Negative Seo Attack

Understanding Negative SEO Attack and How to Prevent It From Happening

 

The Internet has become really overcrowded, congested, and highly competitive over the past few years. Nowadays, when you search for a specific topic or product online, you’re going to get a whole lot of search results in an instant. Not just hundreds but over thousands of them—maybe even hundreds of thousands!

With that being said, nobody would click through each one of those sites. Most people would only click on the first few results that are listed and then adjust or modify their search if they don’t see what they’re looking for.

This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes to play. SEO is a collection of techniques and methods to fully optimize a website with the sole purpose of getting it to the top of the search result rankings for specific terms or keywords. But then again, where one thing serves to positively impact the rankings, there are those who will find ways and invest a ridiculous amount of time to utilize SEO for the opposite outcome.

While top search engines, like Google, have learned to identify a lot of these issues, a lot of questionable and shady companies still feel like they would rather try to tear other websites down instead of just focusing on their own growth.

It is important to note that when you get hit by these types of negative “SEO attacks,” it can sometimes be difficult to bounce back—but certainly not impossible. Before we dig deeper, let’s first start with the basics so that you can accurately recognize what these tactics are, how you can prevent them from happening, and what to do if you ever encounter these issues.

how SEO works

 

Understanding How SEO Works

Search engine optimization is a collection of useful methods that cater to both user experience and Google’s algorithm. The ranking factors that work into Google algorithm have different weights and value, and the algorithm continually shifts.

If you present relevant information on your site for your readers and online visitors, design a user-friendly experience, and fulfil all the distinguished algorithm factors, then your website has a great chance of climbing up on the search results list for your brand’s targeted keywords. This kind of SEO is usually called “white hat SEO”, but you can just think of it as the ethical and established method to boost your site’s audience and traffic.

Nevertheless, depending on the industry you’re into, the competition for rankings can be quite intense.

To be able to get to the top or gain the upper hand in this highly competitive field, some companies have tried to manipulate the system by using dirty SEO tactics. These corrupt SEO practices usually referred to as “black hat SEO”, are not tolerated by Google so they penalize these online companies when caught. However, there are always those who are willing to take the risk just so they could drag other companies down.

Learn About Negative SEO

Google has grown faster in intercepting webmasters who use unethical SEO methods and has executed firmer punishments for the offenders (banning of websites, lowering the ranks, and many more). Still, some companies who are too desperate to increase their search rankings have found ways to hack into the websites of their competitors and perform some damaging procedures on those sites.

Some don’t even have to go that far. Now, there are loads of tactics that they can perform to make it appear as if your website is just acting up and doing some questionable things on its own, whether it’s scouring and posting your content, creating problems with your local profile, or building thousands of links from dubious sites.

The ultimate goal of negative SEO is to reduce the rankings of rival websites. They believe that this will consequently raise their own rankings once the competition is out of the way.

black hat SEO

 

How To Know If Your Website Has Been Attacked

More often than not, negative SEO attacks come in the form of fake reviews, spammy links, or an outright website hack.

There are obvious signs that your website has been hit by negative SEO. Look into the analytics of your website; if you start noticing sharp decreases or increases in bounce rate and website traffic, these are usually red flags and it may suggest that something is going on. Moreover, try to detect any coding and formatting issues during the routine maintenance of your website as it may be an indication that your site has been hacked.

There are various ways that this can be attempted. The most frequent example of negative SEO that gets addressed is link-based negative SEO, but there are several other approaches that corrupt people can apply to try to decrease your rankings. Here are some of the most common type of links that you will usually see when someone is trying to hit you with negative links:

  • Links from foreign forums
  • Huge number of links from total nonsense blog entries
  • Loads of keyword-anchored links from various sources
  • An influx of bad links from websites such as payday loan sites, gambling sites, porn sites, and a whole lot more.
  • A large number of links from sites with TLDs of .cz, .ru, .pl, .cn, .ro, .biz, .bg, .com.br, .com.ar, and .info. Not all of these links are going to be harmful, but if you are suddenly noticing an influx of links from these kinds of sites, it could be a sign of an attack.

Things You Can Do If Your Website Has Been Hit By Negative SEO

If you believe that your website has been hit with negative SEO, there are some actions you can execute in order to avert further damages that could sometimes be irreversible.

It is crucial that you take prompt efforts to fix these problems and inform Google of the negative SEO attack. Take note that when you are upfront and direct with Google about these issues, it implies that you’re actively addressing the matter and they will not likely put your website at a disadvantage for those unethical SEO procedures.

Listed below are some measures you can take to prevent an attack from occurring and how to block a negative SEO attack:

I. The Speed of Your Website
If you ever notice an abrupt slowdown in your website’s load speed, it may be possible that your site has gotten attack either by a hacker, a virus or with negative SEO.

One strategy of negative SEO includes crawling a website. This “forceful” crawling places a strain on the web server, thus, prompting the website to slow down and even crash. The speed of your website is an important ranking factor for search results. If you don’t contact your webmaster or web hosting provider immediately, you will definitely get a number of frustrated online visitors and this will eventually lower your search result rankings.

sudden spike of links

II. Always Keep an Eye on Your Links
Conducting routine inspections on your website’s links is a great way to identify potentially suspicious negative SEO activity. Frequent monitoring of your link profile can also help you intercept a possible attack and prevent it from occurring and spiralling out of control.

So, what should you particularly look for?

  •  Upon looking into your website analytics, an ideal, typical graph will reveal a progressive increase in linking and backlinks domains.
  • If the graph for your website presents sudden drops or spikes; better be aware. Pay particular attention if you see any sharp spikes or drops when you have not been working on link building. These things are huge red flags.
  • You should constantly check the content on your website, as well as the links within the content. For instance, if your website gets hacked, a couple of your contents may hold additional spammy links and foreign links that get redirected to either an inappropriate site or to another competitor’s website. If you’ve noticed a sudden rush of spammy links on your website, promptly alert Google and have them disavow those links.

III. Watch Out for Copy-Cat Content
If you constantly deliver great, quality, and original content, be very aware of content scraping.

Content marketing has grown to be a major player involving SEO during the past few years. Useful, interesting, relevant, and original content has also become an essential ranking factor in Google algorithms. With content being one of the leading factors in raising search ranking, some companies will do whatever it takes to pack up the content on their website—which may even include stealing content from another website and declaring it as their very own.

In negative SEO, the attackers will duplicate content (verbatim) from another website, post it on their own site, declare it as their own and mix it up with a link farm attack. Be aware that duplicate content can hugely influence the rankings of your website. If your content is not indexed before the duplicate content, your content will then be marked by Google as the copied. The result? Your website will be the one that will be penalized with lowered search result rankings. We wouldn’t want that now, do we?

search engine ranks

 

IV. Monitor Your Search Engine Rankings
A sudden drop in your website’s search rankings can be a sign of incorrect SERP rankings induced by an unethical SEO attack.

If this happens, please make sure that your website’s robot.txt. is properly set up. Also, if you want to obtain a complete, comprehensive view of the status of your website and how it’s currently doing, you can always utilize several of Google’s analytics tools. Use everything you can to ensure that your website is safe and well-maintained.

V. Keep Track of Your Website’s Click Through Rate
The Click through rate is a useful indicator of whether you’re drawing in the right or wrong kind of online visitors, and if all your content is what your audiences are looking for. If you’re bringing in wrong audiences they will likely find your webpage content to be uninteresting, irrelevant and/or useless which would result in a low CTR.

However, if you have done sufficient audience research and you are constantly generating the same type of content, your click-through rate will be high. So if you notice an abrupt decrease in your website’s CTR, then something is definitely not right. On the other hand, a high bounce rate (which is usually hand-in-hand with a low CTR) may mean that a negative SEO attack has transpired on your website. In which cases, the bounce rate results can be a sign of false SERPs generated by malicious bots.

VI. Keep Watch on Google My Business
Another favourite method of negative SEO attackers includes overwhelming a company’s online business listing with false, negative reviews.

Unless your company has had some sort of hiccup or disagreement, an overabundance of negative reviews is highly questionable. If you don’t do anything to address these fake reviews, they will consume your company’s character and reputation which can lead to decreased sales and profits. No need to worry though, with Google My Business, it’s very easy to report these fake, malicious, negative reviews. All you need to do is locate your business listing, find review summary, click ‘flag fake reviews’ and simply fill out the report form. Pretty easy, right?

website security

 

VII. Increase and Tighten Your Security
Even if negative SEO attacks are not the same as cyber-attacks, both of them can negatively influence your website’s search rankings. When Google catches a site that has likely been hacked by a cyber-attack, the website is then flagged with a line, suggesting that the website has been compromised. Normally, this warning is sufficient enough to scare potential website traffic away.

To defend your website against any cyber-attacks, be sure that your web security is up-to-date and working smoothly. Some recommendations for a more thoroughly protected website include migrating the site from HTTP to HTTPS, establishing security patches on your website software, and making sure that your CMS or content management system is outfitted with user encryption protection.

After reading all these and you’ve noticed that your website has likely been a victim of a negative SEO attack, you do not have to panic. You do, however, have to promptly respond to fix the issues before it turns into a bigger problem with potentially unchangeable outcomes.

Lastly, remember that not all negative SEO attacks are easily detectable. It is necessary to regularly monitor the content and performance of your website in order to prevent any potential negative SEO attacks or to block an attack to stop it from escalating.
View Our Web Security Methods

seo-this-year

Things We’ve Learned About SEO This Year

 

Since the beginning of the search engine, SEO has been an essential, yet quite often misunderstood industry. For most people, these three letters bring massive frustration; but for others, SEO has rescued their business. To top it off, having a distinct search strategy often separates those who succeed on their business ventures, from those who don’t.

So as we wrap up the year, let’s have a look at how this industry has grown and changed over time, shall we?

The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Google, Amazon, IBM, and Apple are very proactive in developing and utilizing an Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI). This specific AI can be used to automate repetitive tasks, such as: looking up shipping dates, product details, order histories and performing other client requests.

The consumer is continuously becoming more comfortable with this certain type of technology and has grown to trust its results. Why you ask? Well, Google handles more than 3.5 billion searches per day, in which 16% to 20% of those are unique queries that have never been searched by anyone before. To manage this type of demand, Google created a machine learning in order to help deliver better and reliable results.

An ever-growing industry

SEO’s reputation has grown massively over the past few years, due to the awesome work of the real pros out there. Presently, the industry is worth more than $65 billion, and this is because large and small companies are seeing just how important it is to have a good search strategy in their line of business.

As search engines continue to evolve over time, SEO is not just another added service brought to you by some freelance web designers. With the right amount of data, tools, knowledge, skills and experience, SEO has become a leading industry all on its own.

Mobile-friendly algorithm

A year after “Mobilegeddon”, a certain event marked by the launch of Google’s mobile-friendly ranking algorithm, the giant company announced that it would soon be augmenting its effects, so as to further provide mobile-friendly sites on mobile search. That particular boost rolled out last May 12, 2016, though the outcome was not nearly as momentous as when the mobile-friendly ranking algorithm initially started.

The Divided index

As mobile search continues to be accountable for a most global share of the search queries, Google is progressively taking steps to becoming a mobile-first company. Just last November, Google declared that it was experimenting with using a mobile-first index, which basically means that the mobile version of a website would be considered the “default” option for ranking purposes instead of the usual desktop version.

View Our SEO Methods

how-to-preserve-your-clients-patience

How To Preserve Your Client’s Patience

 

Drip.. Drop..

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of your client’s patience slowly dripping away, the longer they browse your page.

As prospective customers look through your site, their patience may be gradually decreasing, minute by minute. We all have a limited amount of patience available for each day – and once it’s all used up, we get irritable, annoyed, and just plain unpleasant.

This is why it’s extremely crucial to build an inviting, user-friendly website. As what we’ve mentioned before, familiarity can easily generate contempt if there is an infuriating work-flow on a website or a specific application that someone uses on a daily basis.

Of course, the same is true for commercial websites:

• Clashing colour palette that hurts the eyes of the viewers

• A novella of text to read through once the reader’s eyes adjust

• Menu filled with terminologies that only your marketing department can understand, which could be something they encoded during an all-nighter

• A product picture that does not fully expand as promised due to some skewed javascript

• Disorganized menu set-up leaving your customers immensely confused or worse; misguided

A website that isn’t compatible on a mobile phone screen

• Numerous broken link due to a misplaced white paper

• Inefficient and complicated check-out process that stops a purchase from happening. Leaving your customers with no other choice but to abandon their shopping carts.

All of the mentioned issues (except the last one) are considered to be minor in the grand scheme of things, but when fused together, they can easily squeeze out your client’s patience, leaving them utterly frustrated and dissatisfied. They could even give your website a very bad review, which could eventually affect your traffic.

It’s important to remember these factors when designing your website. Simple, to-the-point text, mild and cheerful colours, links that work properly when clicked, organized menu buttons that make perfect sense, and a hassle-free shopping cart can go a long way in preserving your client’s patience while they browse your site.

View Our Web Design Methods

Have you ever landed on a website that takes ages to load? How do you feel when you sit there waiting and you only get a blank screen whilst the website loads? How many people do you think sit and wait or just click back and move on to the next site? The most important thing to factor is that most people viewing the web are busy and want to move quickly, and the second most important thing to remember is that there are loads of other people offering the same service as you within just a few clicks of a button. Therefore everything you do when building your website has to make the visitors life as smooth and easy as possible. Websites built with poor coding or structure or that rely heavily on too many large images will end up taking long to load and ruining your visitors experience. This in the long run will ruin your conversion or lead generation rates and cause your website not to work effectively for you. Another thing to factor is that google does not like websites that take a long time to load. when they decide to rank websites in the search engines they take many factors into consideration and website loading times is one of them. If your site doesn’t display well for visitors and does give them a smooth journey then google will not display you in their results. If you are looking for effective web design that will really increase your business and work effectively for you get in touch with us. Either use the contact form here or alternatively you can call Marc on 07957 814 475 and he can discuss any issue or things you don’t understand and explain to you have everything works. Also feel free to check out some of our recent designs on our portfolio page here.

Website Loading times Crucial Or Not?

Have you ever landed on a website that takes ages to load? How do you feel when you sit there waiting and you only get a blank screen whilst the website loads? How many people do you think sit and wait or just click back and move on to the next site?

The most important thing to factor is that most people viewing the web are busy and want to move quickly, and the second most important thing to remember is that there are loads of other people offering the same service as you within just a few clicks of a button. Therefore everything you do when building your website has to make the visitors life as smooth and easy as possible.

Websites built with poor coding or structure or that rely heavily on too many large images will end up taking long to load and ruining your visitors experience. This in the long run will ruin your conversion or lead generation rates and cause your website not to work effectively for you.

Another thing to factor is that google does not like websites that take a long time to load. when they decide to rank websites in the search engines they take many factors into consideration and website loading times is one of them. If your site doesn’t display well for visitors and does give them a smooth journey then google will not display you in their results.

If you are looking for effective web marketing that will really increase your business and work effectively for you get in touch with us. Either use the contact form here or alternatively you can call Marc on 0203 823 9033 and he can discuss any issue or things you don’t understand and explain to you have everything works. Also check out our page on SEO below.

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