SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a critical process in the field of online marketing. It can be defined as a framework of methods and rules companies follow in order to optimize their ranking or visibility in search engines. The vast expanse of the internet has made the marketing landscape even trickier than it has ever been in the past. With an ocean of competitors aiming to land a place in the first five search pages, the bar has definitely been raised.
SEO is used to gain more visitors to websites via the use of other media platforms, such as blogs, video channels, social networking sites, and more. Links are made from these platforms to lead traffic towards a company’s website. In this strategy, good content and links have to be ensured to be in good graces with the search engine (like Google). Although SEO may revolve mainly on search engine usages, it is also a tool to improve user experience and in maintaining the relevance of a website.
In general terms, SEO is a good and very useful tool for any company. Although SEO is originally aimed at helping companies gain better exposure and marketing advantage, many have also used “shortcuts” in gaining the ranking that they want. White Hat SEO, otherwise known as Ethical SEO, is a techniques where proper tactics and strategies in optimization that are used strictly follow the policies and rules of the search engine. This method does not manipulate rankings and makes use of human audience search to gain traffic. Black Hat SEO, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of White Hat SEO. It gains traffic and gain ranking through search engine and does not rely on the human audience. Typically, it defies the guidelines of search engines.
These two techniques serve their purpose well. However, since Black Hat SEO involves “illegal” manipulation and does not follow the rules, consequences follow when the websites using this technique get caught. Additionally, it will also be a bigger problem to reverse if it gets attacked by negative SEO hacking. These days, Black Hat SEO has slowly lost its popularity among dirty players since it had become harder to execute and results have not been the same as they had been in the past. Because of this, the Negative SEO strategy took root.
The word negative itself gives us an idea that it is something you would not want anything to do with. Negative SEO is a tool used to ruin a competition’s good SEO ranking by hacking and manipulation. It basically hacks into a system, modifies SEO settings, create spammy content or add in spammy words like Viagra and distribute this content repeatedly online, and use hundreds to thousands spammy links to ruin the credibility of a website, eventually de-ranking it from a search engine. It uses the strategy on making fake profiles and deleting good links from a website. In addition, perfectly clean and relevant website can be reported by viewers as spam when it is already plagued with bad links. Negative SEO is a very real threat and should not be dealt with lightly. You can get penalized for 1 month if the attack becomes successful.
Google Webmaster Tools can help you determine of you have been attacked. It gives malware notification or when there is an unnatural link building, given that you did not do anything that is unnatural prior to getting notification. You will also notice a drastic and huge drop in the search traffic of your site. When you sense that your site has been attacked by negative SEO, the first thing you need to do is to close all the holes in your security by blocking all entry points in your server. There are companies that provide solutions to such problems. You can make use of their service to make sure that you got everything locked in. Next, replace your hosting provider with a much more secure one. Also make sure that you update your server software from time to time to ensure security.
Remember to monitor all your backlinks from time to time. There are apps available online that will notify you thru email once you get or lose good backlinks. Another way to protect your backlink is to use your email will the domain name instead of ones that have Google or Yahoo in them. This will help the webmaster of the backlink website owner to properly identify you and that you belong to that domain. This is in case a spammer will try to use your profile to request from the webmaster to remove you from the link.
In conclusion, there is no easy route in recovering from a Negative SEO attack. Even with Google’s new Disavow Tool, which they gave notice to only use as a last resort, prevention is always the best way to stay out of the problem. Negative SEO is something that many people are willing to do at a $5 rate. It will be difficult then to control this unless search engines find a more advanced technology to use against it. But for now, although recovery from an attacks can still be possible, use whatever you have to protect your ranking and be vigilant for attacks.
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