Is Negative SEO Still Possible?

Jun 23, 2008 • 10:51 am | comments (8) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Last year, we looked at the impacts, if any, of negative SEO on websites, a discussion which arose from a Forbes article on the saboteurs of search. One year later, we're still discussing the consequences and seeing if negative SEO is still possible. In a WebmasterWorld thread, we learn that there are still ways to sabotage websites and rankings, from hijacking competitor's DNS to doing it to yourself by killing your URL structure. Now, though, there's more with new technologies and new concerns about sabotage, from cloaked sabotage to reputation sabotage. There's also the concern of parasite hosting and embedding hidden links.

As one webmaster says, you need to be the one who protects your site, because Google isn't necessarily reliable in that regard. (After all, Google is tracking billions of pages.) However, not many people know how to protect their own websites.

Tedster recommends that you can look into a variety of these problems by changing the user agent, disabling cookies, turning off meta refreshes, etc.

But how does it happen? As Receptional Andy says:

A lot of SEO sabotage attempts involve trying to trick Google into thinking that a site should be penalised and does not meet guidelines. That can be by directly modifying the site (through legitimate mechanisms to do so, or by finding vulnerabilities and exploiting them) and by modifying or setting up external references to a site.

You may think it won't happen to you, but don't be overly confident. Take a read and follow up with the discussion on WebmasterWorld.

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No Name

06/24/2008 10:12 am


Rob Abdul

07/01/2008 09:23 pm

Very scary indeed!

Gavin Doolan

07/04/2008 08:54 am

This happened to a small personal blog of mine. All of a sudden my traffic dropped off and I didn't understand why. I soon put the pieces together and saw that google had delisted the site. Logging into webmaster console Google had notified me of a crawl issue in relation to spam and content injection. Looking at the site all seemed normal, however looking at the source code of my website I saw the footer.php had been modified to include loads of spam related links in a hidden html comment. I was getting all kinds of hits for pharmacy and credit card related stuff. I upgrading my blogging software (Wordpress) to the latest version and changed my footer.php to remove the rubbish and requested a reinclusion. All is fine now but this highlights a huge issue on the web for me. Negative SEO is very possible and could cost large business lots of money.


07/07/2008 03:52 am

i guess so...So now, we can never be too much confident about it.


07/07/2008 03:58 am

I think its possible, so now, we have to be careful & not too be confident about it!

No Name

09/08/2008 06:22 am

u r right. I also faced that same problem with my website. Suddenly ranking is falling down.


11/04/2008 11:38 am

Yes you are wright.... we should be careful about this website criteria with google


10/03/2009 12:50 am

You are right - one should be very careful of bad links that google mayconsider spam.

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