Are You Worried About Negative SEO? Here Is How To Take Action.

Jun 23, 2014 • 7:54 am | comments (32) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Link Building Tips & SEO

SEO ThreatNot only have webmasters claimed negative SEO works, they are saying it is much easier to implement these days than in the past.

Now, if you are worried about negative SEO, which apparently many of you are. I want you to be able to do something about it.

Now, if you were hit already, you will need to do a lot more work than what is described below. You would need to use both webmaster tools and then third party link tools to analyze your links and figure out what to get rid of.

But for those who are like me, do not have any ranking problems right now, but maybe a bit concerned over negative SEO, you can check a single report in Google Webmaster Tools every few days or weekly and manage your links there.

Just login to Webmaster Tools, go to your link report, and download the latest links. Look at them all manually and disavow the links you do not want.

Google Latest Links

I know it won't show all your latest links but it should be enough for you to stay on top of your most recent links. These links are the ones you need to stay on top of, so that negative SEO doesn't creep up and bit you.

For the rest of you, no need to worry. Just focus on what you can control and if Google slips up, it will ultimately start to hurt their market share and search quality.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: June 20, 2014


Praveen Sharma

06/23/2014 12:03 pm

Monitoring is what is all required. Nice advice Barry.

Josh Zehtabchi

06/23/2014 12:45 pm

I personally set up Google alerts on most of my sites. Granted a spammer will not always use your brand/domain name, but it's one extra layer of monitoring insurance.

Alexander Hemedinger

06/23/2014 12:50 pm

I recommend as it's a great tool of alerts from Google API and their own system from suspicious links, too many outbound links, etc. Plus you can export your results and choose to disavow or not and submit to Google. It's a great all-in-one shop.


06/23/2014 01:33 pm

Yep, never needed more than Google WMT myself. Only attempts we've seen via link-spam pop up in there, although we didn't have any ranking decrease, probably because it didn't affect the existing links which were all fully organic on all the sites we've had with this problem.


06/23/2014 03:12 pm

wow and this is the coming from the guy that screamed "there is no negative seo", hilarious.


06/23/2014 03:26 pm

Negative SEO is not limited to just negative backlinks... There is also googlebot crawl interruption and toxic domain redirection... I'd argue that the most effective negative SEO currently doesn't use backlinks at all.

Yo Mamma

06/23/2014 03:27 pm

They offer only 10,000 backlinks for $99/mo while is 5 million for $49.99/mo

Steve Erlich

06/23/2014 03:36 pm

Had negative SEO impact one of my friend's sites in late 2012, Barry. Unfortunately, Webmaster Tools took weeks to discover it and by the time it drew our attention, it was too late. Some really nasty porn links, blog comments with anchor text involving loans, with links to credit card scam sites and worse. Really got slammed in a 3-5 day period. What I've done personally is created multiple levels of security for myself. Between MajesticSEO, OpenSiteExplorer, SEO Spyglass, Webmaster Tools, Referral Domains (Google Analytics) and Google Alerts, if my sites hiccup I know about it. This costs thousands of dollars and hours/days per year to maintain, but if it saves just one of my accounts, it pays for itself. Strongly recommend all people in our industry do the same/similar. Regardless of statements from Google, negative SEO is very real especially in the service industries. The person who we tracked it back to (as best we could guess) was a personal injury client of his who was not happy with the outcome of his case. He had enough SEO knowledge to know what would hurt and absolutely slammed the site so badly I actually recommended changing the domain. It was easier and faster to rebuild a new domain's value then actually cleaning up the mess. But realistically, had this guy kept going for years on end (which I saw with another site fairly recently) there would have been very little we could do about it.


06/23/2014 03:38 pm

A bad SEO speaks without data. A marginal SEO asks to see some data. A good SEO has the data.


06/23/2014 03:38 pm

And don't forget Google +1 bombing.....


06/23/2014 03:41 pm

Yeah, but it isn't very effective in that its results are hard to reproduce. Googlebot crawl interruption however is very effective and its effects last for several days at a time.


06/23/2014 03:49 pm

A real negative SEO smash up would come from a black hat with a nice big network of crap that is under the google radar. He then makes sure that all the link tools are blocked by each sites robots file so the only way to find out if you have been smashed up is via wmt. The only problem with that is it is months and months out of date. Negative SEO smash up...job done..all with the help of google WMT.


06/23/2014 03:52 pm

You might want to try reading sometimes. There are lots of neg-seo attempts. Neg-seo can cause your spammy links (which were counted) to be discounted, but that is about it. None of that is actual neg-seo as all it does is make your site rank where it should rank. GWMT provides pretty much all the data you need to detect these and ANY penalty gives you an alert. Unlike what a lot of people seem to think, having the spammy blog/comment/article-spun link credit taken away is NOT neg-seo. That is you ranking where you should rank.


06/23/2014 03:57 pm

Yeah... Google has given toxic domains value as weapons... We are not too far from a place where a toxic domain will be worth more $$$ than a clean one. The problem with your comment is that in order for a domain to be weaponized it needs to be punished into the ground by Google and therefore must be on Google's radar.


06/23/2014 03:59 pm

And he flips again!


06/23/2014 04:02 pm

Being on Googles radar is a bad thing because it is very easy for google to dismiss those links... No, you want junk from domains in good standing ...but you want loads of them.


06/23/2014 04:11 pm

Out of curiosity how do you interrupt Googlebots crawl of a site? I've never heard of that technique :)


06/23/2014 04:21 pm

Check WMT tools? Really? That's your advice. Like any rookie SEO doesn't know to do that. Did you write this headline for click bait?


06/23/2014 04:22 pm

Well duh....


06/23/2014 04:27 pm

You monitor the google cache entries of the target site. Then when one of them updates you know googlebot is crawling... the you DOS the webserver with connections that do not close... it can be to a single page... The goal is to use up the connection pool limit which causes the crawling googlebot to get 500 errors for every page it requests. Your 500 error pages fall out of the SERPs until Google recrawls wich is usually 3-5 days later. meta nocache/noarchive tags protect you from this as it stops google from sharing your cache entries publicly and makes it so people can't track when googlebot visits.

josh bachynski (SEO)

06/23/2014 05:30 pm

I JUST saw this on a client site recently. I have an even nastier variant of that - well it is nastier IMO - email me joshbachynski at gmail


06/23/2014 06:41 pm

just sent email.... you can delete your email from comment so you don't get spammed. :)


06/23/2014 07:53 pm

Downloading the latest links from webmaster tools is no defense. That takes time and when bad links are found it also takes time to disavow them. Negative seo causes losses in not just ranks but wasted time. I'm surprised so many people don't see it this way. They must just have a lot of free time on their hands to pillage through a list of links to help Google build their database.


06/24/2014 08:17 am

You might want to try reading. I've said the same thing throughout.


06/24/2014 10:00 am

tks for the mention @alexander_hemedinger:disqus. I am the founder of cognitiveSEO and I just wanted to clarify the misunderstanding here that @disqus_05a9A0GszW:disqus is talking about. We use MajesticSEO as one of our multiple link data providers. Referring to the limit you mention, here it is how this works: the system goes and extract links from the data providers and only keeps a max of 20 links site-wide per referring domain (max). This allows you to have a clear and a clean view of a link profile, not being polluted by thousands of irrelevant links from the same referring domain. The main advantage that Alexander mentioned, I think, is the ability to setup email alerts to notify you when you get new links or even when you get unnatural links as we pre and re process all the links that enter our system in order to augment them with the unique metrics that allow you to understand the risk of the site being penalized or identify the link building strategies used by it.

Patti Paz

06/24/2014 01:21 pm

As IF Google shows all the links in its webmaster list . . . . . . NOT!!!

Yo Mamma

06/25/2014 11:33 am

I'm not sure if what you say helped or hurt your product, all I know is that its still a tough economy and people need to have options, and try those options risk free. If you are charging double per month, you need to offer AT LEAST double the service/product because its that much more $$$.

Jitendra Vaswani

06/26/2014 06:11 am

Praveen I have seen many spammers using brand names to rank well. They buy blogspot domain or wordpress domain ..... Negative SEO is at high

Praveen Sharma

06/26/2014 11:52 am

Any example? plz share

Jitendra Vaswani

06/26/2014 06:40 pm

There are many, cant share here


06/29/2014 06:23 am

I agree monitoring is crucial. you need to be vigilant. We have our own in - house real time Seo monitoring system for our clients which has helped thwart off some potential Neg Seo damage recently


07/23/2014 12:47 pm

Is it really worth it to use services like majesticseo, cognitiveseo and other similar services? My website is struggling for traffic.

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