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Protecting Your Website from Negative SEO

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
Posted in Web Design by Joel Gross

spam - los angeles seo agency.jpg

The SEO world is always changing, often in exciting and interesting ways, but sometimes change can break about less desirable things in the process. Google has been leading the way with innovative algorithm changes which seek to provide their users with a more intuitive and useful search experience, largely stamping out an early generation of black hat SEO practitioners who used less savory methods to game search engine algorithms. However, a new manipulative SEO technique has emerged to get around this, and it is called “negative SEO.” Negative SEO is a potential nightmare for any Los Angeles SEO agency or business, but there are ways to protect yourself from the practice’s more insidious effects. Here is how.

1. Set up email alerts with Google’s Webmaster Tools

The first thing you need to do about combating negative SEO is to know when it is happening. Using Google’s Webmaster Tools, set up email alerts. You will be notified when your pages aren’t indexed, when you are being attacked by malware, when you are having connectivity problems, when you are penalized by Google, and etc. Email alerts can be found in the “Webmaster Tools Preferences” if you’ve connected your site to Webmaster Tools.

2. Monitor your backlinks

One of the primary weapons of negative SEO is to build up bad backlinks to your website and remove the good backlinks. One of the first things a Los Angeles SEO agency will do when addressing negative SEO is take a look at the backlinks. It is a good idea to constantly monitor the backlinks created to your site, and check them out to make sure they are legitimate. If you find a bad backlink, try to contact the webmaster to have your site removed. If you find that a good backlink was removed – someone contacted the good webmaster with your name and asked them to remove your site – see about contacting the good webmaster and having your site put back up.

3. Watch out for malware and hackersdata - los angeles seo agency.jpg

Another negative SEO tactic is directly hacking your site or attacking it with malware. There are ways to guard against this. Make sure you have an exceptionally strong password, and backup your data regularly. If you are using a blogging platform like Blogger or WordPress, look into some sort of reinforced authentication process to get into your account. WordPress has a useful Google Authenticator Plugin for just this kind of thing.

4. Keep an eye out for duplicates

Another tool in the negative SEO arsenal is content duplication. Spammers can copy your website’s content and post it all over the Internet, which often results in search engine penalties. There are tools out there to check out whether copies of your site are being posted anywhere.

 5. Track your mentions in social media

Every Los Angeles SEO agency knows the importance of social media in today’s SEO world. Unfortunately, negative SEO spammers know this too. Attackers can set up fake accounts with your name and wreak all sorts of havoc in the social media sphere. Luckily, there are tools available to track your social media mentions so you can keep an eye on what is being done to your company’s name.

6. Monitor your website speed

Yet another negative SEO method is spamming your server with requests, which can slow down your site or even mess up your server. What’s worse, this sort of activity can be penalized by search engines too. Make sure you keep track of your server speed and contact your host for help if you experience any unusual server activity.

7. Stay on the level

For some marketers and site owners, it is possible to become one’s own worst enemy. There are some SEO tactics that you should try to avoid, such as linking to bad websites, buying links, spamming your blog with low-quality/keyword-stuffed posts, and selling links. Also, when you build backlinks, you can use keywords but don’t overdo it. Make sure you are using your actual website name frequently. SEO tactics like these are often penalized by search engines.

Also, take care not to burn bridges with clients, employees, and partners. Some negative SEO attackers are motivated by competitive pressures, and others are motivated by grudges. Sometimes conflicts and disputes are impossible to avoid, but if you can help it, do your best to tread carefully in the online and offline public space.

8. Address search engine penalties

There is a last-resort measure you can take if you’ve tried all of these tactics and you are still getting penalized by Google for reasons you don’t understand. Submit a disavow list to Google that addresses any penalties that you feel are unearned.

9. Hire a Los Angeles SEO agency

These tactics should all help you better navigate the SEO world and protect against most negative SEO attacks if they happen. However sometimes it is better to leave things to an SEO professional. Coalition Technologies has extensive experience in both administering effective SEO and marketing campaigns, as well as addressing negative problems with services like reputation management and protection against negative SEO attacks. Our SEO agency has the technical knowledge and expertise to deal with the most sophisticated attacks. Give us a call today at 1-888-652-0637 and get a free quote.