Testing Negative SEO – Has Google opened the floodgates to Competitors Hurting your Web Ranking?

In Recent months “Negative SEO” has been the discussion of choice for SEO professionals. To simplify Negative SEO or “Google Bombing” these are ways for competitors to use automated and unnatural link building tactics directly to “competing websites” in order to have big G devalue (reduce rank) and sometimes de-index your competition from Google’s vast search library. This is not a new topic; it has been a discussion in the SEO world for many years.

Have a look at these older Posts:
http://www.webpronews.com/google-bowling-how-competitors-can-sabotage-you-what-google-should-do-about-it-2005-10
http://www.seomoz.org/pages/search_results?q=negative+seo
http://blogoscoped.com/forum/100871.html

Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Web spam Team has always proclaimed that there is absolutely NO way competitor can successfully harm a website with link spam.


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In 2012 Google’s web spam team has taken a much stronger stance against link schemes and unnatural or paid link building practices. In reality any link building is considered black hat and unnatural but in the real world small & medium size business must build links in order to compete with larger brands.

Our TEST for “Negative SEO”!

In one of our mastermind groups I belong to we had a discussion based on Negative SEO and http://www.saasaffiliates.com took the stance that there is NO WAY that any website would be hurt by running spam links directly to it. We were so confident that we started our own test to see if “negative SEO” is alive and well. Here are the results:

In Mid January we started using BuildMyRank & Authority Link Network to push low level and spam links on autopilot directly to our website using spun content and diverse anchor texts. We wanted to use these networks because there was a buzz at the time that public networks will be devalued and/or de-indexed by Google. BTW, I will not link to those networks within this post for obvious reasons.

The Idea was simple, these networks still exist, still taking on new clients and if Google is de-indexing these networks, then what should happen is the links built through these networks would simply disappear and will no longer count towards ranking.

The cost was $57 monthly to hire a 3rd party to basically submit daily to these networks and to see what would happen. On March 29th we got the following from Google Webmaster:

WOW were we wrong.. Looks like Negative SEO is alive and kicking…

Google really has two choices here:
1) Devalue and/or De-index these blog networks and therefore devalue the “link juice” that websites were getting from them
2) De-indexing and/or hurt the websites using these networks

By the look of things Google has opted to do both, witch really opens up the floodgates to “Negative SEO”. Frankly as I write this there are numerous SEO companies willing to provide this unlawful and disgusting service.

Just Terrible..

Although at the end of the day, the test IS conclusive in that competitors can in fact trigger a penalty within Google, as of April 3rd we are currently not seeing any changes in rank or traffic.

Share you thoughts?

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Posted in Blog, Google, Local Search, MSN, Pay Per Click, Pay Per Performance, Rant, Search Engine Marketing, Slider, Social Marketing, YAHOO
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