Countermeasures against negative SEO done via spam backlinks

In today’s age, business and popularity on the Internet depends much on what Google thinks of your website. Being in the search engine’s good books has become the single biggest first step for online businesses. For legit people, it is great to know that the surest step to have an online presence is to target search engines. At the same time, for the blackhat people, it is great to know of the significant place to attack you.

So we have folks who choose to attack a website to take down its organic standing in SERPs.

Such targeted attacks do not come from mindless spammers. These are targeted and customized to bring down your domain’s good standing in the eyes of search engines and are personalized against YOU! It primarily comes from competitors as a form of corporate sabotage or from someone you may have rubbed the wrong way.

Negative SEO comes in many forms, a major one being spam backlinks to your domain. Spam here does not just mean unsolicited, but it means the ones that contain ‘negative’ content, which users (and hence search engines) do not like any bit. Remember search engines are just hyper-vigilant end-users?

So what is the recourse?
1.   Most of the time, one can let Google take care of it. For more reassurance, watch Matt describe Google’s default actions against Negative SEO attempts.

2.1   In some not-so-popular cases, one needs to request a reconsideration and to disavow backlinks. If you don’t want to go through the long article, here’s the summary:

This is an advanced feature and should only be used with caution. If used incorrectly, this feature can potentially harm your site’s performance in Google’s search results. We recommend that you disavow backlinks only if you believe you have a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site, and if you are confident that the links are causing issues for you. In most cases, Google can assess which links to trust without additional guidance, so most normal or typical sites will not need to use this tool.

2.2   In another extreme case, if it is getting impossible to keep listing hundreds of backlinks targeted at you, consider disavowing entire domain. Though use this option carefully because one may disallow search juice coming from a domain. For example, if your domain gets genuine backlinks from a forum but some miscreants start creating spammy backlinks, then disavowing the complete domain makes you lose the juice the domains was sending your way.

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Author: AshishG

See http://about.me/guptaashish

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