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Negative SEO

With all the ongoing discussion of what SEO is, how to implement it, and its importance to a company’s marketing strategy and business plan, there is a dark side to SEO. The reality is that there are simply lazy people in the world who want to siphon off the efforts of other people or pollute what others have created for their own profit. This is not the brightest way to begin an article, but the less honorable among us must be shouted out.

Companies spend millions of dollars trying to get their Google ranking to Page One. They realize that maybe 1 in 100 searchers will move forward to Page Two – or beyond. But like the keyword stuffing strategy of old, there are those who want to take shortcuts that mean less work for them and more for everyone else. Dropping malware on your web site and stealing the best links are two of the more insidious ways these web parasites latch on to your hard work. To minimize their effect, you need to be proactive as much as possible but also be prepared to be reactive – as quickly as possible.Negative SEO

One of the simplest and easiest ways to keep track of nefarious activity on your web site is through the use of tools. Automated monitoring and reporting does not have to be a complex and tedious process if you have selected the right tools. The initial process of finding out what tools are best for your particular situation may take some time. However, there are some essential tools that can almost be considered industry standard because of their reliability and performance.

Google’s Webmaster Tools (GWT)
The first of this group of essential tools is Google’s Webmaster Tools. Beyond simply monitoring your site, an email alert option is available that will give you up to the minute reporting when malware is detected on your site. This gives you the freedom to go about your daily business knowing that you can respond quickly to any web site abnormalities. Webmaster Tools also will alert you when your web site ranking has been penalized due to low quality links, a tactic that the less-than-honorable will try in order to gain a competitive advantage.

Authority Labs
Negative SEO can affect your ranking in a number of ways. Not all can be traced to a single cause. A monitoring dashboard used by Authority Labs will present in graphic form any changes to the search ranking or search results of your web site. The graph keeps things simple and yet contains essential information you can use to either investigate the source of the problem or reassess your SEO strategy. In either case, the problem can be addressed without the need to pour over a lot of numbers or data.

Fruition Google Penalty Checker
There likely will be times when the negative SEO originates from Google itself. Huh? When Google updates its algorithm, the changes can negatively affect your SEO strategy and Google ranking. Fruition keeps track of any changes to the Google algorithm and graphically displays the effect the changes have on your ranking.

Now that we have turned a negative beginning into a positive action, the primary concern for a business is to keep your search engine image as sparkling clean as possible. These basic tools are a start, but certainly are not the entire solution. Underestimating the lengths competitors are willing to go to undermine your profitability is a mistake. Incorporating these tools into your SEO strategy will help you be both proactive in discovering the problems, and reactive to minimize any potential damage.

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