Protecting Yourself Against Negative SEO

In the past, choosing a good SEO company was pretty much all that was necessary to guarantee that your website would be in compliance with Google’s webmaster terms. If that company followed the rules, you were in the clear. Well, all that changed when a few unscrupulous people realized that it’s actually possible to target websites and get Google to penalize them by creating bad links. Bad links used to be caused by poor SEO work – now they can be caused by a new breed of hackers seeking to artificially manipulate a target’s Google ranking by getting them penalized or banned.

Against Google’s TOS (Not To Mention Totally Immoral)

Obviously this kind of behavior is completely against Google’s terms of service. These attacks are malicious and they are never perpetrated by legitimate SEOs. Customer Magnetism condemns them, and we’re sad that they are even something that has to be considered. But none of these objections stop them from happening. Making sure you’re protected is absolutely necessary.

Constant Vigilance Is The Best Defense

The most common form of attack is to direct poor quality links toward your website. Especially after the Penguin and Panda updates, having a natural link profile from sites recognized for their good content is absolutely vital. That can still be skewed by poor SEO work, but it can also be skewed deliberately by someone on the outside trying to sabotage you.

The best way to combat this potential is to keep careful watch on your link profile. If you see a sudden explosion of new links, most of them coming from sites without a lot of authority, you should immediately be wary. As soon as you are able to confirm it, alert Google proactively and start cleaning up the links as quickly as you can. Make sure that you let Google know that you didn’t cause the links, and that you’re seeking to have them removed.

Can You Be “Immune”?

Unfortunately, there isn’t currently any way to completely proof your site against this kind of attack. However, being proactive about positive SEO is a good step to help protect yourself. If you have strong brand signals and a lot of good material for the search engines on your site, you’re less likely to be vulnerable even if you have an unnatural link profile. Build your site the right way. Use ethical search engine optimization strategies. Keep a strong brand presence. All of these will help you become a target that can’t be taken down by the actions of an unscrupulous negative SEO.

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