Alexa.com recently wrote an interesting article about negative SEO (search engine optimization). In short, negative SEO is when, presumably, a competitor or just a malicious person, uses black hat SEO tactics to hurt your website. The 4 primary tactics are:
Watch video about fighting negative seo tactics used against you
These are very real and plausible threats that all website owners face. According to Alexa, negative seo campaigns are on the rise. If you think you have been the victem of such an attack, here are some things you can do.
Solutions to combat negative SEO
1) Monitor your backlinks. Alexa offers a tool, but there are other providers as well such as MOZ and Google Search console. GS is bit delayed and doesn't show all back links, but it is a start if you are on a low – no budget seo campaign. If you see a surge in spammy, unwanted back links, utilize Google search console "disavow" tool: .https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main
2) Scraped Content: If you discover your content has been scraped and is showing up on 3rd party sites contact the 3rd party site and ask that it be removed. Also, you can file a copyright infringement with Google : https://support.google.com/legal/answer/3110420
3) Fake negative reviews. Some review websites let you file a complaint. Not all do. Many sites also allow you to respond to all reviews. In the case of fake negative reviews, you should reply with something like this.. "This review is fake. We have been experiencing a plethora of fake negative reviews like this one. Please disregard this fake review and look to the other reviews for references. We can also provide real human references for our services on request. If you are a prospective customer, please contact us for real references."
Note: Of course, if you have real negative reviews, address the issues of the real review and make your business better. If possible, do it in a public manner as it will imbue trust with prospective clients who appreciate proactive business owners. You might even win back the negative reviewer as customer.
4) Ex-employees / contractors. This is a simple fix. Secure your site. Make sure all ex-employees and contractors do not have access to your back end. That also includes all 3rd party properties / identities such as your social media accounts, Google Analytics, Adwords, Google Search Console, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
Note: Though negative seo is a potential threat, and it does happen, Serr.biz has never seen a client experience a malicious negative SEO campaign. The reason we believe this sort of malicious attack is not very common is it is a two way street and it is illegal. A malicious seo campaign could easily be considered a violation of cyber security laws, and end with actual jail time and civil lawsuits. So, even though negative seo is a two way street, do not go there. Follow the tactics above and pursue all legal remedies at your disposal.
If you need help combating a negative SEO campaign, give us a call. We'll be happy to help.
Source article about negative seo: https://blog.alexa.com/negative-seo-real/
Music in video credit: Fire and Ice (rock mix) by Stefan Kartenberg (c) copyright 2017 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/JeffSpeed68/56643 Ft: Barzakh