You Enjoying The View From The Top, Mate?

One of the side effects of having a page one listing for your website, or even having a ton of traffic going to it from social media platforms, is the exposure that you leave your website under.
For anyone that’s used to enjoying success in their business, this is often referred to as taking the good with the bad. Most business owners accept that life isn’t always going to a bed of roses and it’s true to say that you can’t keep everyone happy no matter how good your product or service is.
If you think that your website is never going to be hit with a security attack then you’re either living in a cave or your website doesn’t have sufficient exposure yet. And sometimes, there isn’t even a need for you to be on the front page of Google.

Disgruntled Customer Or Competitor?

If you have a disgruntled customer or a competitor that really doesn’t like you, it’s quite possible that they’ll hunt for your website and use negative SEO tactics against it.
The most common negative SEO tactic is to use software that creates thousands of low quality, spammy links to point towards a website.
An un-naturally high amount of links in a short space of time will trigger Google’s algorithm and you’ll likely incur a penalty that will see your website rankings plummet and your traffic dry up overnight.

Road To Recovery

If you’ve been a victim of this in the past then you’ll know how arduous the process can be on the road to recovery. Whilst there isn’t unfortunately a full proof method of preventing this from happening, even if you try your best to stay on good terms with everyone, there are a few steps that you can take to monitor if your website has been hit.

Step 1: Register your website with Google webmaster tools

Here you’ll be able to see all the links which Google indexes that point to your site and this is also where you’ll receive any warning flags about links that Google feels are suspicious.

Step 2: Start the cleanup work

Don’t ignore these warning flags that Google sends. Burying your head in the sand isn’t going to make the problem go away. If you feel uncomfortable tackling any issues head on then employ the services of an SEO professional immediately.
As the saying goes, a stitch in time saves nine. The longer you leave any un-natural links pointing to your site, the harsher the penalty is likely to be. If you own a website, it’s your responsibility to keep it in good health, irrespective of who caused the negative SEO attack.
Show Google that you’re pro-active by contacting webmasters to remove the spammy links and keep records of your attempts. If that doesn’t work, you can use Google’s disavow tool. Just be very careful before you start using this though.
The disavow tool can harm your website’s rankings and potential traffic if you use it to remove good links. If you’re un-sure whether a link is good or bad, contact an SEO professional.

Step 3: Monitor your links regularly

You can use Google alerts to be informed when your website or brand is talked about and linked to on the Internet. If you run a very popular blog that gets talked about a lot, you may want to switch this off and just monitor Webmaster tools.
For most small business owners, Google alerts can be a really useful way of keeping on top of where you’ve been mentioned on the Internet.
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