Negative SEO and DDoS attack

What is Negative Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Business owners care about marketing their business, so they take steps to make it visible to target markets online. But this may be the least of your worries, as unscrupulous competitors appear out of nowhere and attack your SEO rankings or get you banned from Google search engines for violations.

Negative SEO has been a topic in almost every online marketing forum where queries are thrown to see if competitors are capable of attacking your website with such ferocity. Recent experiences have shown that negative strategies can negatively affect both SEO ranking and Google acceptability rating, contrary to what has been said above.

Google on its own devised security measures to ensure that website owners did not manipulate search engine rankings. The penalty is severe: be removed from the Google search index immediately. Negative SEO practices include using numerous backlinks pointing to the target site to fool Google’s algorithm and manipulate SEO rankings.

When Google’s crawlers find your site with a plethora of questionable backlinks, they do the obvious: penalize it by removing it from Google’s rankings. Most sites that are high authority: your local Chamber of Commerce, local educational sites, trade organizations, charities, TV and news programs may not have anything to worry about. These sites are so authoritative that no amount of negative attacks can get Google to ban them.

However, it is generally smaller businesses and website owners who are most vulnerable to these types of attacks. There are several classic ways how they are made:

1. When you talk about negative SEO, you most likely think of: spammers and competitors whose desire is to lower your rankings or get you out of Google’s search engines. They can do this through the use of malware, hacking, or injections. Lurking hackers can find vulnerabilities in your security FTP logins so they can easily attack you.

Hackers can break in and inject spam or spam links to alter your site. Another example would be spammers editing your text file to avoid Google trackers or restricting the Internet Protocol (IP) within a certain range. What happens next is that you will be removed from search engines and most likely infect visitors with malware and viruses unless security holes are plugged.

2. The biggest and nastiest technique used by attackers today is generating disreputable links to your website. This problem has been discussed in various forums as it was noticed that several sites offering negative SEO services have emerged nowadays. These sites had successfully garnered a large number of rankings from various small businesses. Getting hit by this kind of strategy might not get you banned from Google right away, but it can surely drop your ranking status down a couple of stairs.

What can you do?

1. It may be a good idea to review the sites that are linked to your website. You can leave them or delete them if you don’t feel good about the quality of the sites.

2. For starters, you need to have strong brand signals: good brand name, good links, good written press, high metrics, and lots of people searching your website – it will protect you from negative SEO campaigns.

3. Your website must have a solid foundation and the necessary metrics tool to monitor foul play. Being honest in your dealings with Google can also go a long way. Google came up with the Penguin Algorithm Update and the Google Webmaster Tool to identify patterns that tend to manipulate links. Obviously, it is difficult for them to determine if the site has serious problems or if a competitor is employing negative SEO.

4. Therefore, as a website owner, learning about these controversies should help you bolster your awareness of the issues facing negative SEO. This would also help in maintaining its long-standing presence in the market and also in maintaining its well-deserved ranking in Google.

What is a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack?

DDoS is an attack on a network resource by making it unavailable to its intended users. The reason would typically be to interrupt a provider’s hosting services, either temporarily or indefinitely, to harm the business. These are usually done by disgruntled competitors and as a tool for a resistance movement. It is sometimes referred to as “Internet Street Protest”, as stated by Richard Stallman, a computer programmer and a well-known activist in the free software freedom movement.

There are many DDoS attacks that are capable of bringing networks to their knees. Among the most common are:

1. Flooding the site with useless traffic or communication that would make the site unable to respond to legitimate inquiries. This is also known as the SYN flood attack. An attacker can flood the server with TCP/CYN without acknowledging the CYN response from the server. The result is that the sessions table fills up with session queries, so it cannot accept legitimate queries for the connection until the inactivity timer has fired.

2. ICMP flood attack: It is similar to the CYN flood attack. The only difference is that the attacker downloads a large number of ICMP echo requests with a spoofed IP address. This has caused network administrators many sleepless nights in the past, as it was one of the first to be “killed” using various methods.

3. UDP Flood Attack – It is like ICMP attack, except that the IP packets containing the UDP datagram are used against its victims.

4. Ground attack: The attacker uses the IP address of the victim as the source and destination. If the victim is unaware of the attack, she may end up trying to connect to it and get into a dead-end loop until the idle timeout value is reached.

5. Teardrop Attack – This type of attack fragments and reassembles IP packets where an attacker can transmit fragmented IP packets. These packets contain overlapping fragment offsets to exhaust the victim’s resources when reassembling them.

6. Ping of Death: A variation of ICMP that causes a system to hang. The attacker sends an IP packet containing more than the allowed 65,507 bytes of data that causes the system to crash.

To do?

Regardless of the type of DDoS attack, current techniques fail to mitigate the damage it can cause at any given time. Some of the techniques being used are not optimized to deal with the increasing sophistication of attacks seen today. Firewalls are rudimentary ways of preventing these occurrences, but they are not specifically designed to protect the internal system against today’s more advanced types. Other strategies, such as over-provisioning, do not guarantee full protection against larger ruthless attacks and are too expensive as a DDoS prevention strategy.

Businesses with an online presence can invest in DDoS protection. This type of protection may have its own cost to implement. However, the DDoS solution can make a compelling case in terms of future revenue streams if full protection solutions are implemented. It is imperative that large corporations, government units, and service providers, among others, protect the integrity of their business operations as a matter of corporate policy and as a means to survive in the marketplace.

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