Did you know it’s easy for your competitors to build spammy, crappy backlinks to your website to damage your rankings…and you have basically nothing you can do to stop it?
It’s 100% true. There’s nothing you can do to stop your competitor from finding ways to build links to your site from porn, gambling, and even illegal websites back to yours. These links can decimate your search rankings.
And you can’t necessarily trace it back to a specific competitor either.
Of course, it takes a competitor with a little conscience to actually do that. But it does happen.
And you can’t file a complaint with Google about it.
How do you protect yourself from something like this? Here’s how:
1) Create Valuable Content and Constantly Promote It
Google knows every website has a certain amount of lousy backlinks. It’s to be expected. But if they see a clear pattern evolving, that’s where you run into danger.
The best defense is valuable content your ideal customer can put to use to solve a problem they have right now. They’ll naturally share it. And you can promote this content to earn links too.
Google loves it. So keeping this going on an ongoing basis is your top priority.
2) Perform Regular Link Audits
Your SEO will know how often to do a link audit for your website. This could be as often as monthly. But it may be appropriate to do quarterly link audits or even every 6 months to a year.
Not every website gets targeted for negative SEO. But being ready and catching attackers proactively is a great defense.
Link audits should be done both onsite (because hackers can gain access to your site and mess with your internal linking) and offsite for reasons explained before.
3) Disavow Bad Links When They Are Found
While Google places all the onus on you to report bad links, at least you have a method of defense. Google’s Disavow Tool allows you to report bad/spammy links that show up on your link profile. Then, Google will remove those links from counting against you.
However, the process can still take months to take effect. You’ll get hurt, but at least you can minimize the damage.
Why doesn’t Google just change their algorithm so bad links count for nothing, instead of penalizing you?
I don’t know. No one does. But the fact is, they’ve done nothing about it.
4) What about Fake Negative Reviews?
Yep. These happen too. Fortunately, you can defend against them also. Just make sure you have good reason to believe they’re fake. For example, you haven’t made a big mistake at your company that would lead to all these negative reviews.
Fortunately, you can use Google My Business to quickly flag the fake reviews.
You don’t need to panic about possible negative SEO. It’s rare. Google does try to help curtail the efforts of negative SEO attacks by identifying the patterns and not factoring them toward their search results. But, they make no guarantees.
So ultimately, it’s on you or your SEO to constantly monitor your website for unusual activity so you don’t find yourself in a messy situation.