Spotting and handling a negative SEO attack in 2017 is all about careful data analysis and a well thought out recovery strategy. We hope that this checklist will help you to see if you are being hit by a Google penalty from missing important ranking factors or are undergoing a negative SEO attack. Here are the top 5 things that we look at:
- Increased amount of fake social profiles, spammy links, false perametor links or links from low quality sites. (Can also be scraped content from your site)
- Decreased organic traffic, referrer traffic from good sites, decreased keyword rankings and indexed pages
- Google algorithm updates line up with organic KPI deterioration
- Competitors suddenly gain an advantage without much or with odd on page or off page SEO
- An SEO website audit reveals the website is healthy overall and ranking factor requirements are being met
What SEO Tools are Used for Discovery, Data Collection, Data Analysis and Resolving Negative SEO Attacks?
Now that you know what to look for, you will need to know what tools you can use in order to get your website back on track. Knowing how to use these SEO tools is important. There is much documentation on community websites on the web and support from websites that own these tools. If you need further help, you can contact us to gather the data you need in order to see what went awry, and when. We use the following tools while undergoing an active negative SEO investigation:
- Google Webmster Tools
- Google Analytics
- Google’s Link Disavow tool
- Google’s DMCA tool
- Google Alerts
- Monitor Backlinks
After Data Collection Create a Timeline of Negative Reviews and Bad Links – Match Them With Google Algorithm Updates
Once data has been collected, you can match up when links and reviews were established and align them with Google algorithm updates. If you find that they were made around update times there is a good chance someone is deliberately trying to sabotage your website and your online reputation. If you find this is not the case, and some links do not make sense or there are false negative reviews about your business they can still hurt you with a new update.
When Does Negative SEO Happen and How Can You Prevent It? – Monitor KPIs and Fix Issues Fast
Sometimes negative SEO happens well before an update, even years… sometimes it happens during or after. There is no way to predict when this could happen. The best point of defense is to always watch your links and online reviews. Make sure your content is not being copied. Swift movement to correct these issues is needed so that if rankings drop, they are recovered before they significantly affect your business. Monitoring KPIs and fixing issues quickly are the best method of preventing a disaster.
Negative SEO Recovery – Strategies for Copied Content, Bad Links, Negative Reviews, Social Mentions and Hacked Websites
Negative SEO recovery strategies are needed for each area that was hit. If your content was copied, you will need to do a number of things to fix that. If your link profile was ruined you need to take certain steps to fix that and so on. Here is a handy table of areas that can be hit and general things that you will need to do in order to fix them.
Table of Negative SEO Attacks and Fixes
|Copied or Scraped Content||
|Negative Social Mentions or Fake Profiles||
|Robots.txt or Google Webmaster Tools Tampering||
|Bad Bots AKA Crawlers||
What Does Google Have to Say About Negative SEO / Google Bowling?
Search engines like Google try their best to not penalize websites that are in good standing from negative SEO. Every now and then though, their algorithms don’t work as expected and good websites are punished when negative SEO attacks / Google bowling attacks happen. So Google does make every effort, but Google is not perfect. Every website is at risk of a negative SEO attack and needs to be mindful of the things that competitors do to gain an unfair edge.Matt Cutts from Google says:
“We try to be mindful of when a technique can be abused and make our algorithm robust against it,” he says. “I won’t go out on a limb and say it’s impossible. But Google bowling is much more inviting as an idea than it is in practice.”
Contact Us for Help Dealing With a Negative SEO Attack – Get Immediate Assistance with an SEO Emergency
We are an SEO company in Vancouver and are ready to help you if you have been hit by or suspect you have been hit by a negative SEO attack. We can set you up with a strategy and begin fixing your rankings right away. We understand the urgency of SEO emergencies. We can be reached via email or you can call us toll free in Canada at 1-844-736-0031.