promote your company and its offerings online. Initially, you found great success, with your website steadily climbing up the ranks in search engine results pages. However, while checking your website’s rank, you notice a steep dive. Something’s amiss. What could have gone wrong? A process of elimination There are several possible reasons why a website’s ranking takes a nosedive. One reason why your website is tanking could be because you are not using (or your agency is not using) internal linking. It is possible that your new website design has adversely affected the time it takes your website to load. Since 2010, Google has factored in website speed when determining rankings. Or maybe it has been ages since you added new content to your web pages. Or perhaps your website is not mobile-friendly. There are plenty of other possible reasons. If you are working with a reputable agency, it is highly likely that these issues have been addressed. If you are not sure, check your digital marketing agency’s work and look for shortcomings. You may even want to switch to a different agency if you feel shortchanged. Watching out for negative SEO If you and your agency have ruled out possible shortcomings from your end, one reason for your website’s steep dive that you might want to consider looking into is negative SEO. Negative SEO is an umbrella term that refers to unethical techniques that are used to make a competitor’s ranking go down. In simple terms, someone is working to undermine your SEO efforts. If the goal of SEO is to increase or improve a website’s ranking on search engines, negative SEO works the opposite way by pulling the same website’s ranking down. Among the practices that fall under negative SEO are hacking, removing good backlinks from your website, copying and distributing your website content, linking your website to shady keywords, spammy links to your website, and even the outright smearing of your company’s online reputation. But who would do such a nefarious thing? It is possible that someone has attacked your website just for kicks with no real intention of getting something from you. It is also possible that the one who has done negative SEO work on your website is out for revenge. A disgruntled former employee, perhaps? Or even your former digital agency who is out to do damage to your company after losing your business. If your business belongs to a competitive industry, it may be possible that a competitor has paid a company or individual to pull down your ranking so that the competing company will emerge with a higher position. Protecting your website As with most things in life, prevention is always better than the cure. The same thing applies to your website. Negative SEO can undermine your efforts and lead to the loss of the precious resources you have invested into the site. And the longer your website ranking languishes, the more potential customers you lose. Negative SEO is quite uncommon. However, if your business has lots of competition, you must consider the threat of negative SEO very carefully. What can you do to protect your website against threats of negative SEO? Make sure that you receive email alerts Make sure that your website is connected to Google Webmaster Tools. Google will send email alerts if there is something amiss with your website and those emails are one of the first things that you need to look at regularly. Monitor your backlinks profile regularly There are a few tools that you can use to keep track of your website’s backlink profile. Specifically, you should check whether there is someone creating dubious links to your website. You can also use these tools to monitor and protect your best backlinks. Apart from monitoring these links, make sure that you communicate with other website owners and administrators using your company email instead of a Yahoo or Gmail account. Invest in security Keep hackers and bots at bay by adhering to security best practices. Consider using a 2-step verification password. Back up files regularly. Install a formidable antivirus program. Scan for duplicate content There are a few tools that you can use to scan the Web for duplicate content. One of the most popular is Copyscape. Create alerts for social mentions Hackers and spammers can create fake profiles mimicking your social media accounts. You can prevent potential problems by using online tools that alert you when your company is mentioned online. Evaluate your SEO strategies Whether you are doing SEO in-house or outsourcing the associated tasks, make sure that your website follows best practices. You’ve worked hard to get good rankings online. Don’t let your efforts go to waste because of negative SEO.
Rated 4.5/5 based on 20 customer reviews

Negative SEO – What It Is And How To Avoid It

5K
Negative SEO – What It Is And How To Avoid It

You’ve done your research. And despite repeated pronouncements by some experts that SEO is dead, the information that you have collected says otherwise.

You’ve allocated ample resources toward SEO and you have made the effort to find a reputable digital agency to help promote your company and its offerings online.

Initially, you found great success, with your website steadily climbing up the ranks in search engine results pages. However, while checking your website’s rank, you notice a steep dive. Something’s amiss.

What could have gone wrong?

A process of elimination

There are several possible reasons why a website’s ranking takes a nosedive.

One reason why your website is tanking could be because you are not using (or your agency is not using) internal linking. It is possible that your new website design has adversely affected the time it takes your website to load. Since 2010, Google has factored in website speed when determining rankings. Or maybe it has been ages since you added new content to your web pages. Or perhaps your website is not mobile-friendly.

There are plenty of other possible reasons. If you are working with a reputable agency, it is highly likely that these issues have been addressed. If you are not sure, check your digital marketing agency’s work and look for shortcomings. You may even want to switch to a different agency if you feel shortchanged.

Watching out for negative SEO

  • If you and your agency have ruled out possible shortcomings from your end, one reason for your website’s steep dive that you might want to consider looking into is negative SEO.
  • Negative SEO is an umbrella term that refers to unethical techniques that are used to make a competitor’s ranking go down. In simple terms, someone is working to undermine your SEO efforts.
  • If the goal of SEO is to increase or improve a website’s ranking on search engines, negative SEO works the opposite way by pulling the same website’s ranking down.
  • Among the practices that fall under negative SEO are hacking, removing good backlinks from your website, copying and distributing your website content, linking your website to shady keywords, spammy links to your website, and even the outright smearing of your company’s online reputation.
  • But who would do such a nefarious thing? It is possible that someone has attacked your website just for kicks with no real intention of getting something from you.
  • It is also possible that the one who has done negative SEO work on your website is out for revenge. A disgruntled former employee, perhaps? Or even your former digital agency who is out to do damage to your company after losing your business.
  • If your business belongs to a competitive industry, it may be possible that a competitor has paid a company or individual to pull down your ranking so that the competing company will emerge with a higher position.

Protecting your website

  • As with most things in life, prevention is always better than the cure. The same thing applies to your website.
  • Negative SEO can undermine your efforts and lead to the loss of the precious resources you have invested into the site. And the longer your website ranking languishes, the more potential customers you lose.
  • Negative SEO is quite uncommon. However, if your business has lots of competition, you must consider the threat of negative SEO very carefully.
  • What can you do to protect your website against threats of negative SEO?

Make sure that you receive email alerts

Make sure that your website is connected to Google Webmaster Tools. Google will send email alerts if there is something amiss with your website and those emails are one of the first things that you need to look at regularly.

Monitor your backlinks profile regularly

There are a few tools that you can use to keep track of your website’s backlink profile. Specifically, you should check whether there is someone creating dubious links to your website.

You can also use these tools to monitor and protect your best backlinks. Apart from monitoring these links, make sure that you communicate with other website owners and administrators using your company email instead of a Yahoo or Gmail account.

Invest in security

Keep hackers and bots at bay by adhering to security best practices. Consider using a 2-step verification password. Back up files regularly. Install a formidable antivirus program.

Scan for duplicate content

There are a few tools that you can use to scan the Web for duplicate content. One of the most popular is Copyscape.

Create alerts for social mentions

Hackers and spammers can create fake profiles mimicking your social media accounts. You can prevent potential problems by using online tools that alert you when your company is mentioned online.

Evaluate your SEO strategies

Whether you are doing SEO in-house or outsourcing the associated tasks, make sure that your website follows best practices.

You’ve worked hard to get good rankings online. Don’t let your efforts go to waste because of negative SEO.

Philip

Philip Mazloumian

Blog Author

With a BSc (Honors) in Psychology, Philip Mazloumian understands that creativity heavily depends on human insight, and as such, his knowledge forms an invaluable part of what React Digital does. With over 10 years of leadership in the field of strategic brand development and marketing communication, he has positioned himself as a leading executive for organizations that require effective and timely achievement of their brand and marketing objectives.
 

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 comments

Chaya Dornfeld 16 Apr 2017

Thanks for the article.

Suggested Blogs

15 Ways To Measure Your Digital Marketing Performance On Social Media

A critical component of any digital marketing plan is social media. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most challenging parts. Yes, social media marketing has low barriers to entry. It’s easy to get on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and so on, and it costs next to nothing. However, turning the time you spend on social media marketing activities into actual sales and revenue is a lot harder than starting a Twitter account and sending a few tweets. Investing time in analyzing the performance of your social media marketing activities so you can track your return on investment is essential to ensure your efforts are yielding acceptable results. Keep in mind, you should be tracking both hard numbers and perceptions. Yes, you want a lot of followers, but if those followers aren’t engaged with you and helping you build your brand, then the quantity doesn’t matter. Those followers won’t generate sales. If their perception of your brand isn’t one that they want to buy from, talk about, and share with their own audiences, then you’re wasting time and money. Here are 15 metrics you can track to ensure you’re on the right path to reach your social media goals as well as your overall digital marketing goals. 1. Audience • How big is your audience? • How many followers and fans do you have on each of your social media profiles and pages? 2. Audience Growth • How much has your audience grown in the past 3-months? 6-months? 12-months? • Are you seeing a higher growth rate on specific social media profiles and pages? 3. Shares • How many times have specific pieces of content or posts been shared on each of your social media profiles and pages? • Which pieces of content were most popular? • Can you segment the audience that shared your most popular content and posts? Who are they? 4. Mentions • How many times have your social media profiles and pages, blog, website, brand, products, and services been mentioned by other people on social media? • Who mentioned you? Are they influential to your target audience? • What did they say? 5. Comments • How many times have people commented on your social media and blog posts? • What content and posts generated the most comments? • What did people say? 6. Hashtags • Did you create hashtags to identify your content, brand, or business? • How many times were your hashtags used by other people? • Where and when were your hashtags used? • Who used your hashtags? 7. Page Views • How many page views has your website gotten from social media referrals? • How many page views has your blog gotten from social media referrals? • Which pieces of content got the most page views from social media referrals? • Where did the traffic to your website, blog, and most popular content come from? 8. Clicks • How many times did people click on the links you shared on your social media profiles and page? • Which links got the most clicks? • What happened after people clicked? • If you can calculate it, what is your click-through rate (i.e., the percentage of clicks a link gets versus the number of views of that link)? 9. Direct Communication • How many direct messages have you gotten on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on? • How many email messages have you gotten as a direct result of a piece of content you published or shared on one of your social media profiles or pages? • How many phone calls have you gotten? 10. Conversions • How many conversions have clicks on links on your website (e.g., buy a product, subscribe to a mailing list, etc.) from social media sources generated? • How many conversions have clicks on links on your landing pages from social media sources generated? Next Steps You should review your metrics at least once per month to see what’s working, what needs to be tweaked, and what needs to be scrapped entirely. After all, if you keep doing the same thing month after month without identifying the tactics that are actually driving the results you want, you’ll keep wasting time and money on social media marketing efforts that don’t work.
Rated 4.5/5 based on 20 customer reviews
8346
15 Ways To Measure Your Digital Marketing Performa...

A critical component of any digital marketing plan... Read More

5 Steps To Stake Your Claim In The Digital Marketplace

Building a business or personal brand in the digital marketplace can seem overwhelming with all of the tools available and the vast number of “experts” offering differing opinions about what works. Things seem to change every day! However, if you start with the five steps outlined below, you’ll build a foundation that positions you for success for years to come regardless of the new tools or changes that might pop up along the way. 1. Set up Your Website as Your Core Branded Online Destination I speak about marketing and branding at events around the world and one of the first things I always teach people who are trying to build businesses or personal brands is the importance of staking your claim in the online space with a core branded destination. That core branded online destination should always be your website. A core branded online destination is the center of your online world. All roads lead back to it. When you comment on a blog post, publish a social media update, or publish a piece of content on your site or someone else’s site, readers should always be able to get back to your core branded destination through a link. This is how they learn more about you and decide if they want to engage with you further. Your core branded online destination should be your own website with your own domain name because this gives you complete control. If you use a Facebook Page as your core branded online destination, what happens when Facebook changes the rules about how Pages work or gets rid of Pages entirely? All of the work you’ve done to build that page could go down the drain! This doesn’t happen when you’re in control of your core branded online destination. 2. Extend Your Reach with Social Media Once your core branded online destination is established, it’s time to extend your reach. You should do this through social media. Set up a Twitter Profile, Facebook Page, and LinkedIn Profile at the very least. Other social media options that give you more opportunities to extend your online reach are Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. The list goes on and on, but these are certainly the most popular options. Start publishing and sharing content on your social media profiles and pages. Comment on the content that other people publish and be an active participant in the online conversation. This is how you stay top-of-mind with your audience and continually prove your value. 3. Prove Your Value with Content on Your Own Site You should also prove your value by publishing useful and meaningful content for your target audience on your own site. Do this on your blog so it’s easy for people to share your content and converse with you about it through blog comments. Most importantly, don’t write salesy blog posts! Yes, you can mention a product or service from time to time, but too much self-promotion will drive your audience away. Who wants to read one ad after another? I recommend to all of my clients that they use the 80-20 rule where at least 80% of your content should not be self-promotional and no more than 20% can be self-promotional. Stick to that rule and you’ll have an acceptable balance. 4. Increase Your Influence with Content on Other People’s Sites Once you’ve established your online presence, it’s time to increase your influence. The best way to do that is by publishing content on other people’s sites. You can do this on LinkedIn or Medium.com as well as through guest posting on other blogs. The important thing to remember is that you should never republish content on multiple websites because publishing duplicate content can negatively affect your site’s Google search rankings. Since many visitors to your website will come through Google searches, you don’t want your search rankings to go down. In fact, publishing duplicate content could get your site banned from Google search results entirely, and once your site is banned, it’s very hard to get back in. 5. Get Timely and Targeted with Advertising Now, it’s time to start promoting specific products, services, or messages to targeted audiences. Advertising on websites and blogs where your target audience spends time can be useful as can Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising. Keep in mind, getting good results from Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising can be difficult, so this might be an area where you want to invest in an expert to help you. Your ads should always be laser-focused — both on the audience and the message. Testing is extremely important to find the recipe for success, so don’t give up too soon! Plan on committing to at least a three month advertising plan before you make any hasty decisions to pull the plug.
Rated 4.5/5 based on 20 customer reviews
7299
5 Steps To Stake Your Claim In The Digital Marketp...

Building a business or personal brand in the digit... Read More

Small player, Huge possibilities: The Best Marketing Strategies For Growing Your Business

Every business knows how important a strong and established brand is to the growth of an enterprise. Let’s say you offer a very valuable product to your consumers. The problem is, it’s either non-existent or forgettable to your target market. You can’t expect sales to rise if your customers don’t even know about or remember your product! Regardless of how valuable your product is, it won’t be selling like pancakes overnight without any promotional effort. It pays to plan out how you will approach advertising your product, and bolstering its market presence, especially if you are just starting out. Marketing, after all, is not just about developing awareness, but creating interest, converting into sales, and sustaining customer engagement. Perhaps you’ve got the basics covered: identify product or service value; narrowed down target customers; and knowing your competition and their value proposition. Now, your next step is developing brand awareness and eventually, recall. You have to expose your brand or product, and expand its presence to create brand awareness. Your brand, product or service must always be visible in order for potential clients to remember you, and consider you at the top of their minds when the need arises. The best option that can give you the most value to your dollar is leveraging on online marketing. How do you achieve that? Here are several tips to guide you in making effective, results-oriented business marketing and promotion campaign. There will be creative advertising strategies for business startups helps for growth Develop great and relevant content. In digital marketing, content plays a very significant role. Explore the type of content that would resonate your brand identity effectively, and see where that can take you. Are you selling high quality yet budget-friendly HD action cameras? Videos should be your go-to content! Aside from the fact that video is now taking the lead in content marketing, producing interesting videos from your product showcases your action cam’s features for your customers’ better appreciation. This way, you can easily hit two goals: attract users, and position your brand competitively. Share stories. When people share engaging stories, we often tend to listen. The same goes with stories shared online. People pay more attention to stories that evoke emotions—happiness, empathy, motivation, etc. Identify the kind of stories that your product or service best fits in. For services, should it fall under educational? A testimonial? Or should it have a challenging tone to it? On the other hand, product stories can include instructables, tutorials, or even a daily anecdote that highlights what you’re selling. Just keep in mind that your stories should be true, simple, yet interesting. List your location online. Online maps come in handy for business owners that have physical stores. Leverage on these online maps, and put a listing of your business location. It’s free marketing since your brand logo will appear when someone Googles a keyword relevant to your business, increasing your brand visibility in the digital world. Plus, it would be easier for your customers to find you, and drop by your shop! You could also include your business’ contact information for easier communication. E-mail lists Just because most people spend around 50 minutes of their day in Facebook doesn’t mean you should throw away your email database! Hold on that list. E-mail marketing can be a key sales driver to your business, especially if you have quality names on your database. Consider that these people signed up to hear updates and promos from you! Maximize this opportunity to communicate with and persuade them into buying. Deliver e-cards with compelling messages that will make your customers feel connected. Social media contests A very interactive way of promoting your business is to have contests and giveaways! A discount voucher, freebie or sampler up for grabs through a simple game will pique your customers’ interest, increase social media engagement, and possibly drive traffic to your website. These kinds of gimmick offer great opportunity to build brand awareness a community of your target market. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have share and repost features that allow contest participants to get the word on your giveaway and brand out to their network. The larger the reach of your post, the larger the coverage of users and potential clients that came across your brand. Once you connect with your target market, learn how to sustain that customer engagement. Don’t lose the focus of your marketing efforts. Keep promoting your product to your target market to maintain brand recognition and recall.
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
Small player, Huge possibilities: The Best Marketi...

Every business knows how important a strong and es... Read More

Useful links