Complaints and Negative Reviews can Affect your Business
The most obvious way in which a dissatisfied customer, or an unscrupulous competitor, can damage you is to leave an unfavourable review or complaint. There are ways to manage this sort of emergency and should you be unfortunate enough to experience this situation we’ll work with you until the crisis is resolved. However, once you’re on the internet it’s not just the words you can see that you need to be concerned about. Just as your business has a reputation that’s visible to your customers, your website has a profile that's visible to search engines such as Yahoo or Google. It's this profile that the engines use to rate and rank your site. Your ranking affects how visible you are when a customer runs a search, so the profile seen by a search engine is just as important as the reviews left by customers. Competitors can damage your reputation with the search engines, causing you to drop down local business rankings. At worst, your site could be removed from search engines such as Google, making it impossible for potential customers to find you. The ways in which this can be done, the question of who is most vulnerable to such attacks and what can be done to prevent them, have all be examined recently in the article: ‘Understanding Link-Based Negative SEO’ by Bonnie Stefanick.
How your Reputation with the Search Engines can be Damaged
The most common form of attack consists of linking things to your site that Google and other search engines don’t like, i.e. low quality backlinks. This can be done in several different ways, for slightly different reasons and each requires a different fix. Low quality links to your home page are generally aimed at taking you down the rankings. In a worst case scenario they can get you removed from the search engine. This is pretty much death for your website. It doesn't matter how good your site looks to the human eye, if it doesn't show up on a search, your clients aren't going to see it. The good news is that your site can be resurrected by skilled SEO experts such as the teams at Local Fame. Low quality links to your sub pages are more likely aimed at making a competitors link on your site look stronger. These sorts of attack may be less destructive to your online profile, but why would you want to give your competitors free publicity! Attacks can happen as a one off, or over a period of time. Of course multiple attacks can only happen if you fail to notice them. This is another reason for having a team of webmasters and SEO specialists on your side. Regular monitoring, by a professional will spot problems at the outset, when they're easier to fix.
Who is Most Vulnerable to Negative SEO
The newer your site is, the more vulnerable you are. This is because new sites don’t yet have lots of high quality links, which will offset the effect of the low quality ones. The more competitive your business niche is, the more vulnerable you are. This is partly because Google monitors competitive sites more closely, but also because the more fierce the environment is, the more likely it is that people will resort to dirty tricks. What can be done to Prevent Negative SEO or Repair the Damage. Prevention is better than cure. Building a strong website and using legitimate search engine optimisation techniques are a good start. Monitoring your website closely for any signs of unfriendly activity is vital. Catching an attack early and understanding exactly what your attacker is trying to achieve will make easier to solve the problem. As a local business owner you may never have acquired the skills to do these things and when your business is successful, frankly you don’t have the time. That’s where Local Fame can help you out. Let us do what we’re good at, managing your online profile and keeping you up there in your local business listings. This will free you up to do what you’re good at, running your business.