Disavowing and maintaining the health of your back link profile.
It’s very important not to ignore the current state of your back-link profile, and to undertake periodic checks to make sure nothing untoward, is happening towards your site.
The emergence of “Negative Seo Attacks”.
You may be very good at what you do, so much so you are making the competition jealous! This jealousy, might transcend in a small number of cases, into some competitors turning to underhand tactics such as performing “Negative Seo” to your website.
What is Negative Seo?
In recent years Google and other major search engines have looked to increase the quality of their search engine results by eliminating sites which look to manipulate their ranking positions.
Back-links pointing to your website are still a very important ranking factor, in terms of determining where to rank your business, for certain keywords.
Some companies may have turned in the past to what is called “Black Hat” Seo, by developing back links in a poor quality way.
That is a company may have resorted to generating back links in the comments section of other websites for example, or placing articles on websites which merely exist just to generate back links, these are known as “Content Farms”.
Whatever the technique, these can now be picked up through Google’s algorithm changes known as the Penguin Updates. More on Penguin Updates in our article “What is SEO”.
These updates will analyse your back link profile, and assess the health of your back link profile, determining if it is “manipulative” or if you have allot of “spammy” websites linking to you.
Negative Seo is therefore the practice of competitors who wish to participate in underhand tactics, by linking an abundance of poor quality links pointing directly to your website!
These back links have the intention of dragging your website down, as your website will be linked too these poor quality websites.
What can I do about this practice of Negative Seo?
It is very important to stay on top of your back link profile.
You can use tools such as Majestic Seo, to download and have a look at your back link profile, and to assess which back links may be causing you a problem.
You can also monitor the back links linking to your website through Google’s Webmaster Tools.
You then need to assess which back links are causing you problems, that is which ones are deemed low quality or Spammy. After you have made an assessment of which back links are causing you problems, and which ones are poor quality you need to list these in a “text file” for submission to Google.
After you have submitted a list of low quality back links for assessment, via Google’s Disavow Tool, you are sending a message to the search engine, that you wish to distance yourself from these low quality websites.
Will I need to do this again or is it a one-off task?
You need to stay on top of your back link profile, that is to say that it is not a one-off task but more an ongoing duty, that you should carry out.
The companies or individuals perpetrating negative Seo, have the ambition that you do not acknowledge there is a problem to your back links, so that you do not recognise your website performing negatively for certain keywords, which could obviously act to their advantage.
To counter this it is very important that you are vigilant, and stay on top of your back link profile on a regular routine basis.
More on negative Seo, can be found on Search Engine Land if you require further information.