How to Combat Negative SEO

Loosely defined, negative SEO occurs when a website purchases links and targets them at competitors’ websites in an effort to torpedo their Google rankings. While the chance that your small business will be victimized by negative SEO remains slim, you should optimize your site to combat any future onslaught. So you can focus on building your brand—most effectively through social media management and marketing—consider these steps for preventing and combating negative SEO:

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  1. Build Strong Defenses
    A negative SEO operation aims to identify any weaknesses on your website and exploit them. The strongest defense is to maintain a website with sound, SEO-focused roots. Consider monitoring valid ranking metrics to detect foul play. These metrics might include plummeting traffic, decreasing conversions, and increasing bounce rates.I would also recommend updating your settings to receive immediate emails from Google and Bing when search engines detect that something is off with your site.
  2. Invest in SEO Services
    Check your site often via outside sources.
    Professional SEO services
    offered by companies, like SevenAtoms, specialize in website monitoring to keep negative SEO at bay. SEO services include a Google search for your site using high-ranking keywords. These website management companies also browse your site and provide you with feedback.Using professional SEO services ensures site usability and offers you peace of mind. Even expert social media management allows more “you” time, freeing you to focus on other aspects of your small business.
  3. Monitor Link Building
    Link metrics monitoring tools—like Majestic SEO—help you to identify healthy tends and pinpoint any serious deviations. Consider the total number of links to your site. Investigate any major changes.

A website packed with great content that focuses on building lasting relationships—not the highest rankings—wards off negative SEO. Consider such factors as you build your brand, particularly through social media marketing.

Have you or someone you know been affected by negative SEO? Have you taken steps to protect your website? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Image By: Sean MacEntee

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