Monday, 15 September 2014

Is your SEO positive or negative?

Being top of the search results is a prime goal for most businesses. The higher your rank when someone searches the internet, the more chance you have to get potential new customers into your website and turn them into current customers. Many business owners have figured out the benefit of this and are continuously working hard to create a high search engine optimisation (SEO) with their website’s content. That is great! But there is something that not many businesses are aware of that might be keeping them from reaching the top rankings – Negative SEO.
I know what many of you are thinking, if I maximise my SEO and make sure that everything on my website points to the search engine requirements to boost my website, how can I possible have negative SEO issues? The truth is, not all is fair in love and search rankings. Negative SEO can come from competitors, webmasters, spammers, black hat SEO’s and even vicious marketers. These rogues are working to bring down your website rankings or infuse spam to your visitors.

So what exactly is negative SEO? It is anything malicious that is done to bring down your web site’s ranking in search engines. This can be done by hacking into your website and changing some of the basic information that search engines use to index your pages to keep you from being seen. Hackers can also include malware in your site.

Hackers can also do things within your site that search engines frown upon like fake reviews. Most search engines like reviews but they can detect when you have created your own to boost your rankings. Those looking to boost your negative SEO will gain access to your site and add fake reviews but make it look like you are adding them. This will once again drop your site further down the rankings.

Negative SEO is not limited to those who gain access to your website. It can also occur through malicious backlinks. Backlinks are when one website links back to yours – think of it as posting a link on social media back to a specific page. Normally, these are great because it shows that others are utilising your site’s content and therefore it is relevant to the keywords that someone has searched for. Some businesses try to purchase backlinks to get their website out far and wide. Unfortunately, many of these links come from spam websites. It is better to have a smaller but good group of back links than thousands of spam links – search engines will know the difference and rank you accordingly.

Now the question on everyone’s mind is how do I avoid negative SEO? One of the first things to do would be to check the security of your website and make sure that it isn’t an easy target for hackers/spammers. Another aspect to keep tabs on is where your traffic is coming from and see who is backlinking to you. You can quickly see if your backlinks are from legitimate, good quality sources as you know who would be interested in your content.

Do you think you have been a target of negative SEO or think you might have accidentally caused more harm than good working on your search rankings? We can help sort you out. Get in touch with Digity today and we can review your website and work to bring your SEO ranking to where it should be.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email (info@digity.co.uk) or call: 01189 100 012.

Chris Lunn
Director
Digity, Online Marketing

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