One day you look at your drug rehab website and you’re pretty sure you’ve been hit by somebody’s negative SEO campaign… if this hasn’t happened to you, it probably will at some point.
Trying to figure out how and why this happened takes a disciplined plan on the part a webmaster. First off, you need to be certain that the negative SEO is someone’s else’s fault. Does someone have a reason to be after you? Or, is it something simpler and more embarrassing? Like the fact that you created webpage indexing optimization errors or accidentally duplicated your own pages? Everyone wants the reason to be someone else’s fault. Sometimes, it is. Just as often, it isn’t.
How is Google Treating Your Website?
There’s no need for it to be a mystery how Google treats your website. This is something you need to know. If you’re using Firefox, for example, search your domain name and see what shows up and in what order. You should see your landing pages first (if it isn’t, something is seriously wrong!). Then, you will see various important pages in some kind of descending order. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are there pages that you’re pretty sure should be showing up near the top but aren’t?
- Are important pages not in the first page or two?
- Do some pages seem unrelated to your facility?
- Do they seem like spam?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have a problem on your hands. Without doing something as simple as googling your domain name, you may have little idea that there’s a problem.
What Do Analytics Tell You About Negative SEO?
The whole subject of analytics is fairly complex. However, let’s just concentrate on a few critical things you should be thinking about:
This is an important statistic to monitor. If people leave a page on average after a few seconds, that page isn’t doing you much good. Google, of course, notes that as an indicator of low value (whether your page deserves that designation or not). If the bounce rate is high, you need to figure out why. Is it because your marketing content isn’t optimized for SEO? Is poor website design a factor? Always look for possible causes for a high bounce rate because it’s definitely a contributor to negative SEO.
Many things could contribute to a high bounce rate, including the possibility of crawl errors on your addiction treatment website. If people land on your website and encounter internal service errors, they will naturally navigate away from your website. Google doesn’t like seeing a website generate a lot of internal service errors and they will downgrade your ranking in retaliation because you aren’t giving viewers a valuable experience.
Channels & Referrals
Look at the list of sources and determine who is sending more or less traffic your way compared to the past. Are there sources of traffic that seem unlikely to be visiting your site? That would be a likely indicator for any negative SEO you’re experiencing.
Is the load time on your detox or drug rehab website been on the increase? You should always be looking for ways to decrease load time, even if you aren’t experiencing negative SEO.
Have Links to Your Site Disappeared?
Getting other sites to link to you isn’t easy. You have to work for them. Consequently, if they start disappearing because someone is linking to a competitor instead, you know to figure out why this is happening. A backlink audit can help in this case.
Do All Internal Links Work?
On a larger website, it’s easy to lose track of pages you’ve deleted that other internal pages were linking to. That’s a negative SEO event right there. It will frequently cause viewers to navigate away from your site because broken links come across as you not caring about wasting other people’s time.
Is Your Content Original?
On the internet, addiction treatment content is “borrowed” all the time. Some sites will try to exist purely on stolen content. In the past, they could do this without concern. Now, Google cracks down on duplicate content.
One fast way to determine if others have stolen your content is use a plagiarism checker such as Copyscape. If your content is residing anywhere else on the web, a plagiarism checker will find it. It’s possible you’re the victim of another site that’s trying to outrank you by using your own material.
Don’t imagine for a moment, though, that duplicate content on other website are always the problem. It’s very possible that you have internally duplicated content that Google is punishing you for. Go through and look for any improper URL handling and hidden duplicate content.
Protect Yourself Against Negative SEO
Diligence is the best defense against negative SEO events. Blissful ignorance isn’t helpful. If there’s a problem, you need to know so that you can do something about it. Once you do find a problem, correct the mistake or mistakes as quickly as possible.
Ready to move forward and get past negative SEO? Dreamscape Marketing has developed hundreds of drug rehab websites and created more than 50,000 pages of content. We can help you eliminate negative SEO that is limiting your potential. Call us at 888.307.7304 or email us for more information about our web design and content services.