3 Reasons to Monitor Your Website for Negative SEO

Aug 28, 2014

negative seoNegative SEO is the unethical practice of using “black hat” techniques to deliberately damage a website’s search engine rankings. While documented negative SEO campaigns are not rare, they are a distinct possibility and could destroy your website’s traffic and online reputation literally overnight.

A devastating negative SEO campaign could be launched against your website for the price of a cheap hamburger and fries; online mini-task broker Fiverr.com currently has more than 15,000 member-vendors willing to help destroy a business for $5.

Google itself may have inadvertently played a small role in the rise of this disturbing development due to its aggressive stance against webspam. Google’s various algorithm changes have made it increasingly difficult to rank a website using legitimate white-hat techniques. As a result, a small number of marketers have given in to the temptation of maintaining their own rankings by destroying the rankings of their competitors.

Aside from unethical competitors, anyone with a grudge against you or your company, including disgruntled former employees, could be a potential source of negative SEO. You need to have a plan in place to monitor and protect yourself from a possible negative SEO attack that could.

  • Reduce or destroy your ability to generate organic traffic to your website.
  • Damage your online reputation.
  • Cause your customers to lose confidence in doing business with you due to your inability to provide a safe online experience.

How Negative SEO Works
A negative SEO campaign can manifest itself in a number of different ways such as:

  • Hacking into your website and stealing or damaging everything in sight.
  • Building thousands of spammy back links to your site that can get your site penalized.
  • Illegally copying your site content and reposting it across the Web so that your site gets flagged and penalized for duplicate content.
  • Getting your most effective authority backlinks removed from your link profile.
  • Setting up phony social and review site profiles that can be used to trash your online reputation.

monitorbacklinksHow to Protect Yourself from a Negative SEO Attack
It’s much easier and cheaper to prevent a negative SEO attack than it is to recover from one. Some critical proactive steps that you should take to secure your site and guard your valued online reputation include.

  • Connecting your website to Google’s Webmaster Tools Email Alerts. You’ll receive an email alert if someone launches a malware attack against your site, if your site pages are not indexed, or if your site is experiencing server connectivity issues.
  • Monitoring your backlinks profile. Many negative SEO attacks take the form of pointing spammy backlinks to your site or creating damaging redirects. MonitorBacklinks.com provides a great way to automatically monitor your linking activity starting at about $20 a month. You’ll receive an email notification whenever your link profile changes.
  • Blocking any attempts to have your most valuable backlinks removed. A spammer might try to impersonate you and request that a webmaster remove a valuable link to your site. In addition to the protection offered by MonitorBacklinks, you can help prevent this by trying to establish a personal relationship in the form of a brief thank-you email whenever someone links to your site. Be sure to use a company-domain email address in all your correspondence.

Be sure to claim as many social media network and directory profiles as possible to block any attempts to damage your online reputation. If have been hit share your story and if you were able to recover.