SEOs: Negative SEO On Google Much Easier Now

Jun 5, 2014 • 8:31 am | comments (146) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

SEO ThreatAs you all know, negative SEO is not new, in fact, Google has said it is rare but possible since 2007. Sites as large as Expedia may have suffered from it and Google had to reword their documentation on the topic.

But now that we have SEOs threatening clients with negative SEO, it is more of a concern out there.

WebmasterWorld administrator, Engine, said on WebmasterWorld that recently, "negative SEO is now much easier to do now than it was prior to google's latest updates."

The scary part, most SEOs agree with him. Another SEO said "Yes, absolutely." And others agreed as well, "It is absolutely easier now for negative seo campaigns."

Of course, this is a huge concern for anyone with an online business. Google may shrug it under the carpet, but this is a concern that Google needs to address.

Do you think negative SEO is easier or harder? Take our poll:

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

This post was scheduled to be posted today but was written at an earlier point in time. The author is not around on June 4th or 5th to respond to comments.

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Comments:

Guest

06/05/2014 12:39 pm

Thanks

Ryan

06/05/2014 12:41 pm

ADSENSE TIPS

Social SEO lol

06/05/2014 01:47 pm

Links are now working more than ever, exact match anchors too, people are getting carried away on the bs that is social and natural links, wise up people hummingbird changed nothing.

Nick Ker

06/05/2014 02:36 pm

The scary part is how many people believe negative SEO is a widespread epidemic - even with so little evidence (none?) that it actually works on a site that doesn't already have a lot of spammy links of its own.

Thomas

06/05/2014 02:41 pm

whats your site... we can test it ;)

Adam Heaton

06/05/2014 02:45 pm

You're absolutely right, hummingbird did nothing, because that never changed anything regarding penalties...

Yepper

06/05/2014 02:51 pm

I had it done to me. I know it is a fact. Forget the request to remove links helping to regain your ranking. This is the ugly side of Google.

Nick Ker

06/05/2014 03:04 pm

It's been done: http://kercommunications.com/seo/negative-seo-reality-check/ Almost 2 years of thousands of crappy links later, on a not very strong domain that even had a smallish number of questionable links already - and nothing resembling a penalty. Not saying it couldn't happen, but I am saying that it has not happened anywhere close to as much as some believe. By now, don't you think there would be dozens or even hundreds of verifiable, obvious incidents if it was so easy and widespread?

David Beart

06/05/2014 03:24 pm

The problem with negative SEO is the time needed to locate, disavow and remove links to your site that you don't want, nor did you add. Not only is negative SEO an issue, it is all the affiliate site that and links to our site as then need a few "authoritative links". Regardless if NEGATIVE SEO works or not, a person cannot take the risk of not removing or disavowing the links.... this takes time and costs money!

Nick Ker

06/05/2014 03:30 pm

The belief that negative SEO works does cause more problems than the actual "attacks". The thousands of spam links that were pointed at my site had no ill effects on rankings or traffic, but they did make it more difficult to properly analyze the site's link profile. That's actually a good thing in a strange way - I have seen competitors try to copy some of the worst links while doing that old "get the same links as your competitors" thing.

David Beart

06/05/2014 03:38 pm

Are you trying to say that you don't do ANYTHING with all these negative links to your site? Personally I can't take the risk of just turning a blind eye to poor links to our site.

F1 Steve

06/05/2014 03:42 pm

GO Nick GO!!! Another SEO guru who is trying to market his services here wasn't affected by a negative SEO attack he just made up, I mean told us bout? You must be the best SEO Nick, tell us how we can hire your wonderful services? I just tried throwing my cold hard cash at the screen but your little Nick face wouldnt take it, just kept smiling.... I expect you will need my credit card number?

wertwert

06/05/2014 03:42 pm

Can you even name 3 different negative SEO attacks? I deal with these attacks nearly weekly and they aren't just spammy backlinks. Many are serious like the one where they monitor your google cache timestamps to know when Googlebot is crawling your site then DOS your apache server socket with unclosing connections to get your pages to error out for googlebot which drops you in the SERPs...

wertwert

06/05/2014 03:43 pm

You ignorant !@#$... At least people know you are ignorant now.

wertwert

06/05/2014 03:46 pm

Are you effin kidding me... you wrote a blog post so you're an expert now?

Art L

06/05/2014 03:47 pm

"Can you even name 3 different negative SEO attacks?" Can you? Did it work?

Nick Ker

06/05/2014 03:47 pm

Steve, check the story, check the links, check historical link info in Majestic or elsewhere if you don't believe me. Making something like this up would serve no purpose. The reason I bring it up is because there are so many chicken littles out there spreading misinformation that gives less informed people a lot of wrong ideas - and makes it harder for me as a consultant when I have to spend a lot of time trying to unteach all the BS that is slung around.

Nick Ker

06/05/2014 03:51 pm

I stopped disavowing them a while ago and saw no difference. After a few thousand more piled up, I now spend about an hour on it every two months or so. Disavowing is a nuisance, but I see it as a maintenance item. Kind of like making sure there aren't any safety hazards in a brick & mortar business.

wertwert

06/05/2014 03:54 pm

Hell yes they work!... Another one is where they poison a domain into the ground with Google. Get every penalty in the book on it. Then wildcard the domain to your competitor's home page... (That one is easy to fix... have to disavow the whole domain then google does the right thing with it)... Next, on a site that allows wildcard host names that resolve to the main website no matter how you change the host... Keep making up new hosts and linkbuild to them to them eventually the site has so many content dupes it messes up rankings and all the additional bot traffic from search engines turns into a DOS.... Next on a site that doesn't use canonical tags do the same thing as before but with alternate URL forms... Using canonicals fixes this one...but until they do... there are a lot of them if you have a site that is worth the attacks you will see them often

Nick Ker

06/05/2014 03:55 pm

I wrote a blog post about my own experience with it. No, that doesn't make me an expert. But unlike most of the negative SEO "case studies" which leave out important info like what kind of link profile the site had before the attack, what the traffic changes were, or sometimes even the domain of the site - it does give details about what happened & didn't happen, and anyone can use third-party tools to verify it. I have also audited a boatload of penalized sites, many of which were initially thought to be negative SEO but were not. I'd love to see some examples of negative SEO attacks that worked on "innocent" sites. Got any examples?

Art L

06/05/2014 03:56 pm

Example URLs please?

Jerry

06/05/2014 04:05 pm

I think this is how you build links. You get these people wound up and they go to fiverr and you get more links.

Adam West

06/05/2014 04:06 pm

Negative SEO doesn't have to be about penalties. One can do negativities to drop sites a few places, why be blatant enough to cause a penalty....

ryan_facker

06/05/2014 04:06 pm

Well.. Fuck u :)

Todd Foster

06/05/2014 04:26 pm

It looks like all they did was spam some links. That's not a very good Neg SEO attack. I have seen a lot worse.

josh817

06/05/2014 04:30 pm

Google knows this already. Their Penguin must have been something created by an intern.

Fedor

06/05/2014 04:38 pm

Everyone's too chicken to reveal their sites. I find it interesting that you're willing to give out your domain so freely. This leads me to believe that you don't really care what happens to it because you have a backup plan or you're just bat shit crazy.

wertwert

06/05/2014 04:46 pm

For what... my websites... no thank you... these attacks and more are also discussed on BHW ...search for negative SEO ... you have to sift through a lot of cruft to find the meat though. Also the cure for the DOS while googlebot is crawling attack... have to use the NOARCHIVE/NOCACHE meta tags so google stops providing cache details to the public. This robs the attacker of the ability of knowing when googlebot is on your site.

wertwert

06/05/2014 04:50 pm

I think you define negative SEO as bad links... I think your definition is WAY too narrow. Read my comments above I list 3 kinds and they occurred against pure white hat online retail sites ranging from PR5-8

Fedor

06/05/2014 04:58 pm

As a joke.

David Beart

06/05/2014 05:04 pm

One issue I have with many comments by SEO's is that its NOT negative SEO until you get thousands of bad links all at once. The reality is we have had several instances where links to our site were placed on porn, casino, pet and health sites using anchor text such as "payday loans", "dog beds", "kidney health" on the same day... then a few weeks later, the same thing again. Slowly but surely a bunch of links are sprinkled in blog comments, buried in frames on affiliate sites or are placed on sites that were hacked. The reality is this IS negative SEO as whoever is doing so is doing it to cause us problems. No one but Google knows how these links affect a site... perhaps just a few links at a time spread out over the weeks/months is more harmful than a mass amount of links directed all at once.

wertwert

06/05/2014 05:05 pm

@Barry The attacker in the article image should be wearing a black hat... you made the attacker a black man. Might want to fix that.

Rob Thomas

06/05/2014 05:17 pm

I do agree with you that its not as widespread as some people suggest. It's hard to site evidence due to client privacy issues. Also, this is fairly new and of course Google doesn't refresh Penguin often, so it could take time before you see this become prevalent. I do believe the biggest issue is that many known large public link networks got hit the last 6 months. Sites using these link networks got hit. Most of these places still sell links and still claim they have never been hurt by a Google update, so they present an easy, cheap opportunity for negative SEO if google chooses to keep penalizing these sites. So I monitor backlinks and refresh disavow lists periodically as I believe it is a legitimate risk.

Nick Ker

06/05/2014 05:22 pm

That blog post was written about a year ago and a LOT more went on after that, as well as other shenanigans that I may have left out or had not yet discovered. For examples: there were relentless hack attempts, about a hundred scraped copies of the site (or parts of it), false link removal requests made in my name, fake listings in yellowpages directories, and a variety of other things that may have been part of it. I don't recall if I mentioned all of that in the main article... maybe in the comments. You say you've seen worse - did it work and do you have examples to share?

Nick Ker

06/05/2014 05:24 pm

About the client privacy thing - why would anyone who was wrongly penalized want to keep it a secret? Sure, some may not want to admit that they have a problem, but most who want to keep it a secret would probably feel they have something to hide. What would that be - the spam links they built before the attack?

Nick Ker

06/05/2014 05:30 pm

That's not my definition, but it is what a lot of people think is so easy that "all you have to do is go to fiverr". It isn't all covered in the article, but there were indeed some DOS attacks and other hacking attempts, as well as appspot clones & other scraped copies. Those "advanced" negative SEO techniques that you mention do seem like they would be more effective, but are not exactly easy nor widespread. The only thing Google has acknowledged was one incident where it was pretty much a site hack/hijack that triggered a penalty. Sure, Google is not likely to acknowledge widespread negative SEO attacks that work - but don't you think there would be enough publicized incidents by now if it was really a big problem?

wertwert

06/05/2014 05:35 pm

Tell that to my website attackers... like I said... I get hit weekly by SEO attackers and Google keeps making their work easier and easier... When Google makes a new way or thing to punish I get a slew of new kinds of negative SEO attacks. In my opinion Google is arming black hats and punishing white hats with their current strategy. (and nearly all of it would go away if google would reward the good instead of punishing the bad.It is much harder to weaponize good behavior )

Nick Ker

06/05/2014 05:36 pm

Too chicken?! If they have already lost everything unfairly, what would they have to fear? I have a few theories why people insist they are victims but won't give details. Too proud to admit mistakes, making excuses to clients for bad SEO and want to perpetuate a negative SEO alibi, burned by a penalty and still don't know that they were going about things the wrong way... Who knows? I give out my domain freely because: A) Yes, I am batshit crazy but that has little to do with this B) SEO is not a cloak and dagger "I must hide all my actions from Google and everyone else" activity - if you are doing it right C) I do believe Google is capable of figuring things out (this may be a repeat of item A)

wertwert

06/05/2014 05:39 pm

Or don't want to be punished for being anti-google. I'm sure Google would love nothing more than to squash me like a bug even though my practices are white hat. I am vocally against Googles policies. My opinion of Google isn't as lofty as yours. I have first hand experience with Google doing very sh#tty things to good people and businesses via a number of their services.

Nick Ker

06/05/2014 05:44 pm

"One issue I have with many comments by SEO's is that its NOT negative SEO until you get thousands of bad links all at once." Who said that? Not me. Where I take issue with claims of NSEO is when they were already using link building tactics that fell on the spammy side of things, then claim that any number of "unexpected" spam links (could be 10 or 10K) were to blame.

Ashley

06/05/2014 05:50 pm

strange comment

wertwert

06/05/2014 05:51 pm

agreed but probably should be fixed anyway. I am certain Barry meant nothing by it and it was an innocent oversight.

Ashley

06/05/2014 05:53 pm

I suffered a negative seo attack on 4th October 2013. Still waiting for the next update. Feel like my life has been ruined with the lost income. The main problem with neg. seo is if they keep building the links on a regular basis, you can never recover, because there's a lag between when they are posted and when you find them.

Art L

06/05/2014 05:54 pm

Was hoping you would have something that would prove what you claim. Guess not.

David Beart

06/05/2014 05:57 pm

Regardless if the webmaster of a site made poor choices in link building in the past... when links are added by a third party for the purposes of harm... it is NEGATIVE SEO. The problem is no one can PROVE the negative seo does or doesn't work. What I do believe is this.... if enough links with anchor text are added to sites without the use of a no follow attribute... there is a good chance that this could trigger a penalty.

Rob Thomas

06/05/2014 05:58 pm

I'm just saying you won't see evidence in the comments sections as no one is going to go get client permission to prove a point in a blog comment. But here is an example of a good case study: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2290087/Negative-SEO-Case-Study-How-to-Uncover-an-Attack-Using-a-Backlink-Audit

wertwert

06/05/2014 05:59 pm

Just my coworkers but Im not sharing them either...and other clients who suffered similar attacks. When you become a worthy target you will see. Or like I said research it better on BHW. Most of the time SEOs don't fight these attacks. Usually it is a network or system administrator who is on the front line. Those professionals will probably have the proof you seek. If you have denial of service attacks that hit 1 product page about every 2-3 weeks but the attacks themselves only last a few hours then stop... probably negative SEO attack trying to spoil your googlebot crawl.

David Beart

06/05/2014 06:37 pm

I have to agree with Ashley... the constant links being built into a sites by 3rd parties is never ending. For example... if you look at these 5 url's, you will see a prompt saying that the 'Bandwidth has been Exceeded", however if you right click and look at the source.. there are hundreds of out bound links in the code. Combined these 5 sites have 2,937 links to our site! All these links were build into our site within the last 30 days. This is Negative SEO as we did not request the links, don't want the links and can't get rid of the links... the only thing we can do is disavow and hope for the best. Links directed towards our site: healthygallbladder.com - 177 herpesandcoldsorescure.com - 720 ultimatekidneyhealth.com - 1,052 zapcoldsoresaway.com - 870 nomoreringingtinnitus.com - 118 UPDATE: If you look at the "Whois" for these sites they were all created on the same date, all hosted on the same server and all have links pointing to us. If this is not negative SEO, I am not sure what is.

Nick Ker

06/05/2014 06:37 pm

You won't see much real "evidence" in case studies like that one either. Did you notice how she made no mention of what the link profile was like before the attack, and dismissed the notion that the spam links from 3 years earlier could have something to do with it? When that article was published, a number of people took issue with it (including me). Many of the comments have since been deleted, but at some point the writer posted a screen shot of something that did reveal the domain name. A little digging in majestic and semrush showed that the story didn't match up to reality. A commenter named "Jack" posted these things he found: "1. The target domain had a much larger increase in back links in 2010 (according to Monthly view mode in Backlink History tools at Majestic SEO). 2. The target domain had a quite steep jump in organic traffic in 2010 (according toSEMRush.com). 3. I think the site could be involved in more aggressive black hat activities a few years ago. The recent drop in organic traffic is not just the results of recent link acquisition." So the site had been spamming since 2010, and when penalized they claimed it was the more recent attacks that caused it. Not saying those spam links didn't happen, and maybe they did push the already spammed site over the edge. But when writers make it out to be something everyone needs to fear even if they have done nothing wrong, and offer only pretty but meaningless charts and graphs as evidence - while ignoring all of the spam link building that went on before... that makes good link bait, but irresponsible "journalism". Gotta read past the headlines.

wertwert

06/05/2014 06:41 pm

You can disavow entire domains at a time. This might be helpful if you didn't see the option at the bottom of Google's support pages for it. I had to look twice to find it.

Art L

06/05/2014 06:43 pm

If I did nothing wrong and got penalized for something done by others, I would be pissed and telling anyone who would listen to all the details.

David Beart

06/05/2014 06:50 pm

I have disavowed everything at the domain level; won't know if this helped or not till Google updates the Penguin algorithm. What would be really nice is if Google would run Panda/Penguin monthly as it would make fighting the possibility of negative SEO a lot easier.

wertwert

06/05/2014 06:55 pm

On the several occasions where I had toxic domains pointed at my home page disavowing the domain recovered my rankings in about 3-5 days. I found it is easy to detect these cases by monitoring crawl errors in GWT... when a domain is redirecting to your website you tend to get a spike in 404 errors where the URLs are total nonsense. The referring link examples tell you the domain to block. For me 3-5 days is a heavy price... probably a loss of $5K-$10K and domains are cheap and I see this kind of attack about monthly for about the past 8 months.

Jerry

06/05/2014 06:58 pm

Why do you think it is impossible to prove? Step by step: 1. Find a site that has no spam links. 2. Add spam links. 3. Document the effects. 4. Write first article proving the danger of negative seo.

David Beart

06/05/2014 07:01 pm

All I know is we are waiting for a Penguin refresh. The sad reality is at once a week I am reviewing all inbound links at GWT as negative link building to our site is a problem.

wertwert

06/05/2014 07:04 pm

This is why I say Googles punishments and only hurt white hats. Google openly states they don't punish disavowed sites (they cant because it would just be another negative SEO vector) but the result is that only people with white hat interests are hurt by googles penalties. Black hats aren't punished and the disavowed sites aren't punished. Its totally ineffective policy in my opinion.

wertwert

06/05/2014 07:09 pm

Totally right. I could prove it to others by going public with my sites and logs and coworkers' testimonies... but I know for myself and there would be nothing but risk for me in doing so. The nay-sayers whose sites are too small to be targets will just deny it anyway. When I was asked to name 3 different negative SEO attacks I did AND I told how to spot them and thwart them. The problem changed to me having to PROVE 3 more things. Naysaying has no end.

Rob Thomas

06/05/2014 07:12 pm

You are looking for 100% conclusive evidence so that is not going to happen in SEO with so many variables in ranking. You could pick apart any case study. I don't need to wait until their are a number of indisputable cases. There is evidence of negative SEO. There are sites that sell their services for the purposes of negative SEO. To me it is reasonable that if people use blackhat tactics to rank, they will use blackhat tactics to damage other sites. As I said, I believe the link networks are the most dangerous as there is evidence that they are targeted by Google. So I choose to manage link risk, but if you chose not to that is your business. I appreciate your input to the discussion. I mean, I would rather Google come out and say that they definitely don't penalize a site for backlinks and won't do so in the future. Would make my life easier.. and I'm not trying to scare anyone. Just trying trying to prevent a penalty.

Ben Guest

06/05/2014 07:37 pm

If I'm not mistaken, I think Panda has been built right into the algo already so it's live. The actual updates are improvements to what's already in place so it's not like they are just firing something off each time you hear the update is coming. It's just a newer version to the algo already in place. Not sure about Penguin though.

Nick Ker

06/05/2014 07:37 pm

Risk management makes perfect sense- as long as the effort you put into avoiding the risk is appropriate for the amount of risk. That is why I do update my disavow file every so often. Better safe than sorry, for sure. But how much time and effort do you want to put into something when the perceived risk is based mostly on hype, bad information and flat out lies? The poll in this article shows that people not only believe it is common, but that it is getting easier. Why do they believe that? How many years have we been reading articles with titles like "Beware: Negative SEO is Real and Will Happen To Even the Cleanest Of Sites"... yet it keeps not happening? People keep saying NSEO is easy and is widespread, yet there is virtually no evidence to support that. Again, I am not saying it is impossible - almost nothing is. My whole point is that this boogieman is not lurking under every webmaster's bed. Continuing to hype it without any supporting evidence just adds to the confusion most website owners have about SEO, and supports the shady image the SEO industry already has. It also encourages more people to try it and more people to sell it - creating even more problems, including more webspam. The irony.

Edward Robert

06/05/2014 07:38 pm

It seems really easy po.st/crq0gG

wertwert

06/05/2014 07:50 pm

You might find this funny... The default login pages for my CMS don't actually login... They are just honey pots to lock out unauthorized people who try. They have no idea the actual login page is elsewhere and spend a lot of time on the decoy. A host, 192.163.209.175, has been locked out of the site due to too many bad login attempts. A host, 62.149.215.117, has been locked out of the site due to too many bad login attempts. In many ways its an arms race and I don't want to share too much.

Ben Guest

06/05/2014 07:50 pm

Google can detect an uptick in links to a site so they can know exactly when it occurs. Google's problem with this though is they are not aware who did it. How to combat this is a problem. Should we submit our IPs to Google so they know who is legitimately working on the site and who is not? It'd be great to "roundtable" this to figure out ways to combat it rather than being consumed with "Links to Your Site" on a daily basis. You can exclude IPs in GA so why not include IPs for GWT? If your IP did not carry out the negative SEO, your website should not be penalized or filtered out through the algo. However, I do truly believe Google is researching ways to eliminate links altogether by implementing voice search data and Google + comment/post data.

Art L

06/05/2014 07:55 pm

By "attacks" I thought you meant cases, not methods of attack. That's why I asked for URLs after you described theoretical methods. You talk a lot about it and seem to know what you are saying. I thought you might be one who could show a real case of negative SEO attacks that worked. I am not a naysayer but a skeptic. I see ads for negative SEO. I see blogs about how to use tools to watch out for negative SEO. I see blogs that claim negative SEO but don't explain. I don't see any case studies that have enough information to show that it actually works any worse than one's own link building.

Rob Kissell

06/05/2014 07:57 pm

The more crap that the algos penalize the easier it is to perform negative tact on others. Plain and simple.

Art L

06/05/2014 07:57 pm

I get those all the time. I have some sites that don't get much more traffic than that :( Those are bots. Are those negative SEO?

Jerry

06/05/2014 08:07 pm

It could be proven while minimizing variables. 1. Find a site that has no spam links and is not too big not too small. 2. Add spam links or hire a neg seo. 3. Document the effects. 4. Write first article proving the danger of negative seo.

wertwert

06/05/2014 08:10 pm

I appreciate that you clarified that. I was mistaken in calling you a naysayer. I apologize for that. bad backlinks are a very weak negative SEO attack in my opinion... spoiling your googlebot crawl. duplicating your content whether on other sites or by tricking Google to think it is dupes on your own site. Using search engine bots as a DOS vector with domain tricks... passing on google penalties with domain redirection... these attacks are very real. The reason I speak so well about them is because I live and breath dealing with them as part of my job. Here is something you can do to prove or disprove it for yourself... check your keyword rankings... Then check your logs and wait for googlebot to start crawling your site. DOS your own site to the point it largely responds with 500 errors for a few hours. The next day check your rankings again. You will dip for about 3-5 days until Google comes back and checks again.

wertwert

06/05/2014 08:13 pm

bots (usual the same old hacking scripts that get passed around by rookies) but the people who do negative SEO well would rather gain access to your sites. So you cant rule out the possibility of it being the same persons.

Art L

06/05/2014 08:20 pm

I'm sure a DOS attack can wreak havok. But that is not what most people think of when they hear negative SEO. It is not what they think of when asked if Google made negative SEO easier with Penguin and link penalties. Most people reading this thread have probably not even considered the things you describe as existing, let alone being something Google has control over.

Rob Thomas

06/05/2014 08:22 pm

Sure that would actually work great. 1. they would have to not care about site revenue 2. they would have to not care about future traffic 3. make sure no one else adds links 4. make sure I don't talk to them because If I find a good medium sized site that has decent traffic, no spam links and they want to throw it away, i will buy it from them.

wertwert

06/05/2014 08:31 pm

Thats a problem... people think negative SEO = bad links... sure that is the vanilla flavor of it but anything that aims to wreck you in the SERPs or ruin your reputation with Google is negative SEO. I wish it was just bad links. God my job would be easier then. :) Google doesn't have to punish my rankings right away for 500 errors. I understand why they do it... They don't have to wait 3-5 days to check again either. Google doesn't have to pass penalties over domain redirects but they do. Google doesn't have to punish bad backlinks when it could not count them AND have the added benefit of bad links not being a black hat tactic. Google has the control it needs and still chooses to do it this way. At least 404s don't effect rankings anymore... that is the one example where they did stop the insanity, but they are a long way from doing right by webmasters in my opinion... (I know Durant they aren't obligated to...their policy and methods still suck)

Ben Guest

06/05/2014 08:31 pm

Be careful as you might make people's heads explode as they realize just how technical SEO truly is. We need to just talk about links and quality content to avoid a nuclear meltdown please. ;-)

Jerry

06/05/2014 09:02 pm

It would totally be worth burning the domain if you could be the first to really prove it. Would be organic link gold to the site that published it.

Jerry

06/05/2014 09:05 pm

If you do so much as mention that spam is usually self inflicted, people go bonkers. We can't expect them to understand much more than "everything is someone else's fault" let alone that technical stuff is important too.

James

06/06/2014 07:51 am

Oh honestly - this is ridiculous. You know what I see? A shadowy criminal character dressed all in black. The other character is dressed in blue, red and green ... perhaps he's a martian? SHOCK! Barry is being demeaning to martians! Call the cops, call the press! Why do people go out of their way to be offended at nothing these days?

Bastie

06/06/2014 08:45 am

It is pretty easy and it does not cost that much money. One of my phonesex sites ;-) dropped almost completely with last penguin. A competitor fired about 500k trackback links from hacked wordpress sites on my domain, wich costs round about 80$ I'm disvowing all the time, but it is hard to find all thoses bad links, it takes me time and money, and sorry for the words, but this sucks! Cant wait until the next penguin update to come, and hopefully i can recover from it?

StevenLockey

06/06/2014 08:54 am

Yeah cos there is no way I could change my IP address at all is there......... like by say using a proxy, resetting a dynamic IP internet connection, using a different connection e.t.c.

StevenLockey

06/06/2014 08:55 am

Hate to break it to you, but real black people aren't actually jet-black ;)

chumpty

06/06/2014 09:19 am

I've noticed this trend in negative SEO where the perpertrator is targeting non-existing comments or other nonsense URLs as stated above. I don't see any reason why Google couldn't at least detect these and ignore.

Raoul

06/06/2014 09:55 am

We have big problems with negative SEO. Millions of auto generated subdomains and pages, all spam, linking on many pages from our site. The spammer has Protected whois and Cloudflare in place. I cannot believe this, but I'm screaming about a new Penguin. I wait for google to integrate Penguin in Algo!

Nate Mook

06/06/2014 10:00 am

Exactly the same problem here! And the cloudflare system is a perfect protection. wirelesskeyboardsolutions.com bestinkjetprinterever.com bloodtoothspeakerchoices.com chromebookreviewer.com wireless-keyboard-lover.com Each one with infinite subdomain and pages! Of Course we use domain: in the disavow tool, but no Penguin! Why is Penguin so late?

David Beart

06/06/2014 12:01 pm

Sorry to hear that you are dealing with the same type of problem; unfortunately the reality is ClouldFlare (Hosting company) won't do anything about it, nor will few see this as 'negative seo'. I looked at the dates the url's were set up... the URL's that had links to our site we created on 2014-02-07, the group of URLs with links to your site were created on 2014-05-02

Jenny Halasz

06/06/2014 01:14 pm

Negative SEO is real and I've seen it in action for a couple of the sites I've worked on. It is generally pretty uncommon, but if you have a determined competitor... The bottom line is, if you don't believe negative SEO is real, spend some time lurking in the blackhat forums. You'll be astonished by the number of people who share tactics for negative SEO and claim victory. Granted, victory claims aren't definitive, but I can tell you from personal experience that sometimes they are true. And Google has made it much easier than ever before to carry out negative SEO by focusing on punitive actions rather than positive ones.

Jenny Halasz

06/06/2014 01:22 pm

But it's all about content! Content is King! And SEO is dead. LOL.

Jenny Halasz

06/06/2014 01:27 pm

I agree with you. Why wouldn't blackhats pivot to selling damage services now that their old tactics for selling ranking services don't work anymore? Negative SEO is a problem now, but not a huge one. If this continues for another year or so though, those blackhats are going to get hungry. Just think of all the affiliates that getting murdered in rankings with white hat techniques and being forced to pivot to black hat. Life will find a way to survive.

Yo Mamma

06/06/2014 01:30 pm

Here we go again, the self-promoting SEO wunderkind

Canada SEO

06/06/2014 02:18 pm

Right on Nick, give it to them straight!

Ashley

06/06/2014 02:38 pm

The simple solution for Googleis to ignore the spammy links entirely, like they don't exist. @mattcutts, if you're reading this. Please do a Penguin update soon. 8 months of lost income is enough. People are losing their livelihoods over this. We are talking about people's lives here... mortgages, kids schooling.. the lot!

wertwert

06/06/2014 04:16 pm

You are not offended... others might be. You are not everyone.

wertwert

06/06/2014 04:18 pm

symbolism can be offensive too. Like I already said... I am certain Barry meant nothing by it...

Ben Guest

06/06/2014 07:02 pm

What I am offering is a way to show the Goog who is actually working on the websites, therefore, they can simply ignore these spammy, PROXY practices. If the Goog can't simply tell those apart then it's a crappy algo and we should us DuckDuckGo instead. However, looks like we'll need to raise our prices as SEO providers, and include negative SEO monitoring into our services since no one can offer up a solution. We should start our "Ignore All Links" campaign, too.

Vimal Venkatesh

06/06/2014 07:48 pm

Oh God! Negative SEO is really a big headache. However, Google couldn't take an action immediately against all spammers because they don't mind it. Between Negative SEO is much easier in Google to outrank the competitors. Nowadays, Online reputation management (ORM) getting more and more difficult for all webmasters. Not sure how Google would help us but I believe they're digging more in deep for this Negative SEO attack.

StevenLockey

06/09/2014 09:22 am

Except all 3 of your techniques mentioned are heavily flawed: 1> Illegal and expensive/time-consuming. Having the resources to get a bot-net in place, let alone one big enough to seriously affect any half decently set-up server isn't cheap. Also GoogleBot doesn't tend to follow a fixed pattern so its not a reliable method either. I suppose you could use your own resources but thats not exactly easy or cheap either and makes it a lot easier to get arrested. So not only has this got a good chance to fail, but its very expensive to do. If you are going to do something like this, you may as well just hack the site itself instead...... 2> You get a warning message, you sort it out. At worst assuming you have your WMTs alerts on, you get a warning. Often Google ignores the poisoned domain altogether however meaning again its not reliable, its easy to fix and basically only works on small, unestablished sites. 3> Requires you to sacrifice a domain with higher trust/authority in the area than the domain you are trying to hurt. If you already have a site with higher trust/authority than the target site, then basically you would be an idiot to use it for NSEO which will cause it to lose that trust/authority, when you could immediately out-rank the other site. Also easy to fix.... So basically all the 3 NSEO techniques are unreliable and easy to counter, hardly a big deal..... The majority of the NSEO problem isn't NSEO, its £3/month hosting companies and £200 websites that are both quite frankly shit. Most NSEO attempts just exploit weaknesses in the site-build or host as these techniques show. A decent site on a decent host is NEARLY (not totally) immune to NSEO, assuming it is setup correctly.

Suumit Shah

06/09/2014 04:15 pm

Well yeah, negative SEO is much simpler and effective as well I guess! One of my competitors created all sex and viagra related links to my website http://bluehostcouponsplace.snappages.com/ and all my SERP's got down within a week :(

Art L

06/09/2014 05:52 pm

Ahrefs says you have one link. Either the site you dropped here is not the one you are talking about, or ahrefs has not found any of those spam links. Or you are just making it up so you can drop a link here, where disqus is used and those links are nofollow. If ahrefs has not found the new spam links yet and you really only have that one link, you should probably get to work on getting some good links. That single link from some polish spam site is not going to work out very well for you. Majestic also shows no links. This is not a "negative SEO" problem. This is a "zero SEO" problem.

Art L

06/09/2014 05:56 pm

Nothing in SEO is simple. Believing that is what gets people in trouble.

Art L

06/09/2014 06:04 pm

Did you manage to get out of your unnatural links penalty from over a year ago before this attack happened? It would be nice if you could just blame someone else's negative SEO attack for your problems, but I don't think those Bandwidth Exceeded links are it. Unfortunately, Google remembers what your old links were like.

David Beart

06/09/2014 06:22 pm

When Google updated Panda on May 20th our traffic did jump up about 25%, unfortunately we are still down by about 200% from 3 years back. As for these attacks we get a couple a year; prior to this attack, 25 URL' on 6 different servers were created that included thousands of links to our site hidden in frames.

Art L

06/09/2014 06:53 pm

Given that the only times negative SEO has even looked like it worked was when hundreds of linking domains were involved, and the site already had lots of spam links, it seems like yours might be more of a problem with things done in the past rather than 6 new domains that are probably not counted or indexed due to their 100% junky nature and being non-functioning. If you are still down 200% from a few years ago, I'd say those old problems are still there and these new spam links are not helping, but probably not making things much worse. Use ahrefs or linkresearchtools to monitor new links and disavow for piece of mind, but take another real good look at what was wrong before those attacks happened. I have seen no publicized cases of neg seo working on previously spam-free sites. Just a lot of unconfirmed anecdotes and people who choose to ignore the past.

Art L

06/09/2014 06:56 pm

Just a thought since you got a little boost when Panda was softened, that makes me think there may be more to do to dodge the panda. Maybe you are blaming links when the site itself has the problems. If the softer panda was kinder to you, look at quality issues, duplication on and off site and other panda issues.

David Beart

06/09/2014 06:59 pm

We were not perfect in the past as we did do article marketing, however we have followed every single rule and some during the last year and a half. What frustrates me is ones 'past' is never lifted when it comes SEO... even if you really go out of your way to follow the rules.

David Beart

06/09/2014 07:03 pm

We disavowed 3,002 domains, removed our forms & blogs as they contained a lot of link spam, deleted 10% of our content that could have been better, eliminated sections that were not focused on the core of our site etc., ... there is not much more we can do but see what happens when the next penguin algo is released. We have went from 15,000 visitors a day to 4,000 over the last 2 years (all of that traffic was from organic search)

Art L

06/09/2014 09:07 pm

Have hope! Recoveries do happen, but you won't go back to where you were before link penalties since those links won't count anymore. Sounds like you did a lot of clean up. But something a lot of people don't do is look at the site not just for things that were intentionally wrong, but things that were not right. What I mean is things like duplicate content generated not to trick google, but by the sites layout or navigation. Wordpress categories & tags, for example. Or an ecommerce site's variations of products. Anything that has mostly the same text on a different URL. Overall usability is important too. Like if your home page is a jumbled mess of excerpts & links to other pages. Except for really bad link spam, I don't think any of the penalties are permanent if the problem is fixed.

David Beart

06/09/2014 11:09 pm

One thing I don't understand is why so many people say "you won't go back to where you were before the penalties"; the reason i say this is during the last 3 years the quality of our content has drastically increased, we have added 700 original articles and we have better inbound links. What we did in our past was not perfect... however I don't think what we did (article marketing) should be held against us forever.

Jerry

06/09/2014 11:51 pm

People say that because: 1 Webmasters often panic and cease all activity when penalized. 2 You haven't said what the site is, so you are going to get generic answers. Did you remove / disavow all the links that were even remotely like any examples that came with the warning or reconsideration denial? If the penalty was never revoked, there must be more which is frustrating. If penalty is gone you may still be waiting for penguin, assuming all bogus links are eliminated, or some odd technical issue exists as suggested earlier. When panda first started many people thought they were wrongly penalized but then found they had lots of site structure problems. Still sucks to have to find out the hard way though.

David Beart

06/10/2014 12:52 am

We didn't 'panic', in fact for months after our traffic started to drop, we did nothing... when we got a "unnatural linking penalty' back on May 28th of 2013, we spent several weeks removing articles we distributed through article marketing sites, paid to have others removed etc. After being denied 4 times, on August 12th the penalty was lifted, but our traffic did not go up at all, in fact it went down even more. As for bogus links removed, I believe we got a majority of them as we used ahref's, GWT, Moz and Cognitiveseo.

Jerry

06/10/2014 01:11 am

Sounds like you are either waiting for penguin like so many of us, or still have links to remove, or missed some on page issue. Have you had anyone look it over for technical issues you may have missed? You haven't mentioned any technical things found or fixed. Those count as quality issues too. Post the site & story in googles product forum. John Mueller often chimes in with insights on situations where everything has been tried. Even if he doesn't, the helpers there often find things the owner might miss.

David Beart

06/10/2014 02:40 am

As for trying to figure out what links we may have missed, it would be nice if Google would just say... hey, we think your trying to game us with these links... or these links look spammy. The reality is almost all webmasters would gladly disavow the links regardless if they created them... or they were created by people trying to harm a site. I think a lot of people are done playing the game and just want to create a good site, add good content and grow their followers... but old links that we can't get rid of are holding us back. As for Google's product forum, I have outlined our issues there several months back... a lot of the comments were we need to be more focused on a niche... well we run a site about all that happens in a home (family, pets, food, decor and relationships)... the general consensus was we should focus on just pets.

wertwert

06/10/2014 04:14 pm

What am I going to do? Work with chinese authorities to catch something that probably isn't even criminal yet in any country... Odds are you can only sue someone for civil damages and I'd bet the people doing it don't have a lot to lose. Neg SEO is all about cheap and free... WMT does not alert on most Neg SEO attacks... my network administrator however does in the form of keeping notified of DOS incidents. No the quality of your host has little to do with protecting you from Neg SEO... DNS and server configuration, canonical tags, no archive no cache tags, detecting forwarded domains, and spotting crawl interruption attacks ... these things help, but the tactics evolve. And NEG SEO isn't just bad links.

StevenLockey

06/10/2014 04:28 pm

Why not address the points instead of replying with an inaccurate pile of poo. Any major penalty applied to a site by Google WILL result in an alert. Ranking shifts won't but you aren't talking about a ranking shift here. Neg SEO is not cheap or free to actually do one of the techniques that actually works as I've shown above. Also, running DDos attacks in China has a potential death penalty (unlikely but possible) so the penalties are actually higher over there, but if we are talking about actually hacking the server like this, we may as well include hacking into the site and just turning the website off..... Not exactly NSEO but would have the same affect. You are exaggerating the thread of NSEO massively and making it sound far far easier than it is. Its not something that is easy, quick or cheap to do and even with the best preparation in the world, there is no guarantee of success.

StevenLockey

06/11/2014 03:32 pm

Actually no, links are just disavowed automatically. Often this feels like a penalty as these links may have been passing credit before, so you do take a ranking decrease, but only to where you should be without the spammy links. The only actual penalty for spammy links is a manual penalty, this only occurs when a human reviewer at Google looks at the links and is fairly damm sure that it isn't NSEO attempt, its the site-owner attempting to spam. This ALWAYS results in the WMT message to the site owner so they can clean up the spammy links they made. Many sites without millions (literally) of spammy links have never received a penalty because Google didn't find evidence of them having placed the links themselves. So there is far less to worry about than certain scaremongers let on ;)

wertwert

06/11/2014 07:41 pm

Because you don't understand the problem... Also i didnt say DDOS... the way googlebot interuption works is to overload the listening server socket with connections that don't close... a DDOS would be needed to hurt yahoo or facebook... but a single high bandwith server can directly DOS most websites. Not exaggerating... I run 15 sites that are PR5-8 and I am actually a prime target because they are online retail with lots of cometitors... unlike NSEO naysayers who have nothing worth targetting I actaully have a lot to lose and face serious attacks every week. I guess if no one targets your no traffic blog then it must not be real. Truth is you don't know SEO and you are showing it.

Ben Guest

06/11/2014 07:53 pm

URLs? You are full of it, you SEO link analysis software seller. :-P What kind of server requests are you getting in these attacks? I forgot what two companies were going at each other awhile back. Dang, wish I could remember...

wertwert

06/11/2014 08:08 pm

I have never promoted a service or product in any post... One of the repeat offenders would scan the Google cache entries to my site then when one updated they new googlebot was crawling the site. Then they flood the webserver with unclosing requests to a product page and dial up the request thread count until the server starts returning 500 errors... only need to keep it up for an hour or two to cause 3-5 days of damage in the serps (time it takes googlebot to come back and see your site is responding again) I solved this one by adding the NOARCHIVE NOCACHE meta tags so google would stop presenting the cache dates to my attacker. It is real. It had very measurable effects on organic revenue and rankings and cost me about $10K per incident in sales. And if you didn't know to look for it it would look like a feeble DOS attack that failed or an aggressive bot, but in fact it was a very successful negative SEO attack.

Ben Guest

06/11/2014 08:20 pm

No reason to call people names especially when they hit the sarcasm key. :-P So you do Network Admin stuff, too? I was looking to get a cert in that department. Should I start with CompTia or Cisco?

wertwert

06/11/2014 08:23 pm

You are right... I took it out... Too many people giving me grief when I give honest info.. its hard to tell sarcasm apart. Sorry about that. I'm old school... I would go Cisco because most of the interfaces are emulated by other vendors. But that doesn't mean it is good advice. Do what you enjoy doing. I also do not do the network administration for my sites... we are a 300 person company. But I wear a lot of hats because you have to understand all the pieces to connect the dots. After caffeine/mayday/instant updates we dropped to a 75 person company... we have since rebounded primarily due to social marketing. organic search revenue is 5% of our revenue now. 5% is still millions of dollars for us. So still important. It will never recover... people use facebook and twitter now instead of spending all their time websurfing... Google's heyday is waning too. I wish bing would stop playing copycat and actually compete... someday maybe.

Ben Guest

06/11/2014 08:42 pm

You're good my friend. I have tough skin. Yeah, I was looking into CCENT. Just need to see what's going to benefit us the most then jump on it. Thanks for the insight.

StevenLockey

06/12/2014 08:54 am

Absolute BS and scaremongering. If you overload the listening server socket that IS a DDOS attack, or at the very least a DOS attack, but if your server is so shit that it doesn't automatically filter lots of spam from a single target, well.... The server ISP should automatically filter that as well.. So basically if a DOS attack is working against your server, your server setup desperately needs fixing. That simple. Clearly you don't know much about basic system security. This is why DDOS and BotNet were developed in the first place. If your sites are so valuable, why are you putting them on 2-bit servers with no defences? Guess what, a large chunk of our customers are also on-line retail. Also on-line data processing, both traditional targets, so we actually learnt how to take basic security/protection measures. I would suggest that you do the same. The fact you even mention PR clearly shows it is you who have no to little knowledge of SEO, PR means absolutely nothing other than a link count. A site can have high PR because it has a million spammy links pointing at it. If you are really having these problems, I'd suggest looking into changing to a half-decent host. Even for DDOS problems, something like cloud-flare can help mitigate all but the biggest attacks (so far they managed to mitigate the largest DDOS attack recorded in history). You make a lot of assumptions, but so far, you've shown absolutely zero evidence that actually supports what you are saying. Every "NSEO attack" I've seen, including on the webmaster forums has turned out to be nothing of the sort. There is a lot of people spreading BS about NSEO to try and scare people in to using their services e.t.c. Which is basically what most of it has come from, BS SEO services trying to scare people into paying them.

StevenLockey

06/12/2014 08:58 am

Except it is faulty and will never work because you are relying on the SEOs to be trustworthy and not game the system. As soon as one SEO breaks it and logs into a mate's computer to commit his dodgy practices (which would be undetectable to Google as the same person), then your whole plan falls down. You don't need to do any additional monitoring for NSEO other than what you should be doing for any standard SEO customer, watching GWMT and the analytics. In the very unlikely occurrence of a NSEO attack on your site, you will see it there first.

StevenLockey

06/12/2014 09:05 am

Wow, your ego! I'm 100% sure Google don't give a crap about you one way or the other, same as they don't about me. If they wanted your website out the SERPs, it would be gone. Its that simple and there would be nothing you could do about it or complain about. They just don't care. If they did, explain these SERPs: https://www.google.com/search?q=scroogled&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&gws_rd=ssl or these: https://www.google.com/search?q=scroogled&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&gws_rd=ssl#q=google+is+evil&safe=off Again, they don't give a crap. That simple

StevenLockey

06/12/2014 09:07 am

Not really, they might cause some already dodgy stuff to get checked a bit earlier than it would have done otherwise, but the only way to get the ranking decrease would be because the stuff would have got removed anyway so the ranking decrease would have happened anyway, or to cause a penalty.

Suumit Shah

06/12/2014 09:36 am

I wasn't talking about the link that I left in previous comment! It was some different blog and ahrefs is showing more than 90% keywords related to sex and viagra in its pie chart. And yeah, I have enough knowledge about SEO and epspecially DISQUS comments that they are nofollow :) And that was "Negative SEO" problem, which you feels like "Zero SEO" lol :P

Jerry

06/12/2014 11:29 am

You exactly said that was the site your competitor attacked. You lied. Do you sell negative SEO or are you just an idiot who likes to make things up?

Suumit Shah

06/12/2014 12:48 pm

Lol Jerry :) Check this is site URL which was negatively SEO'd by one guy in order to let me down: http://hostgatorcouponsuperdiscount.net check backlinks and anchor texts dude! And FYI, I dont do such shitty stuff like negative SEO to earn bucks, neither I like to make things up by putting shitty comments on shitty blogs like this!

Jerry

06/12/2014 01:15 pm

Hah! That site is almost pure spam. Looks like you are trying to trick people into thinking it is an official hostgator site when it is not. In ahrefs, your oldest links are no better than those "negative" seo links. If that site isn't ranking well, then Google got it right. That answers my question. You are not only dishonest, but you may be so stupid that you don't know you are a spammer. Why did you drop that irrelevant link in your first comment- were you lying about negative SEO or were you link spamming that site?!

Art L

06/12/2014 01:22 pm

Why would you post that link saying "One of my competitors created all sex and viagra related links to my website_____" if that wasn't the site you were talking about? Do you think everyone is so foolish that they would believe whatever you said? Maybe you just thought you could get a link to your spammy coupon site. People like you are why SEO's have such a bad reputation. Dishonest and incompetent. Like Jerry said, your links are all bad, even the old ones that aren't viagra and sex. The links are almost as bad as your site.

Art L

06/12/2014 01:34 pm

That's how the deterrent aspect of penalties works. If people thought they could try to cheat and then just hit a reset button when they get caught, the penalties and algo filters would mean very little. They would just start over again. Going through your comments, it seems as if you have been given advice but are ignoring the elephant in the room in favor of whining about Google and blaming competitors. It may be that you did a lot more link spamming than you think, or admit to, and have made the domain so toxic that recovery is not likely. Your secrecy about what the site is makes it seem like you know there are things wrong with the site or maybe your own link building, but you just don't want to hear it. If you have tried everything you know how to do and can't fix it, maybe you don't know everything there is to know about how to fix it. Try to hire someone who does know more about it and save yourself a lot of grief.

David Beart

06/12/2014 01:52 pm

Art...This post is about negative SEO, not about my site. As for being secretive about my site, I have nothing to hide, if you want to check out my site it is http://www.professorshouse.com . I did not add the link as I wanted to just get across that that negative SEO happens, that people build links into other sites to try and do harm. I have admitted above that in the past that we did due article article marketing and have done our best to remove all those links/articles. The reality is we have experienced several attacks over the years and have to spend a lot of hours disavowing/removing links.

Nick Ker

06/12/2014 01:55 pm

"Absolute BS and scaremongering" Have you ever seen a negative SEO claim that is not that? Mostly it is "I saw a sasquatch! I don't have pictures, but I see it every day. I won't tell you where, but my friend saw it too. No, he won't tell you where either. We don't want more sasquatches to come after us for telling you we saw one!" OK that's not exactly fair - some people just don't know what they are talking about and think it is negative SEO when they get penalized for all the links they created themselves and notice a few that they didn't build are also in the mix. NSEO sellers, and shady SEOs who need an excuse for why their clients sites have tanked may also be among them. There may truly be some that really didn't do anything wrong, knowingly or unknowingly. Like sasquatch, I haven't seen one myself - but that doesn't mean they aren't out there somewhere.

Art L

06/12/2014 02:32 pm

I understand you wanted to get across the point that negative SEO happens. But you can't really make a good point without some evidence. When you post about your problem as often as you do and say it is negative SEO, you have made the discussion about your site at least in part. Take a look at your site in this penalty indicator that estimates your traffic and compares it to the dates of known algo updates. http://feinternational.com/website-penalty-indicator/?url=www.professorshouse.com&semdb=us&captcha=2BKG&prefix=1634144851 You got a panda hit in 2011, then multiple panda hits after fall 2012, then maybe a penguin in May 2013 but it is hard to say about that since you had gone down so far before that. Looks like your problem is more with something about the site than those unwanted links. If you had no previous problems with unnatural links and panda quality issues, then you may have had a point about negative SEO. Maybe those links did cause the drop in may 2013, but it appears that you had or still have much bigger problems than that. Take a look at siteliner for duplicate content, and other issues. http://www.siteliner.com/professorshouse.com?siteliner=site-dashboard&siteliner-sort=scan_time&siteliner-from=1&siteliner-message= A lot of your pages closely match other pages in content. This is a very common quality problem in sites hit by Panda. You also said the google forum mods told you to narrow the focus. I understand that won't work due to the nature of the site, but multi-purpose sites have fallen out of favor in Google search over the past few years. If you want Google search traffic, you may have to deal with that. Rather than having the home page be a collection of recent posts of what Google may see as random unrelated things, you might do well to add some content that helps define what the site is and what people can expect from it, and maybe links to the various topic sections along with maybe just one feature or recent thing from each topic. Each topic could also have an overview, too, which would make it like its own home page within the main site.

David Beart

06/12/2014 02:52 pm

Though i appreciate the links and information the "Panda" penalty may not be our fault. Back in 2012 someone created a site called "www.focushill.com" and copied 1,200 of our articles and loaded it up with adsense. It took a bit but we had the site taken down and most of these articles/links removed from the web. You can see the "Chilling Effects" report here: http://173.194.10.20/transparencyreport/removals/copyright/requests/262978/ . To be honest I don't know how long all this duplicated content was up as we were not using copyscape at that time. I am not saying our site is perfect by any means... it could be improved, all I want to get across is there are people out there that continue to build UNWANTED links to our site. No one knows for sure if these links are the reason I traffic has crashed, all I know is I am tired of having to review links, disavow them and ask webmasters to remove them.

Art L

06/12/2014 03:05 pm

There's that elephant in the room again. Those duplicates in siteliner were on your site, not others. To put it simply, you are not looking in the right direction when you look at links or other sites scraping yours. That penalty indicator site is quite accurate, and it looks like you have ongoing panda problems. Panda is about the quality of your own site. Scraped or external duplicate content does come into play, but that does not mean you can safely ignore real issues with your site. You can keep saying negative SEO is your big problem, but that won't do anything about all those other problems that were there before and still exist. People may still be building unwanted links to your site, but given the previous penalty and now obvious panda issues, there is no valid reason to believe that those links are much of a problem at all.

David Beart

06/12/2014 03:22 pm

I am not saying that negative SEO is the ONLY reason that our traffic tanked, but that the constant links being built into our site by others is NOT helping the situation. There is a reason someone/some people are building links into our site and I have NO clue why. Over the last 3 months we have removed about 10% of our content and thousands of inbound links... the results is traffic is up about 20%... perhaps after the next penguin update we may increase again.

Stefan

06/12/2014 03:23 pm

It's also a content farm or looks just like one. He's been told all that and more before in the google product forum.

wertwert

06/12/2014 03:54 pm

First: You say "Absolute BS and scaremongering." BS... I give the remedies I have found for real problems I have faced... If I was a fear-monger I wouldn't share the solution. You're just an ignorant naysayer. Second: You say "If you overload the listening server socket that IS a DDOS attack" ... *NO* it is DOS ... the first "D" in DDOS is not present. Third: You say "if your server is so shit that it doesn't automatically filter lots of spam from a single target, well...." Well if you play that game out you end up blocking large bodies of people using internet gateways like Universities and large corporations. We now know you are a bad network admin. Fourth: you say: "The server ISP should automatically filter that as well.." What? what? what are you smoking? Fifth: You say "your server setup desperately needs fixing." At times this has been the case for NEW problems and types of attacks. That is true for everyone. SSL vulnerabilities come to mind recently and EVERYONE had to update. Sixth: You say "That simple." Seeing how much you got wrong in just the first paragraph I think we can say you are wrong here too. Seventh: You say "If your sites are so valuable, why are you putting them on 2-bit servers with no defences" They are 16 core motherboards with maxed out RAM and cost about $25K each... doesn't matter IF THE CONNECTIONS ARE CODED TO NOT CLOSE... This is NOT NORMAL TRAFFIC. It uses up the connection pool which is a VERY LIMITED RESOURCE... if you knew what you were talking about you would know this. Eighth: You say "we actually learnt how to take basic security/protection measures." You learnt? I'll bet you did. Nineth: You say "PR means absolutely nothing other than a link count." Show me a PR8 that doesn't deserve and got it with spammy links. Guess you're wrong again. Tenth: You say "I'd suggest looking into changing to a half-decent host." We have more traffic than Oprah... We colo with a shit ton of bandwidth and CDN with amazon. Better host? You keep tipping your hand at how little you know... Eleventh: You say "cloud-flare can help mitigate all but the biggest attacks " Like I've said before.. these attacks cost me about $10K per incident. Cloudflare is not free at my scale... It would cost $50k-$100 per month to solve this with cloudflare... Thanks genius. Someone who knew what they were talking about would have suggested an appliance to keep it cost effective like a Big IP from F5. 12th: you say "You make a lot of assumptions" No... I shared my own experiences and solutions and got a bunch of shit from you for it. 13th: You say "you've shown absolutely zero evidence" testimony is a form of evidence... step to reproduce and solutions to address. so wrong again. 14th: You say "BS SEO services trying to scare people into paying them" I have never promoted nor do I offer a product or service in the SEO space. I work for a large online retailer. If I was doing what you say then why would I give the solutions I have found to work for these very real attacks. In summary you were wrong in just about every statement you made. Disappointed that Art upvoted that load of crap.

Suumit Shah

06/12/2014 04:17 pm

Jerry! Dude I guess you are not aware about HostGator affiliate marketing! That site clearly indicates that it is hostgator coupons site and not any bullshit official site. And I can get that how "SMART" you're to judget links quality lol :) I sold that blog for 80k USD which was already generated 15k USD per month just because I was afraid of loosing ranking! And before talking such nonsense stuff about me, see my profile! Now put your finger in your ass and taste it, you'd feel better! get a life dude!

wertwert

06/12/2014 05:10 pm

Google never drops the hammer on websites... *sarcasm* Im sure google doesn't give a shit about me and I intend to keep it that way. Any decent SEO knows there is just no value in being on their radar. As vocally anti-google as I am there is always risk.

Art L

06/13/2014 01:38 pm

While you wait for penguin to come along and not make a difference, it wouldn't hurt to follow the advice that people have been giving you for over a year. You can keep complaining about a negative SEO attack that does not look like it had any impact, or you can address the website's issues that you know about.

David Beart

06/13/2014 03:16 pm

Guess only time will tell if you are right.. or wrong. As we were also hit on November 17, 2012 an update to the new MetaFilter penalty may also help us out. Between that one and the upcoming Penguin algorithm, I am looking forward to updates.

Asad

06/13/2014 03:43 pm

MetaFilter penalty? I think you are confused. MetaFilter is a site that seems to have experienced penalty but it is not a new separate penalty as far as anyone can tell. Ranking drops are not always the result of a penalty. Sometimes the algorithm just changes. It may well have been something that changed on the metafilter site.There may be some similarities that could affect your site as well, but your problems in search go back further than that and have not improved before or after November 2012. You have peen pointed to several issues on your site that are much more likely to be a problem. It is difficult to look at your own site objectively, but that is where you must start. You say you have removed or disavowed all the bad links, but every time someone here or in google forum tell you to look at your site, you disregard it and say it is from somewhere else. You get plenty of free advice from people who know much about it. You should take action on it. You have lots of duplicate content showing on your site. This is a major Panda issue. If you just wait and not do anything about that, you will get the same results.

David Beart

06/13/2014 04:01 pm

Though the software may show 'duplicated' content, we don't add 'duplicate content' to our site... in fact of the 2,500 ish articles on the site 99% are original and over 900 words. Sure there might be some similarities in content, but for the most part the articles cover different slants on a topic. For example when it comes to training a dog or disciplining a child we have several articles on these subjects to provide different views on the subject matter. Some software may show it as duplicate content... but its not.

Art L

06/13/2014 05:22 pm

You are completely missing the point. The duplicate content is indeed there. It does not matter if you did it on purpose or not. Siteliner and others look at the words and phrases and compare the text of entire pages, not just the content area of the posts. It may not be duplicated from one post to another, but many pages contain enough of the same words and phrases to be considered duplicate. Pages full of excerpts can and do trigger Panda when they appear to be duplicate content. That is why many people noindex category and tag archives. The algorithm does not care whether or not you did it on purpose. It only cares about what it sees on the pages. Nobody likes to think his own website is to blame. Put away stubborn pride and look at your site in Siteliner. It will show you large blocks of text that it has found in multiple places, just like Google's bots will see.

StevenLockey

06/16/2014 10:57 am

Yep, almost all of the 'NSEO' claims I've seen are just old spammy links getting discounted, with the newer spammy links not doing anything at all, yet the webmaster thinks its NSEO because of the hype people are creating about it.

StevenLockey

06/16/2014 11:31 am

"You say "If you overload the listening server socket that IS a DDOS attack" ... *NO* it is DOS ... the first "D" in DDOS is not present." And is irrelevant because with a single stream of traffic that large, any half decent network provider will just block that stream entirely. So its pointless unless your networking setup is completely retarded. Which was the point I made, is that DOS attacks don't work anymore, they haven't for years. "Third: You say "if your server is so shit that it doesn't automatically filter lots of spam from a single target, well...." Well if you play that game out you end up blocking large bodies of people using internet gateways like Universities and large corporations. We now know you are a bad network admin." Unsurprisingly, this is done dynamically, not with large static blocks of IP addresses....... "Fourth: you say: "The server ISP should automatically filter that as well.." What? what? what are you smoking?" If your server ISP doesn't have an automated system to do this, I would strongly advise finding a half decent one that does. Clearly you don't know much about Network Administration do you? Preventing this kind of attack is built into a lot of routing hardware these days, hence why DDOS attacks are used exclusively since its far harder to deal with multiple simultaneous attacks. "They are 16 core motherboards with maxed out RAM and cost about $25K each... doesn't matter IF THE CONNECTIONS ARE CODED TO NOT CLOSE... " The hardware doesn't matter if they don't have the basic software protection they need. If the connections DON'T automatically time-out when not in use, then again, thats an issue with YOUR server/software been shit. You can have the best hardware in the world, if the software is shit, it'll still be a shit unprotected server. "Show me a PR8 that doesn't deserve and got it with spammy links. Guess you're wrong again." PR7 http://www.highrankdirectory.com/ That took two seconds to find. There are thousands more. Google have said PR means nothing, pretty much anyone who has a clue has said PR means nothing. Its JUST a count of incoming links, it doesn't really do anything. There are spammy PR8 and 9 sites, not seen a spammy PR10 site but it wouldn't surprise me if it existed. "We have more traffic than Oprah... We colo with a shit ton of bandwidth and CDN with amazon. Better host? You keep tipping your hand at how little you know..." And? If you need DDOS protection you have to pay for it. DDOS is NOT NSEO. It never has been and never will be. Learn what you are talking about please. "testimony is a form of evidence... step to reproduce and solutions to address. so wrong again." No, some idiot spouting rumours when he doesn't have a clue is not testimony. At best, since you are going to use legal terms, it would be 'hear-say' which isn't acceptable as testimony. "If I was doing what you say then why would I give the solutions I have found to work for these very real attacks." Give the solutions for the easy to cure but uncommon ones so when the more difficult ones come round you like more competent at dealing with them. Its pretty much one of the oldest marketing tactics in the book. Perhaps people are upvoting it because its true and you don't know what you are talking about? Every point I made was correct, perhaps you should try actually reading them properly.

Nate RealEcon

06/20/2014 09:47 am

I would say the only way to protect yourself from NSEO is to be constantly publishing tons of quality content on your site and other web2s and social media sites pointing to your site. As well as creating other links on respectable niche related sites back to yours. If you have enough self similar-ness surrounding your site, even if someone blasts a bunch of spun content to parasites and links to you, it wont make as much of a difference. Try blasting strong authority sites in any niche, it doesnt matter so much. But the danger is getting NSEOed before your site has that self similar strength behind it.

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