Search engine optimization (SEO) has pretty much gone mainstream at this point and every business knows they need it to stay competitive. But what a lot of people don’t know is there’s an opposite side of the spectrum called negative SEO or negative reputation.
This can catch companies by surprise and that’s the exact situation our client found themselves in this project:
They tasked us to help them out of the hole they found themselves in. The success of this project helped us move up the rankings of the company listing site The Manifest. While we can’t talk about the specifics of this project, we can share what business can do to get themselves out of similar situations.
What is negative SEO?
Before you can slay the beast, you need to know what it is. Negative SEO is basically a series of black hat tactics that can either be the result of malicious external attacks or the website owners trying to cheat the algorithm.
It makes the site look extremely suspicious in the eyes of the crawlers and push them down the rankings and into oblivion. Negative SEO is a definite threat to the viability of a website and every step should be taken to prevent it.
If a site finds itself already in the midst of a negative SEO hole there are ways to beat it. Google itself has provided webmasters with one such method called the disavow tool.
The disavow tool basically allows websites to upload a list of links connecting to their site and tell Google “Please ignore all of these links”. You can even tell Google to ignore an entire website that’s linking to you.
Watch Your Backlinks
An old but gold method of monitoring the quality of the links connecting to your site. Spam links are the main weapons that malicious entities use to bring websites down. This makes sense because good links bring sites up the rankings, so terrible ones have the opposite effect.
Similar to Google’s disavow, there are tools available online that will help this process and even make it easier.
Purge Duplicate Content
This item is a bit special because not only is it a favourite method of attack by spammers, website owners can actually do it to themselves if they’re not careful. This most commonly happens with big companies that necessarily have dozens of web pages.
Fortunately, the answer to this problem is quite simple. Delete it, or if the content is really something you need, rewrite it. Solving duplicate content is easy, finding it is another story. Once again, there are tools that can help with this, but you’ll need to isolate the content you think is copied first.
Social Media Spam
The social media age brings another wrinkle to this equation. Accounts with the same or close enough name as the website will be put into the same boat by the search engine crawlers. This means anything those accounts do will affect your website for better or worse.
Just like Disavow, there are tools that will alert a website owner of this situation and solve the problem in the same way. Tell Google that those accounts are not your company and separate them from you.
It will take some time before website owners will notice any effects these methods will have, which means they need to get done sooner. Negative SEO is a reality every online business must face. But with our help, you can rest easy knowing there’s someone looking out for you.
Contact us today and only let good SEO enter your website.