How to protect your SEO from black-hatters, fraudulent backlinks, and scrub domains impacted by penalties.
How do you know if you’ve been targeted?
The most common results are sinking SERP results, far less organic traffic, or ranking for the wrong keywords. As you are bombarded with fraudulent activity (which is not your own doing) it will appear to Google as if you are in on it, rather than being a suffering party. You may also so dramatically increased post numbers, comment numbers, or profile statistics if you have these sorts of features enabled.
Google thus doesn’t distinguish between participants and victims, and penalises both completely at their own will. This results in black-hat SEO strategies that can be used to sink competitor rankings if the right actions are not taken quickly.
Often a way to identify “external link bombing” is by checking incoming links from domain’s and seeing how many URL’s are being directed by the links. Say you have 1,000 links from what looks like a potentially fraudulent website, all directed at your main directorate (https://yourwebsite.com/). Now that would be an immediate indication of fraudulence. If the website targeted a distribution of URL’s like:
Then it’s likely to be more natural and is probably the result of real activity, rather than pre-generated results toward a single URL.
Security Actions have to be taken from the respective Search Engine Webmaster. I will be using Google as the example for the rest of the report.
Once you’ve entered into your Search Engine and selected your website. Click on the drop down box on the left labelled “Security & Manual Actions.”
Here you should be met with two pages, “Manual Actions,” and “Security Issues.”
Counter black-hat SEO.
Unattributable SERP loss
Your ranking is suddenly sinking! There are no external links, no spam content on your pages, but for some reason you are consistently and rapidly declining. You’ve checked many of the profiles, pages, comments, and moderated everything and still can’t seem to see why you would be losing ranking.
However, your hosting is being done by dodgyhosting.com, a not-exactly premium server provider but cheap! Well it’s likely that dodgyhosting has been marked by Google as a spammy host. This is likely not your fault, but a significant portion of the websites that are operated under dodgyhost are marked as fraudulent by Google and have been “black-marked.”
Now because you fall under the same umbrella, you have been penalised too. The first thing you need to do is conduct a website migration from one provider to another, from dodgyhosting to reliablehosting. Now this isn’t easy, but the quicker you do it the less penalisation you will incur, and the quicker your recovery will be.
Get in contact here with an agency that does website migrations.
Unnatural links to your site
Go to Google Search Console > Links
- Find all the links or domains that you would like to have disavowed that you believe may be negatively impacting your SEO.
- Create a .txt file where you will be placing each URL or domain line by line.
If you want to disavow specific URL’s or pages of domains, follow this structure. #‘s for comments, domain: for domain’s, and standard HTTP/HTTPS protocol for URL’s.
#disavow document #disavowing specific URL's https://fraudulentwebsite.com/badpage https://fraudulentwebsite.com/badpage-2 https://fraudulentwebsite.com/badpage-3 https://otherbadwebsite.com/blog/page/anotherpage/2 #disavowing whole domains domain:otherbadwebsite.com domain:badseo.org domain:blackhattersRus.net
Once you have your “disavow document,” in a .txt file written in UTF-8, head over to Google’s Disavow Tool.
- Select your domain
- Click “disavow”
- Confirm “disavow”
- Upload your .txt file
- Wait for a few days as the links are disavowed
Unnatural links from your site
Links from your site can be directed towards external domains, or even internal domains. For example you’re running a blog and one problem with no content has 4,400 internal links from other seemingly “spam” related accounts.
Alternatively, links can be being made from user-posted material to outbound websites in order to boost their backlinks! This occurs when your website automatically allows users to publish “follow” backlinks. “nofollow” is a setting that prevents hyperlinks to other websites from being marked as authentic backlinks. It provides no other value than another person being able to click on it, and be redirected to the other website!
If you have noticed an unusual amount of false material from your website being produced directed at other domains, you should very quickly purge the existing comments, and enable “nofollow” for anonymous or registered users.
Websites that enable profile creation often suffer from tons of fraudulent websites being made. For what reason? It completely depends on the black-hatter, or hacker’s intent.
A lot of black-hatters create profile accounts like these in order to post articles with “follow” links to other articles. They then take payment from individuals to “create 1,000 backlinks!” What you don’t know is that these are all fraudulent accounts from YOUR website.
When Google catches on to the artificial creation of backlinks, they are traced, and if enough are traced to your website a penalty is definitely incurred. If there is no valuable content being generated by your website, you will very quickly find yourself black-marked, or even manually de-indexed.
Some websites have such large audiences that fake accounts are created internally in order to boost the “viewability” of other accounts.