The Internet, the Last Great Frontier
Throughout my training at MorePro Marketing, I have been trained on the current SEO Strategies that MorePro uses for improving results on search engines. But this week I was trained on some current bad practices of SEO issues going around called Black Hat Strategies. For those who are not familiar with the SEO term Black Hat Marketing, it can be and in most cases is malicious, destructive and for all intents and purposes illegal.
(MorePro does not practice or endorse using these strategies.)
We all know how cutthroat business can be. These days it’s hard to find a niche and market that isn’t already saturated with other competitors. So in the midst of the competition, SEO Marketing finds its way into the playing field through the forces of good and evil.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT! Some companies will take the route of shooting the competitor down instead of duking it out fairly in the ring. By that, I mean that it’s so incredibly easy to hire people to do negative SEO work for a competitor.
Here are some very common ways that negative SEO can be pressed upon you and your company without your knowledge.
- Trademark Threats – With the internet being so vast and global, large websites don’t have the time to go through legal documents to find out whether the infringement claim is true, so they’ll just take it down. One fake (yet convincing) letter to your sources of links claiming copyright infringement, your links are gone, or possibly redirected.
- Hijacking your Name under Social Networks – It’s easy to sign up for social networks, and you could claim to be anybody in the world! To negatively hurt your company, someone could sign up for social networks under your company and spam the daylights out of the web site until they are penalized or even kicked off. Therefore hurting your rankings and tarnishing your image in the eyes of a direct audience.
- Spam Farms (link farms) – Load up kids! We’re going down to the spam farm! (not really) – There are many ways to get links out there in the world. Link farms are link distributers which distribute links in the form of spam that are picked up by Google and penalized for it. What’s to stop someone from submitting your website to a link farm and having your link spam people to death? Nothing really-
- Hacking – Lets not forget about hacking… Do I really have to go through the infinite list of bad things a hacker can do to destroy and penalize your website?
“But Derek! This is so unfair! There has to be a law about this! They can’t do that!”
Don’t fret, there are laws to protect your internet rights under the DMCA and many other cyberspace related laws. But keep in mind the WWW in a URL means WORLD WIDE WEB! America or any other country has no jurisdiction over other countries that will protect any sort of malicious activity directed towards your website. So yes, if someone is dumb enough to direct Black Hat strategies against your website, they might be dumb enough to hire someone in the U.S. to take care of it for them. And perhaps if you are lucky, you might be able to track the perpetrator down and have justice served!
No seriously, we’re losing millions and millions of IT related jobs a year to outsourcing. It’s much cheaper to have someone in another country do all of the dirty work. Plus! They’re also not held accountable for anything because the victim has no jurisdiction on them!
Here is my point in all of this. Protect yourself and your company’s SEO value and reputation.
Here are just a few tips on protecting yourself.
- Change your passwords regularly
- Update spyware and malware software routinely
- Keep up to date on phishing methods and other ways of information retrieval
- Verify Linking activity through reputation management verification web sites.
Sometimes you can’t see this awful act coming, and when it does, you have to combat it. But be aware of the good and bad practices of SEO and research the practiced methods of your SEO/Marketing provider. As a client of illegal SEO practices, you could be held responsible for the ramifications of the work that you’ve hired them to do.