How to Keep Your SEO Campaign Safe from Black Hat Techniques


Frequently discussed but not always understood, black hat tactics can undermine your search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing campaign.

Black hat tactics use deception and trickery to rank higher in search engine results. To prevent these tactics, you might want to take a few of the following steps.

Watching whose handling your content marketing and SEO

Who you do business with reflects on you.

Companies that charge extremely low rates for SEO and content marketing services might save money initially but might end up being expensive in the long run.

The old expression “You get what you pay for” exists for a reason. A new company might submit low bids to generate business, but it also might not have the experience or know-how to handle your needs. It might use questionable tactics or cut corners in other ways to save money but could end up costing it instead.

A better tactic is to ask other people for referrals. Companies and people that satisfy other people’s SEO and content needs could perform similar functions and satisfy you as well.

How to Keep Your SEO Campaign Safe from Black Hat Techniques

Hiring people internally to handle your digital matters

Or, instead of outsourcing your SEO and content needs, you might want to consider handling those matters internally.

Hiring an employee exclusively to manage all your digital needs could be a way to keep your SEO campaign, website, and social media profiles secure. As an employee, they might be more interested in safekeeping those things.

Also, an employee might know more about your office, such as whether it uses certain software to manage its affairs, and about your policies or procedures. Or, this person might have easier access to other employees who might know about these things and others.

Providing firsthand knowledge could help employees protect your campaign from negative developments while promoting its positive attributes.

Bolstering your site’s reputation by building your site

Talking about your campaign and business is creating quality content for your site.

Lots of useful content explains who you are and what you do. It describes the benefits people will reap by contacting you and using your services.

How to Keep Your SEO Campaign Safe from Black Hat Techniques

Update your site regularly. It’ll make it more relevant and attractive to people. New content also shows that you’re paying attention to what you do online, and this could translate into how people feel about you offline.

As an added bonus, a wealth of current content might counter negative outside reviews or other less-than-flattering information. When people go online, they’ll see good and bad information, not just a few negative reviews or outdated data.

Creating trusted content and addressing mentions and reviews

Even if you do uncover negative reviews or mentions about your SEO campaign, goods, or services, all is not lost.

Again, creating and posting copious amounts of useful content is a useful tactic. Consider adding links to authoritative, trusted sources. The links will show that you care about accuracy, both in your posts and beyond.

Sources from the federal government that use the suffix .gov are often trustworthy, as are many that use the school-related .edu suffix. Be careful about using information from students’ personal websites, however, because they might not have the factchecking and research behind them that other .edu sites often boast.

While you’re creating and posting, check what others have said about you. If someone gives a negative review, consider adding a professional response that addresses the person’s concerns.

How to Keep Your SEO Campaign Safe from Black Hat Techniques

Responses to such concerns means you care about addressing them and making things right. They show how you’re committed to providing information, updates, and responsive service.

Gathering similar social media handles

Keeping an eye on your digital profile also means watching what’s happening on social media.

Unscrupulous people might buy social media handles that are similar to your business name and then make posts in your name.

To prevent this, claim all the social media handles that could relate to your business and campaign. Even if you don’t use them yourself, you’re preventing others from doing so and potentially harming your reputation.

In addition to variations on your business or practice’s name, gather social media handles that might include abbreviations of it, misspellings of it, and other variations. You want to be in charge of your social media, not to be subject to the whims of others.

Looking for content that’s been stolen or scraped

After creating quality content, you might find that others want to use it or have used it already.

How to Keep Your SEO Campaign Safe from Black Hat Techniques

If they’ve asked for your permission or have referred to your site as a resource, that’s great. It means that you’re producing quality material that others find valuable and worth mentioning. If they link to your pages, all the better, because it’s driving more people to read and possibly interact with your site (and you).

But, if they’ve plagiarized your material or misappropriated it in other ways, beware. They could be harming your reputation.

To check if others have misused your content, consider searching for specific content on Google. Or, you might want to use online tools that could help you determine if others are copying or misusing your hard work and potentially harming your good name.

Using alerts and notifications and monitoring your tags and backlinks

As you’re monitoring for plagiarism, you also want to monitor for other possible problems.

Tools can also help in these instances. Using Google Alerts could help you see what others are saying about you online. Similarly, monitoring your Google Webmaster account could help you alert you to these mentions and track them.

At the same time, you’ll also want to keep an eye on the tags and backlinks featured on your web pages. Adding text descriptions, or texts, helps search engines find you.

Make sure you and your employees are the ones adding tags to your pages, not outsiders. Some people have even tried to hide tags using a font that’s the same color as the background and other tricks. Staying vigilant protects your site and you.

Securing login information

Vigilance is important throughout the online experience.

It starts when you log onto your site. Use unique login names and passwords that others will find difficult to guess. You could use a password manager or other tool to provide extra security.

It’s also a good idea to change your website usernames and database prefixes from their default settings to names that are more complicated and unguessable.

Not everything about your online profile and use needs to be complicated, though. Contact us for digital solutions and assistance that could make your work and life easier.



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