Is negative SEO a real threat to businesses operating online?
For many years even after a number of negative SEO incidents, it was considered quite a taboo topic that not everyone wanted to talk about. It was a topic much avoided, even.
Google’s algorithm has been a victim itself, that it eventually developed a tool that can erase backlinks when it starts pestering your SEO ranking. When Google launched the disavow tool, it opened up people’s eyes to the sheer possibility of negative SEO destroying businesses online.
The high technology we live in and now apparently cannot live without makes a lot of things possible. Unfortunately, the possibilities are not limited to positive ones. Even negative things can be done with technology, and because of the very same technology, it is quite a challenge to find out who the culprit is.
You might be asking, how bad can negative SEO get in destroying a business? Is it necessary that a business owner have skills in preventing it, and fighting it when it actually hits your business?
- If you initially had great SEO ranking and then it suddenly went down the drain without a concrete specific reason, it could be a negative SEO attack. What’s worse is, you might be unaware that you are already being attacked.
- Negative SEO can come in many forms. You might think of a bad link as harmless, but the truth is, it can pose such a serious danger to your business. Bad back links that will make your website’s reputation tainted with spam and doubts of legitimacy should be removed from your website immediately. Not only will you lose your credibility online, you will also eventually lose your clients if it continues to happen.
- Negative SEO usually attacks as bad links, causing a slow but steady drop in ranking. Naturally, when your website loses the top spot in search engines, they already lose a huge chunk of the usual exposure they get when their ranking was on a better state. Eventually, you can lose your clients since they don’t see you around as much as they did before. It could be worse than that, even.
- Aside from link-based negative SEO, hackers have found a lot more techniques to bring their competitor websites down. Yes, you read that right. Negative SEO is now being widely used as a way to quash down competition and lessen their rivals. Due to a very stiff competition, they have decided to play dirty and have it easily. Fortunately, Google now penalizes websites that are deemed responsible for negative SEO attacks.
- When a particular business has been around for years and has successfully managed its SEO ranking, a negative SEO attack can shatter it, especially when the owner is not aware of how negative SEO begins and widens its scope. It is a scenario no business would want, as it is as bad as locusts pestering the fields. One business has been reported to have lost millions of revenues, for the simple reason that its owner was not prepared for such a high technology problem.
- If you are familiar with phishing emails and the like, you must be very careful about them too. They are being used to pile negative SEO on websites, to make it appear as a spam. When people see that your website is being used for spamming, they will naturally stop visiting it, having the fear of being spammed themselves. They will most likely be afraid for their security, and that will destroy your business.
- When a hacker supposedly attacks your website with negative SEO, you might not be able to take notice of it right away. You could be reasoning out to yourself first about what happened, and you could even overlook the very possibility of negative SEO already affecting your business. When you fail to notice its existence, that is where the bigger problem comes in. You should always be aware of your ranking, and make it a habit to monitor your links. When it causes doubts, look on it and review it.
- A massive spam attack can actually completely erase your website from Google and other frequently visited search engines. Spam is the virus we all hate about the internet. It is born of fraud and deceit, and no business should ever be associated with it. When it attacks your business, you know it is a red alert situation that needs immediate attention. Negative SEO can go that far, that bad.
- When your ranking in Google goes down the drain, you lose a lot of website traffic. In digital marketing, traffic means good business. Good website traffic means great sales. Negative SEO aims to crush your business and quash you in the competition, making your business lose traffic, clients, and revenues.
- Now that hackers are smarter, they have found ways to pile negative SEO links to websites without getting caught. They use third party, middle man, whatever you might call it, just to divert the penalty to another party. If the real culprit would not be penalized, then you can all bet this will last longer. They will just keep getting on it as long as they can, until they get in jeopardy.
While negative SEO is clearly inevitable, it is something that websites and webmasters can work on. It takes utmost focus and dedication to learn how to stop it before it even attacks your website.
There are plenty of studies around the internet that focuses on negative SEO and how it can be avoided. Similarly, researches have also been conducted to find out how to counter attack when they have penetrated your site. You just have to put your mind into it, and always think of what it took, how long it took, before your website have reached its peak on the rankings game.
SEO marketing is the new norm in the digital world. It matters more than most factors, if not the most, when it comes to operating a business online. The rise of negative SEO only shows how important SEO marketing is today. Perhaps it would be most effective to invest more in your SEO strategies, and try to be more hands-on with them. Study your links, review your content, and really aim for the best ranking for your business.