Building an online brand is critically important to your business success.
Protecting that brand is just as important as building it.
It is easier to protect the brand than to repair it after it has been attacked.
Here is two-pronged brand protection plan any business-owner can implement:
- Understand negative SEO and why it might be used
- Recognize the signs of a negative SEO attack
Once you can recognize that an attack is occurring, you can then seek appropriate help to resolve the issue.
Feel free to contact us at Fudzology. We can provide all of the online branding, internet advertising, and SEO services you need to take your North Park business to the next level.
Let’s start our discussion of brand protection by understanding black hat SEO.
Black Hat SEO
Optimizing a website can be quite challenging.
Online competition has become increasingly tight over the years.
Every entrepreneur wants to rank as high as possible on all search engines, particularly Google.
And to do that, business owners have to implement effective SEO strategies as part of their online marketing campaigns.
There are some SEO techniques, however, that Google deems to be manipulative. For example, purchasing backlinks and link swapping. These techniques are collectively referred to as, “black hat SEO”.
Entrepreneurs have to aggressively market their businesses without crossing the line into the ‘black hat’ region.
Google has outlined a set of guidelines that all webmasters must comply with to prevent fraudulent practices like black hat SEO.
The effect of black hat SEO can be quite damaging to any business, large or small. Google may penalize or even sandbox websites that implement questionable practices.
Now, you may think that your online business is safe because you have always used white hat SEO, but what if someone implemented black hat SEO techniques against your site?
Your competitors could attack your website using negative SEO, making it appear as if you are implementing black hat SEO.
For example, a rival might create thousands of backlinks from pornography sites to your website, hoping that the search engines would see those links and penalize your site.
What is Negative SEO?
Negative SEO is the practice of implementing black hat SEO techniques against a competitor’s website in the hopes that Google (and the other search engines) will penalize that site.
The objective is to fool Google into thinking that these competitors are using link manipulation so Google will penalize their sites or de-list them entirely.
Some of the most common negative SEO attacks include:
- Generating spam or low-quality links to a website
- Posting duplicate content all over the web
- Using fake social media accounts to spread malicious information about certain business
- Links that lead to unrelated websites and blog networks
Google claims that its algorithm has the ability to spot these types of attacks, but the system isn’t perfect.
In reality, it is impossible to prevent such attacks completely.
And once you’ve been victimized by negative SEO attacks, the damage could seriously hurt your business.
It is up to you, as an entrepreneur, to protect your business from negative SEO.
If you would like help protecting your North Park business, contact the experts at Fudzology. We can handle all of your internet advertising, online branding and SEO service needs.
How to Protect Your Business against Negative SEO Attacks
Knowing the signs of a negative SEO attack is the best way to protect your business.
By regularly checking your site’s health as described below, you can recognize the signs of an attack and address them quickly.
The experts at Fudzology can do this for you if you would like. We provide all of the online branding, internet advertising and SEO services you need for your North Park business.
Here are the most telling signs that your company has been attacked with negative SEO:
Inexplicable Spike in Links
Does your website show a sudden spike of incoming links or has the number of referring domains increased significantly almost overnight?
If you’re seeing a high number of foreign-language links or links that are in no way related to your business, your website might've been targeted with negative SEO.
We highly suggest using Google’s Webmaster tool and other tools like Monitor Backlinks to check for suspicious links directed at your website.
Some websites would copy your website content and repost them all over the web until Google notices the duplicate content.
You can use Copyscape or SiteLiner to track down duplicated content within seconds.
If you see your content being re-published on other websites, ask the site’s webmaster to remove the content. Contact the website’s host if the site is unresponsive.
If for some reason the webmaster or site host won’t remove the duplicated content, report the issue to Google.
Slow Website Loading or Unavailable
If your website is loading too slowly or it fails to load at all, you have to talk to your webmaster to find out what’s causing the problem.
Usually, slow loading is caused by graphic-heavy content. But if your content is optimized for faster loading, you need to dig deeper.
Sudden Drop in Page Ranking
Sometimes a website’s page ranking drops for legitimate reasons such as algorithm changes or website errors.
Other times, it is a sign of a negative SEO attack.
If your page ranking dropped suddenly, you need to know the reason why.
In case of a confirmed attack, you have to use Google’s disavow tool.
If the drop-in page ranking is not caused by negative SEO attacks, get your site audited and do what you can to regain your ranking.
Being penalized by Google is perhaps the worst thing that could happen to a website.
If you received a penalty notice from Google, you have to report the issue, track down the fraudulent links, and disavow them immediately.
Then, ask Google to re-evaluate your website until it is cleared from negative SEO.
The prospect of being attacked by competing businesses using negative SEO sounds alarming but it doesn’t happen all the time.
The good news is, Google offers a variety of channels to report such practices, allowing entrepreneurs to sort the issue out fairly quickly.
When you are ready to take your North Park business to the next level, contact Fudzology. We provide expert online branding, internet advertising and SEO services.
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