You may be a small business owner minding your own business and trying to keep your share of the market. This can be made difficult by those not willing to play the game fair and looking to ruin your reputation by the use of black SEO. Just like magic, if it is good it can bring you wonders, but if it is black it can bring upon far more misery than good.
Be aware of your ranking
Use google tools to check your ranking. You should be aware of your position at all times. A drop in ranking should set off your alarm and you should immediately look for reasons why it has happened. Don’t let it wait, the sooner you remove the issue, the better. Be particularly alarmed if the drop happens suddenly.
Have your guard up
Protect your website from malicious attacks and hackers. Imagine someone else had the power to speak for you and your business. I bet you would not feel comfortable by this, especially if you know that their intentions are not good. In this case, deleting your entire website would be an act of kindness. As advised, use passwords that are at least 8 characters long and include special signs, numbers, and both, upper and lower case letters. Set up additional certification for logging in. Find the safest encryption especially if your website includes sales and third party confidential data. Luckily, usually, the payment systems have their means of protecting the client data. Make backups of your content in case you need to restore your website after an attack. You don’t want to have your reputation ruined by being tagged as ‘hacked’.
Keep track of the backlinks and the content
Monitor your backlinks and inspect the websites that are leading their viewers to you. Make sure that all of the websites and blogs are reputable and you do not mind them linking to your website. If you find some that do not fit the criteria, disavow them. Regularly check whether someone has been plagiarizing the content from your website. You want google to know that you were the first one to publish it and that you created it so report the ‘thieves’ accordingly.
Check your speed
Keep an eye on the speed of your website. If it is not responsive enough it may be due to a sudden increase in traffic. Confirm whether the increase has happened naturally or it has been caused by someone purposely spamming your server in order to cause it to break down.
Fear the bad marketing
This is an old tactic, it is simply called lying and it has now transferred from the real world into the virtual one and thus has been given even more power. Basically, your competitors or people hired by them will invest their resources into creating fake profiles on social networks and offer a wrong presentation of your company’s image. Furthermore, they can use comment sections on different blogs, profiles, and websites to leave a bad review. Another trick that they may opt for is to leave a review or a testimonial which is so good that it sounds fake and it arouses even more suspicion.
Apart from having someone purposely trying to ruin you, SEO can be hard enough as it is. Consider having specialized SEO agency optimize your website and maintain your company’s ranking. If you are determined that you want to do it on your own, at least turn to them for advice on how to do your SEO properly and avoid penalties.
Steven Clarke is a digital marketing specialist/business consultant. In his spare time, he likes to write about his ideas and share them with the world. Steven is a regular contributor to several websites.