Saboteurs Pose Threat To Business Sites

    June 2, 2006

Many businesses run blogs, and even if they haven’t taken this step, most companies at least have websites. These can be powerful tools, acting as information centers and advertising platforms. But in the online world, saboteurs can be equally influential by setting up “protest sites” or dropping links to your URL in some unsavory places.

One type of sabotage has become known as “googlebombing.” By linking to your website using certain words (many, many times), an unfriendly individual could make your page the top result for that query. Imagine if people saw your company show up when searching for “moldy yogurt.” (Why someone would search for “moldy yogurt,” I can’t imagine, but you get the idea.)

Worse still, suppose someone typed in the company’s name, and all the top results were related to adult content. Unless you’re in that particular line of business, this could be disastrous. But a saboteur could pull it off by mixing the corporation’s name with adult content and auto-generating posts in blogs and forums.

Don’t despair, though. If you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself in one of these situations, there are ways to defend yourself. One of the simplest strategies is to notify search engine quality assurance teams when someone is spamming your company’s name across the Web. There are cases, though, when a legitimate countermovement to a company is able to establish a strong presence.

In this instance, it can be effective to publish pages stating your side of the story. You can hope that they will gain high rankings through natural means, or you can purchase sponsored listings.

Even with these unpleasant possibilities floating about, the positives of owning a website and a blog still far outweigh the negatives. Just keep an eye out for potential sabotage, and respond quickly when it occurs.

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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.