Imagine this—your company’s website has been getting lots of quality traffic and conversions lately because of your number 1 position on the Google search engine results pages (SERPs). The phones are ringing, you’re making money, and you’re thinking that maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to swing sending your oldest kid to college next year. Then, all of a sudden, the phones stop ringing, and you notice that the steady stream of business you’ve enjoyed from your website has slowed to nothing.
Out of curiosity you decide to Google your business, only to find that while yesterday you took the number 1 position, today you’re nowhere to be found! Instead, your business is buried on page 6, which means that you may as well not be on Google.
There are a number of possible explanations for this drop—you may have been penalized by the search engine for using black hat SEO techniques, or your site may have been the victim of a negative Omaha SEO attack.
Just What is Negative Omaha SEO Anyway?
The simplest definition of negative SEO is black hat SEO techniques implemented on a site for the purpose of sabotaging its search engine ranking. Google and other search engines are cracking down hard on websites that use black hat SEO to try to take advantage of weaknesses in their ranking algorithms, but unfortunately they aren’t sophisticated enough to determine who is using these bad practices on (or against) your site.
Negative SEO can be easy to perform (signing your website up to receive thousands of spammy links, for example, takes no time at all and can be catastrophic for your site if you don’t catch it right away) and our Omaha SEO professionals have seen it in action many times. If you’re in an especially competitive industry, you should be vigilant in protecting yourself against these attacks. After all, even if you catch the problem and solve it in a timely manner, your website could be pushed down or taken off of the SERPs entirely for weeks or months.
Businesses are Using Negative SEO
As much as we’d like to believe that people wouldn’t really stoop so low as to use negative SEO against their competitors, the truth is that unscrupulous people do it and often see results from it. Because they’re using it, you have to be aware of what it is and what it can do to harm your business. But that’s just the first step, because you also have to know how to defend against these kinds of attacks.
Our Omaha SEO team wants to add that while there are many things you can do to defend and fight back against negative SEO attacks on your website, there’s no way to prevent attacks from occurring. These tips will help you defend your website, catch problems as they occur, and fight back against those who would use dishonest tactics against your site.
Use Google Webmaster Tools Alerts
You need to adopt a vigilant defensive stance against negative SEO, and the first step to doing that is setting up alerts through Google Webmaster Tools. Go to Webmaster Tools, then Preferences, then enable email notifications for “All issues.” This won’t always signal the start of an attack, but getting alerts through your email can help keep this information at the top of your mind.
If you get an alert that Googlebot can’t access your site or that your site has been flagged for a violation of Google’s guidelines, these could be signs that you’ve been the victim of a negative SEO attack, but at this point the damage is done. To truly defend your website, you need to be proactive.
Check Your Backlinks Regularly
You need to stay informed about the state of all inbound links on your site if you want to be truly vigilant. Google Webmaster Tools allows you to see all of the backlinks coming in to your website, and services like Link Research Tools and Open Site Explorer provide the same information.
Being vigilant about the quality of your backlinks takes discipline, but it also takes time, something that many business owners don’t have enough of as it is. If you don’t have the time to perform this needed task yourself, our team at Big Red SEO can help. We can monitor your backlinks, alert you to suspicious or shady backlinks that suddenly appear, and help you to remove or disavow them as they come up.
Contact Big Red SEO at (402) 522-6468!
Of course the best way to combat negative SEO is to make your website immune to it! That means investing in quality content and a solid web design that’s optimized for both users and search engines. Making your website a valuable and necessary resource in your industry puts you on the offensive against negative SEO, and our team at Big Red SEO can make that happen for you. For the best Omaha SEO services, including content creation, web design, and personalized on- and off-page optimization strategies, give us a call today at (402) 522-6468!