Is Your SEO Positive or Negative?

  • By Chris Lunn
  • 08 Mar, 2015
Being top of the search results is a prime goal for most businesses. The higher you rank when someone searches the internet, the more chance you have to get potential new customers into your website and turn them into current customers. Many business owners have figured out the benefit of this and are continuously working hard to create a high search engine optimisation (SEO) with their website’s content. That is great! But there is something that not many businesses are aware of that might be keeping them from reaching the top rankings – Negative SEO.
I know what many of you are thinking, if I maximise my SEO and make sure that everything on my website points to the search engine requirements to boost my website, how can I possible have negative SEO issues? The truth is, not all is fair in love and search rankings. Negative SEO can come from competitors, webmasters, spammers, black hat SEO’s and even vicious marketers. These rogues are working to bring down your website rankings or infuse spam to your visitors.

So what exactly is negative SEO? It is anything malicious that is done to bring down your web site’s ranking in search engines. This can be done by hacking into your website and changing some of the basic information that search engines use to index your pages to keep you from being seen. Hackers can also include malware in your site.

Hackers can also do things within your site that search engines frown upon like fake reviews. Most search engines like reviews but they can detect when you have created your own to boost your rankings. Those looking to boost your negative SEO will gain access to your site and add fake reviews but make it look like you are adding them. This will once again drop your site further down the rankings.

Negative SEO is not limited to those who gain access to your website. It can also occur through malicious backlinks. Backlinks are when one website links back to yours – think of it as posting a link on social media back to a specific page. Normally, these are great because it shows that others are utilising your site’s content and therefore it is relevant to the keywords that someone has searched for. Some businesses try to purchase backlinks to get their website out far and wide. Unfortunately, many of these links come from spam websites. It is better to have a smaller but good group of back links than thousands of spam links – search engines will know the difference and rank you accordingly.

Now the question on everyone’s mind is how do I avoid negative SEO? One of the first things to do would be to check the security of your website and make sure that it isn’t an easy target for hackers/spammers. Another aspect to keep tabs on is where your traffic is coming from and see who is backlinking to you. You can quickly see if your backlinks are from legitimate, good quality sources as you know who would be interested in your content.

Do you think you have been a target of negative SEO or think you might have accidentally caused more harm than good working on your search rankings? We can help sort you out. Get in touch with Digity today and we can review your website and work to bring your
SEO ranking to where it should be.

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So here are my 8 top tips which are all really quick and easy to implement - I hope they come in handy:

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  2. Tell everyone you know what you're doing via email - create a sincere email to let them know what you're doing, when and most importantly why!  Give them a link to your donation page.  I included some people I hadn't spoken to for a while and others who I flat-out thought would never sponsor me - but I figured if you don't ask, you don't get.  I was amazed by what happened!

  3. Depending what you're doing there's likely to be some training involved so keep people updated via social media (all your accounts) as to progress - with every post make sure there's a link to your donation page

  4. With every donation you receive, thank that person publicly on your social media account and if you're friends with them, tag them in (this will encourage even more support and interest from them but equally it's a subtle reminder to the other onlookers).  Definitely post a link back to your page too every time - I can't stress how important adding links continually is on social media along with great images - either of you or related to the quest!

  5. Add a banner to your email signature - you no doubt send a lot of emails so make use of it with a link back

  6. Ask certain people to sponsor you early - you need momentum for a campaign so the sooner someone starts the ball rolling the better

  7. On the day (or through the days if it's a longer challenge) get various photos and you could even do a Facebook live stream to showcase the event itself - guess what I'm going to say here?  Yes, add a link to your sponsorship page!

  8. In the days after, thank everyone for their support again and remind them why it was so important to you - with a link to your page.  Equally, tag the charity (and use any hashtags) in to all your posts throughout as you'll get extra likes and shares when you do.

Overall you get the idea - hammer home the awareness of what you're doing and you'll wear down those who are either a bit resistant or just lazy.  I set a goal of £250 for my abseil and I hit that after step 2 (inside 24 hours).  As a result of continually following the other steps I ended up generating £848 including gift aid which I was blown away by.  

It didn't take a lot of time or effort, 10 minutes a day in the fortnight before (google image searching and writing some posts) was plenty.

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