Online Brand Protection Best Practices: Monitor Backlinks For Black Hat Tactics
I’m referring to third-party websites that are negative (gripe sites) or are unwelcome (competitors) listings.
Let’s review an example. The screenshot below displays the search results in Google for “Jiffy Lube.” Note the third result.
The third result is a Jiffy Lube gripe site, Jiffylubeproblems.com, with prominent visibility in the brand real estate of Jiffy Lube in Google. Using a tool to identify the web pages that link to Jiffylubeproblems.com, we soon identify a couple hundred links emanating from Yahoo! Local.
Below is a screenshot of a sample Yahoo! Local page that links to Jiffylubeproblems.com.
This is an unethical, or “black hat” tactic used to increase the number of links to the gripe site. In this instance, Jiffy Lube needs to contact the Yahoo! Local team to advise them of this inappropriate link spam.
Why is it important to monitor third party backlinks of pages that are ranking in your brand real estate? Because links are votes! When all is said and done it is the quantity and quality of backlinks (votes) that determine search engine rankings.
With respect to this specific example, the links are very abusive to the Jiffy Lube brand because they are composed of local listings for automotive services searches in Yahoo! Local.