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Top 5 Ways to Defend Against Negative SEO

It is possible to harm, if not destroy, a site through the use of malignant backlinks and forceful backlink spamming. The negative SEO is a rightful danger that can result in lost organic search visibility and revenue. Therefore, it is possible to shield against negative SEO.

What is Negative SEO?

Negative SEO is the practice of executing wrong SEO techniques on another site. Usually, a disgruntled competitor and his or her follower with the goal of reducing the site’s rankings unleash an SEO attack. Most of the SEOs are happy with the rules. Websites publish their content, promote their selves on social media, and roll up with the punches every time Google updates their algorithm. However, there are times, when you get on the wrong side of someone who does not share your conscience. They might bog down your site with hundreds of spam links, full of fake reviews or simply hack your website entirely. However, if you are careful and alert, you can usually catch malicious SEO attacks before they do irrevocable harm.

Whether you are a victim or might get attacked, here are five things that you can follow to protect your website against negative SEO.

Negative SEO is real. It is possible to damage, if not destroy, a site through the use of malicious backlinks and aggressive backlink spamming. Negative SEO is a legitimate danger that can result in lost organic search visibility and revenue. But it is possible to defend against negative SEO.

Whether or simply want to protect against a potential attack, here are five things you can do to protect your website against negative SEO.

1. Perform Regular Link Audits

Regular link audits are good practice for any business, but they can save your bacon if you’re ever the victim of a negative SEO attack. Monitoring your link profile growth is hands down the best way to spot suspicious activity before it spirals out of control. Nevertheless, if you suddenly notice a drop and have not been working on link building then some actions should be raised.

A very recent case of negative SEO happened with Robert Neu, founder of WP Bacon, a WordPress podcast site. It was in 2014 he was the victim of link spam, which gave him thousands of links with the anchor text “Porn Movie.” This negative result cost him hundreds of visits, and he dropped 50 spots in ranking for one of his main keywords. However, due to his strong efforts, Neu was able to recover rankings and traffic that he lost as a result of the attack in relatively short order. Despite a continued stream of spam, he was able to submit a rejected file listing the attacking domains. Links can also suffer if you have been hacked. At times, the hacker can alter your content to include spam links or modify your links to redirect to theirs. These attacks are dangerous and can be difficult to spot, and the only way to safeguard your website is to perform regular audits. It is crucial that you monitor your link profile growth carefully so that you can catch an attack before it costs you too much. Use the link auditing software or perform a manual audit to check on your backlink health.

2. Keep an Eye on your Site Speed

Speed is a key ranking factor. If your website is becoming lethargic and you have no idea why you should use the crawling software to look for anything suspicious. If you cannot find anything and there is still a problem, you might be the victim of forceful crawling. This causes a heavy server load, which means your site will slow down and might even crash. If you are a victim, you should contact your hosting company or webmaster to try and determine where the load is coming from.

3. Watch your Keywords

In late 2014, Bartosz Goralewicz experienced something strange, a client’s site was getting thousands of hits that would land on the page and then immediately bounce. This began to have an effect on their rankings, the user experience is also an important signal, and this looked like bad UX. The main issue that happened was that someone had programmed a bot to target certain keywords, land on competitor’s sites, and then bounce, which created a false SERP bounce rate. This dangerous attack is difficult to be spotted if proper monitoring is not done for the keywords CTR. Just log into Google Search and look at your CTR across all keywords. If you notice a downfall without any reason, contact Google.

4. Search for Scrapped Content

Content marketing has been very famous for the past few years, but everyone is not equally creative when it comes to content creation. Consequently, scraping has become all too frequent. Scraping is the method of lifting content from your website and copying it to other websites. Usually, the attacker will claim this to be his own in an attempt to beef up their thin content, but at times they will combine it with a link farm attack to spam your site.

5. Upgrade your security

Negative SEO may not be common, but cyber attacks definitely are. Make sure your software is up to date and all security methods are applied to your software. In addition, make sure that your CMS software is well equipped with a powerful encryption system to protect users. Also, migrate your site to HTTPS, especially if you are having an e-commerce site. Not only does HTTPS encryption offer you better security, but it is also a ranking signal and it might improve your overall SEO ranking.

On a concluding note, we can state that Cyber attacks are not technically negative SEO, but they will have an impact on your SEO. Google is good at catching problematic linking behavior and curtailing it before it has an impact on your SERPs. If you think that you have been the victim of negative SEO, do what you can to isolate the problem. Your best bet is to monitor your site performance carefully and to catch up with problems before they escalate.

Google Officially kills off the Link Command

As per the latest updates to find a sampling of links to any site, you can perform a Google search using the link: Operator. Google’s link operator in the first place was never an efficient way to examine backlinks. Google’s famous personality Matt Cutts stated that admitting the link operator was only designed to return a small sampling of backlinks to prevent SEOs from reverse engineering another site’s rankings. Link Management is often considered to be an important aspect of one’s SEO services and in the earlier times, SEOs used a special search operator from Google to find these links.

Google officially requests all webmasters and SEOs to stop using the link command, that is at present dead and not working properly. Sources from Google have recently announced that the Link command is not functioning any longer. Google says that the link is completely dead for now and if one is interested to see the link to their sites, then there are plenty of third-party tools that can be used to get the appropriate results and Google has always suggested using the links to your site report in Search Console underneath which helps you in providing an accurate report.

With time, the link operator has become less and less useful for SEOs and webmasters. The webmasters are suggested to use the Google Search Console link report for a better link discovery because the link operator only shows a sample of a site’s links. In the past, there was only a little space for a very small percentage of backlinks because web search was the main part and there were not many servers for link colon queries and so, therefore, Google had to double or increase the amount of backlinks that we show over time for link colon, but all this is just a sub-sample.

3 Reasons Why SEO Still Rules The Roost

Turning the clock a few years back in time, business owners were really concerned about Search Engine optimization. They would spend countless hours on manual link building and White Hat SEO. But that all seemingly faded away with the advent of automated tools such as: Penguin, Xrummer, White Hat SEO etc.

From being a necessity at one point in time, today many rumors have started floating about the usefulness of SEO. Many experts claim that SEO is dead and that all you need is a good website for promotion.

Against these and other myths associated with Search Engine optimization, here are the top three reasons why you should be willing to invest in digital marketing campaigns and White Hat SEO.

Debunking the SEO Myth

It is worth pointing out that in 2015, SEO still stands at the forefront of digital advertisement. Consider SEO as an investment that takes time and money to attract quality traffic. If money and time are properly invested, SEO helps in increasing the ROI due to the following three critical factors.

Accumulating Traffic:

If you are building a website from scratch and looking for quality organic traffic, SEO is the way to go. Websites of small businesses usually experience a 30%, 50% or even 100% growth in organic traffic per year.So, for example a website has 100 unique visitors from organic traffic per month, it is quite realistic to assume that the same website may have 500,700 or even 1000 unique visitors per month through “white hat” SEO techniques.

Multiplier Effect

While there is no sure-way to predict the exact search queries, SEO gives your business a distinct advantage with its multiplier effect. White Hat SEO helps you to exploit search engine algorithms to your advantage. A well planned SEO campaign targets certain subsets of keyword terms relevant to the website’s niche. It automatically targets 100s of different keyword terms that your website will rank for.

Long Term Gains

If you’ve ever spent on Google Adword campaign, you would known that the moment the campaigns are off, the paid traffic that flows also stops. The only way to build a smooth inflow of web traffic is by investing on SEO. SEO campaigns can help you dominate the Google rankings much easier.

Accepting SEO Guest Articles on Your Blog, Don’t Lose Your Blog’s Vision

For any business maintaining overall control of your business and positive online traffic to your site are key functions. Blog post plays very important role in setting up volume of visitors to any website, therefore one need to upload quality blog posts on regular basis to maintain the popularity of the website. There could be many reasons because of which your business goals and vision may change in due course of time; but your business goals and general vision should always go hand in hand so that you will not lose overall control of your business. When you start targeting specific increase in number of visitors over a period of time, you can accept guest blogs that will give different perspective to your blog posts. At the same time you should be vigilant enough about the insight of guest blog. Even though guest blog may present various angles of the host blog; you should not let it go off the track. You need to be more cautious while accepting guest blog posts.

  • First of all you need to write down basic guidelines to accept the guest blog posts on your site. Prepare document specifying those guidelines and place it somewhere on your website so that they are easily visible to the guest bloggers. Always accept guest post qualifying all your guidelines.
  • Writers offer guest blogs to increase their own SEO, so when you accept any guest blog for your website you should check the relevance of the blog with your current post, its content, keyword usage, use of internal links etc. That will help both the parties to reap maximum benefits out of the guest blogging.
  • Do not hesitate to request modifications to guest blogger according to your requirements. You can also request to alter some part of write up if you find it unnecessary.
  • Maintain good rapport with your In-house bloggers. Discuss and get to know all the basic things related to guest bloggers and expectations from guest blogs.
  • Always try to upload more In-House guest blogs rather than preferring guest blog posts. This will help your blog to continue moving ahead of other posts.

To conclude, once you have solid framework of your strategy ready with you, allowing guest blogs on your site is a very easy task. Once you have set up your network of quality guest bloggers, you will obviously get quality readers for your blog post. This will help your business accomplish your objectives and thus maintain good SEO for your website.

Tricks to Build SEO Driven Landing Pages

In 2013, content marketing has become a very important marketing tool. By now you must have realized how landing pages affect your as well as your clients’ SEO. Landing pages play major part in attracting traffic to your site.

Building strong and competitive landing pages which are solely going to represent your brand image and able to drive more and more traffic to your web is extremely important.

In this presentation we will go through some interesting tactics that will help you in building competitive and strong landing pages:

  • Captivating content of landing page:
  1. Content on landing pages should be attractive, interesting, concise and informative.
  2. Content should be up-to-date; as the visitor would like to get the latest information.
  3. Reduce ads on landing pages if they are distracting or lacking the essence of content.
  4. Keep a close eye on the metrics of your webpage and comments, feedback of your visitors, they will determine the engagement capacity of content.
  •  Architecture of landing page:
  1.  Make user friendly architecture of landing pages.
  2.  Make effective use of diagrams, charts, screenshots, pictograms and videos in the content.
  3.  Basic structural changes of landing pages should match the content and content layout.
  •  Identical keywords of landing pages:
  1.  Arrange the landing pages corresponding to keywords.
  2.  For main keyword, landing page should be the home page; but for other keywords position other concerned pages of your website accordingly.
  3.  Identical arrangement of landing pages to keywords will help to rank better in search results.
  •  Keep an eye on rank of landing pages:
  1.  Use Google analytics to track ranking of your landing pages. You might lose the visitor/s of your site because of inappropriate keywords; so be alert.
  •  Knowledge driven landing pages:
  1.  At given point of time you won’t know the knowledge level of your visitor regarding your product and business. Therefore build landing pages keeping in mind the view point of all visitors.
  2.  Content should be able to answer almost all the questions of your visitor.
  • Analysis:
  1.  Now after taking all necessary steps analyze the metrics of your landing pages in the form of bounce rate, average time per page, % exit etc.
  2.  After analyzing find out if still there are any irrelevant landing pages coming in search results and fix them.

Work along with the above guidelines and capture the SEO market…

Metadata & You Best Practices, Benefits & Implementation Made Easy

To put it simply, Metadata is “Data about data”. Traditionally it was used in card catalogs of libraries; but with the increase in use of digital data, it is also being used to describe digital data. Getting exact metadata in your code is extremely important as it will help in brand engagement and SEO. There are different elements of metadata which are beneficial for you.

  • Titles and Descriptions:

These days’ title and descriptions have gained a lot of importance because of many social media platforms. Keywords, user-targeted copy, humble HTML title tag and Meta description Meta tag are the key factors for SEO.

  • Twitter Card:

This will help you to improve the looks of your tweets. In Twitter Card with URL, you can specify different types of card for summary, summary with an image, video and slideshow. You can specify how you want your tweet to look like after it is tweeted.

If you want to execute these changes in your twitter profile then just put the tag in HTML. After testing it with the Validator tool, apply the changes on twitter into the program with the help of Twitter Developer. It may take couple of weeks to get these tags accepted.

  • Open Graph:

Open Graph is Facebook’s brainchild. As it is Facebook’s invention, it was only used by Facebook in the beginning; but gradually many other sites started adopting this protocol. This is used to supply semantic information about the webpages, types of content that can be shared like videos, photographs and other types of content. Recently in Google search they have started showing video play icon with the Open Graph tagged videos.

Similar to the Twitter Card protocol, you can specify the viewing options of your content in advance with Open Graph protocol. This is a good tool which assures you brand engagement.

  • Schema.org:

It is a protocol that includes almost everything. It is the common structured data protocol of a group of different leading search providers. In local search results, events like concerts and movies, recipes, name and addresses, articles, and embedded videos; Schema.org protocol is used.

Due to its complex nature, it may make sense to check the quality of your code with some tools like Google Structured Data Testing Tool.

  • Google Specific Metadata:

There are bunch of custom made Meta tags used with Google; however publisher Meta tag and authorship Meta tags are the ones that impact SEO the most. Adding authorship Meta tag in combination with the website to the “Contributor to” section of your Google+ profile will help you in getting rich snippet. It will show your content with your picture.

Publisher Meta tags are created for individuals. This helps you to find which Google+ pages are connected to the web.

Implementing metadata in your CMS is a simple task. WordPress also has multiple plug-ins to establish various metadata protocols. In Joomla and Drupal also you can find few plug-ins to create metadata protocols.

As there are many advantages of adding metadata to your content, many bloggers and brands are adopting it as a lifelong partner in their digital life.

How to Increase the Profitability of Your Content

You must have noticed that the current SEO trends indicate that social and more appealing content attracts more customers. Therefore more popular your content is, better will be your position in the SEO. Many website owners have mastered this art and have attained better position in SEO; but still there are many who are struggling to find their way. When we talked to the one of the members of SEO team of Brainwork Technologies, he untied few important knots. He said if you are the owner of a website which is more focused on content rather than product or services; it makes more sense to try increase the popularity and thus increase the profitability. At the same time you cannot afford to lose the value of your content. He suggested few methods to increase popularity of your content pages.

  • Accessible placement of top content:

Firstly you need to find the content pages that are driving the most conversions and their locations on your site. If the traffic is following the organic search result that means the visitors who visit homepage of your site may not come across these content pages. Therefore for increasing the profit by increasing page hits, you should make accessible placement of these content pages on your site. You can add an extra tab or separate link on the homepage to increase page hits.

  • Shuffling content to accessible pages:

This is the exact opposite of the method discussed above. Either you can place your content on accessible pages or you can make content pages accessible by any way. Shifting your top content to accessible pages will change the structure of your site in positive sense. Now many more readers can read your top content and that will increase page hits.

  • Internal liking:

Adding internal links of your top content pages will also help you to increase the conversions. You can add internal links wherever it is relevant, at right content and also at right context. Placing irrelevant internal links may also spoil your efforts of increasing profit.

  • User Tests:

Some website owners may find this method useful; but some may not. You may need to spend some extra money to test users’ behavior and turning their focus to your desired pages is also a tricky task. There are different applications available for such tests.

  • Using A/B Tool:

This is the most commonly used way to increase the profitability of your content. Here you can try various structures and layouts that are catching more and more traffic and then you can decide the perfect layout, structure and content getting desired conversions.

He concluded saying, you may start trying these various methods to increase the profitability of your content and may end up having creating your own unique method which could be the blend of various methods; so keep trying to develop your own benchmark. All the very best!!!

You Don't Have to Nofollow Internal Links

With the emergence of SEO, webmasters are very much concerned about every little change and update that is made, it could be regarding a new tactic or more importantly reads/hits the website generates. Now those of you who are well-versed with the SEO business might be aware of No Follow links; whereas many who are new to SEO might be wondering what this NoFollow link is all about. Is it just not following a link? Well, to understand its meaning, you must understand the underlying chemistry of the SEO world. The SEO world thrives on the inbound traffic that the external websites generate when using hyperlinks pointing to your page. Google monitors such inbound traffic and ranks your page higher in the search results if your website generates more inbound traffic thinking that your page is a popular page. Thus these Follow links give a boost to your page ranking in the search results.

Let’s understand – what is a No Follow link. A No Follow link is a link that does not count towards the page popularity. It is like telling the search engine not to count it for the Page Ranking.

Now, one must wonder why anyone would want to use No Follow link and reduce the page ranking. The answer lies in the fact that as with other useful things this also lets the spammers/hackers exploit the inherent characteristic of this feature. Spammers/Hackers used these Follow links to such a large scale that they turned around the Page rankings upsetting the real idea behind using inbound traffic for Page Ranking. Hence many webmasters started using No Follow links to only get relevant ranking and avoid any spamming.

Having said that, it does not mean you should always use No Follow link. Remember to strike a balance when using Follow and No Follow links. When you place a No Follow within your internal links, the Page Ranking won’t flow though and thus will not rank the other page. This might be okay when you use it with the external websites; however if it’s a link connecting two webpages of your own site, you would want Page Ranking to flow through, you would want Google to be able to find that another page.

Understandably, there would be some exceptions to this. These could be pages like authentication page, account login page etc. You would usually put a No Follow link for a link pointing to pages like these. This might be a good idea; however even if you put a Follow link and let Google walk though these pages, it is not going to create any harmful effects.

NoFollow links are extremely useful when linking external websites. While linking the authentic links of your site to the external sites by using No follow, you should have trust on that site where you can share this genuine information.

In conclusion, there is no need to use No follow in your internal links, let Search Engines move though your webpages as this will give boost to your webpages ranking.

How to Optimize Long Tail Keywords?

Long Tail Keywords Optimization

Long tail keywords were in trend when SEO started, and just like anything from the past, this trend is gradually coming back. It may sound surprising to many of you but long tail keywords reap a lot of website traffic. However since it’s a relatively uncommon practice now and SEO methods have changed from the past, you will have to take a different route to come to the same destination.

If your website is wordy, optimizing for search engines is a big hassle, but with long tail keywords, it becomes fairly easy. It’s surprising but it’s true.

Long tail keywords are very easy to rank because they are less competitive. This means that you can optimize your website for search engines with hardly any work. What’s more, you don’t have to deal with SEO for longtail keywords on a page-to-page basis. You can work the entire website together!

So let’s see how you can go about optimizing your website for long tail keywords.

  • Detailed Content: Using detailed content helps accommodate long tail keywords on its own. But remember to not make it too wordy. Instead choose to create a balance between words and details.

Like for ecommerce websites, going into detail would mean not just writing a “skirt” but a “knee-length red polka dot cotton skirt”. You can work with measurements of products, their material, make, uses etc. You can high conversion terms like buy, find, for sale etc. which are likely to feature in people’s searches.

However, don’t think that just writing and rewriting something will get you there. You need to have a proper description instead of tweaking text to make it longer.

  • Website Size: It is a given with websites providing multiple brand retailing to have multiple pages and it becomes impossible to write content consistently for each and every page and every single product on it.

So instead of writing too much for everything, you can name them SEO-wise so that the customer gets a lot of information in the name itself. The names of the products can be like the example given above. You can even add the brand name to it. If there is a model number, add that too.

  • Optimizing the Regular Way: Long tail keyword optimization is just like optimizing head terms for your website. Only the nature of the keyword will be slightly different. So keep optimizing the way you would for a regular head term, and replace that with a long tail keyword.

Before you know, you’ll have traffic raining in on you like never before!

8 Things that Makes Press Releases Imperative in SEO

Press Release (PR) is a kind of newsletter, which can help in making announcement about any new development at your company. A part of any business’s online as well as offline promotion, this is a loved method by Google, the search engine leader. Press releases are considered much more than just a company’s sales pitch and ad letter. It can help in engaging your customers by keeping them informed about the new launches and movements of your company. Releasing press releases whenever something new is added to your work portfolio, is good to make the press informed and to keep your valuable clients updated.

Let’s See How Press Releases Play a Crucial Role in Search Engine Optimization

If still unaware that how a press release can be of help for your online marketing campaign, here are few pointers, which may give you the answer.

  1. Press release if written with fresh, new content is bound to bring to your website many new visitors, which is what SEO at its core focuses on.
  2. It can help in providing a better exposure for your website and business among online audiences
  3. PRs can act as a good means to get quality backlinks for your website (again an SEO advantage)
  4. 4. You have a chance to explore new avenues, as new visitors get to know more about your services
  5. 5. The search engine spiders too love crawling sites releasing genuine PRs (good for your SEO)
  6. 6. Your search engine visibility and ranking can shoot up, if the PR is published on good directories that have high page rankings
  7. 7. It is a great tool, if your business is new and you think affording marketing campaigns can cause a burden on your wallet.
  8. 8. PRs if written effectively are adept to improve your site’s ranking on SERPs ( the core offering of SEO)

Remember, everything comes down to how well your writer has been able to put it down in words. One such example of a PR that appears to be perfect reference for a good copy can be viewed here – http://www.prweb.com/releases/seo-india-company/brainwork/prweb10726373.htm.

The content here has been framed in the ideal format with proper emphasis on the company’s keywords as well. Describing about the company’s new SEO packages, this PR is an ideal example of everything displayed in a balanced form.

So, try creating a PR that can act as not just a promotional part of your company’s dexterity, but can even fulfill the dual purpose of getting you backlinks and making your valued audiences aware.

In the end, it is about words that matter and publicizing on the right platform is quintessential to get in return, what you actually anticipate, to get your SEO efforts paid!