Webmaster: I've Tested Negative SEO Through Links & It Works

Jun 9, 2014 • 8:42 am | comments (110) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

pitch forksLast week we reported that most webmasters are claiming negative SEO is easier now than ever. If you look at the conversation there, you will see it is somewhat of a hot topic.

That being said, since then, one webmaster decided not to just say it works but also said how he implemented the technique. Sadly, it was not too difficult, according to this webmaster.

The steps?

The first month, contract a couple $5 guest blog posts [make sure the posts are in broken English of course], then go back to what you were doing.

Second month, try a few more [4-8] $5 [broken English] guest blog posts and add some forum link drops to the mix. Go back to what you normally do -- Nothing will happen.

Third month, add even more [broken-English] guest blog links [2x or 3x per week], increase the forum link drops and sign up for long-term ["undetectable"] directory additions.

If the site hasn't tanked yet, month 4 hit 'em with 20,000 inbound links all at once -- Keep doing it and eventually the site you're aiming at will tank and they won't be able to figure out how to recover -- It takes almost none of your time and costs very little to tank a site due to the "penalty mentality" Google has decided to run with.

Yea, not rocket science and any SEO who would go about this would likely and logically take these steps.

Does and can it work on most sites? I do not know. I doubt it can work on really well established sites. But on the average mom and pop e-commerce site, sure - why not.

As we said before, 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.

Have you tried it? Take our poll:

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Facebook Explains Organic Reach; While Some Users Are Afraid To Like Content


J Nicholas Gross

06/09/2014 01:03 pm

"Google has said it is rare but possible since 2007" interesting - almost a year before Google acknowledged it was even possible I presented this precise strategy for making pages become... "forgotten" http://goo.gl/xP75PM "A set of pages containing the content in question are intentionally imbued with spam features (or other characteristics indicative of low value relevance) so that a search engine is less likely to index or retrieve such page in response to a query." If they were smart they'd use this kind of patent to stop the negative SEO types


06/09/2014 01:24 pm

Barry have you got a link to the discussion where this info from?

Barry Schwartz

06/09/2014 01:24 pm

Yes, two of them in the post. http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4677866.htm

Don Dikaio

06/09/2014 01:57 pm

I can't believe this is even an debatable topic. If "X,Y" = "Z" Then "Z" can equal "X,Y" (If spammy links can get you penalized then getting someone penalized with spammy links is TRUE) it's as simple as that people to say otherwise defies all common logic. Google needs to make a change in the way it handles this but chances are they've known this before they even implemented it.

victim of negative seo/Google

06/09/2014 02:13 pm

It is a webmaster world topic. Saw it a few days ago. But if you want to hire someone the business is booming just look here: \negativeseocompany\.com \negativeseoguy\.com/\ \seoclerk\.com Or why not buy some links here: \linksmanagement\.com i am currently under attack and being extorted by negative SEO and it is real and it does work. They drip out these links slowly and take up all of your time and resources trying to remove the crappy links from your link profile. Google=666


06/09/2014 02:24 pm

Negative seo is the exact same thing as hiring a bad seo agency, don't know why people are surprised.

Father support

06/09/2014 03:24 pm

Google = 666 hahah haha lol

Father support

06/09/2014 03:24 pm

But serious WTF is negative seo? :/ where do these terms come from man... geez

Josh Zehtabchi

06/09/2014 03:31 pm

I believe there were a few very highly profiled websites/blogs that proved this within the first 6 months of Penguin 1.0. Nothing surprising at all at this point. The only surprise is that Google cares so little they will not publicly address this.


06/09/2014 03:41 pm

I find it odd that people are still debating whether negative seo works or not. Google penalizes sites using unnatural linking with penguin right? Therefore the only way for Google to not penalize a site from negative seo is for Google to know who created each link and why. Does anyone really think that Google can do this on such a large scale? I surely don't. Though big sites are probably immune from negative seo, the small sites are not and this is why sellers on fiverr are making money killing off little guys.


06/09/2014 04:32 pm

Yeah, just what we need, more patent trolls.

Junaid Jaffery

06/09/2014 04:44 pm

Negative SEO exist and works too.For small brands its a nightmare and for big brands not a problem that much because they are successful and has tons of quality links which easily dilute Google bowling and moreover big brands always audit backlinks and run ORP and it is also true that big brands removes any penalty much faster than small brands... For a new competitor its works like a magic because hurting a new business is much easier than an established one..

Wendy Piersall

06/09/2014 06:04 pm

In a perfect world, a victim site would see a warning in their Webmaster Tools account that this has happened, yes? Anyone ever do this and know for a fact it either came with a warning or definitely didn't?

Nathan Grimm

06/09/2014 06:27 pm

In a perfect world the victim site wouldn't need to worry about negative SEO at all.

That Elixa

06/09/2014 06:48 pm

Really? 53% tried it and said it works?? Who in their right mind would "test" this on any other third party, just to test you ruin their visibility online? That's just horrible. Google should write a karma algorithm...


06/09/2014 06:48 pm

Unfortunately, even if a victim gets a notice in their WMT account, it's then up to THEM to chase down all the links (virtually impossible to find them all, especially using the tactics above to flood tens of thousands at a time), prove they tried valiantly to get them removed, and then submit a Disavow file, which may or may not get kicked back to them, or worse, may not work well (again, due to missing many of the problem links). At best, this tactic causes a huge productivity and direct profit loss issue, as the affected site has to spend many hours tracking down all the links and working on them, rather than focusing on business. There is no simple upside to any of this. :-/

That Elixa

06/09/2014 06:49 pm


That Elixa

06/09/2014 06:52 pm

You underestimate Google's AI technology. This is built to be an ID system. the fact is that if Google did implement on a large scale, it would scare the bejesus out of people. What it can do already scares people. Better to style itself as a bumbling giant than a swarm of wasps that knows exactly who out of that big group of boys threw the rock at the nest.

Wendy Piersall

06/09/2014 06:54 pm

I understand that part - a nightmare on all fronts. I just want to know if a webmaster would be made aware of the problem, or if they would just tank in the rankings with no clues as to how to fix?


06/09/2014 06:54 pm

i know a company that can do negative seo on even the largest sites - works for reputation management as well - email = negate.search at gmail dot com

Wendy Piersall

06/09/2014 06:54 pm

Well, yeah, I was ineloquent there. ;)

Alexander Hemedinger

06/09/2014 07:24 pm

I believe it works like Barry mentioned on the small mom and pop stuff. And to be honest so middle size companies that don't focus too much on SEO can be easily impacted as well. It's a shame cause you ought to have to tools to monitor and prevent this, like we do. :)


06/09/2014 07:35 pm

i cant tell you how many clients i have had that have never heard of analytics let alone WMT :/

Think About It

06/09/2014 07:50 pm

You know what's worse than SEO companies that built bad links in the past & the newer negative SEO campaigns? All the crappy fear based software & tools that are supposed to prevent penalties or help recoveries. Google destroyed a great way to build a online business & created the worst scam-ware industry we have ever seen.

Durant Imboden

06/09/2014 07:56 pm

Businesses that engage in negative SEO apparently haven't heard the term "mutually assured destruction." Beat up on Bob, and Bob is likely to return the favor.

Art L

06/09/2014 09:09 pm

Have you actually seen it work on small mom & pop sites, or is that just based on what people are saying?

Art L

06/09/2014 09:12 pm

What were those? I think SEObook was involved in a test of some kind on some already spammy site. Took like a thousand different people trying different things to get it to budge. In the meantime the site changed its whole design and could have tanked itself. It came back quickly, if I recall. Every other piece of "proof" has been without any merit, or they neglected to point out that 50% of the site's old links were also spam.

Art L

06/09/2014 09:20 pm

Would one of you people who say "of course it works" please post a link to a real case of it working, that includes the URL so we can all see just how much spam link building the website owners did to it before the attack? There seems to be lots of smoke but no fire. Even that expedia penalty was shown to be from years of bad link building.

Think about it

06/10/2014 01:19 am

Think about all the request for link removal that are going around these days. It would be really easy to buy a.co, .net, or .org domain of one of your competitors, set up a really good looking email address & ask to have their good links removed. Then for blog post links, guest post links & any kind of editorial link you could easily send enough spammy links to those pages that Google would have to devalue those links. So you see it's not all about sending comment spam to someones home page, you can actually act pages where someones good links reside. But Google will say that this is not possible.


06/10/2014 05:44 am

Besides the thousands of webmasters asking for help in the various forums... You have to sift through the SERPs to find the examples among the articles that merely discuss the topic... Google: examples of negative seo http://moz.com/blog/to-catch-a-spammer-uncovering-negative-seo http://circleoflegaltrust.com/undertanding-google-and-negative-seo-against-attorneys/ This article gives you steps to reproduce the result... at some point you need to prove or disprove for yourself... If you think thousands of people are collectively lying will a few more links to articles really change your mind?


06/10/2014 08:03 am

I don't believe 52% have "tried it and it works". I believe that 52% "have read about it and have assumed it works" and/or are just Google haters who will downvote anything related to the big G. I am not saying negative SEO does not exist. The way Google has chosen to penalise sites for links means by design it must surely be possible. Even Google say it is "difficult not impossible". But I am yet to see a real example. I have Googled "examples of negative SEO" but I still don't see any real examples with URLs and data. Just theory. I tend to agree with the theory but where are the real world examples?

Ashish Ahuja

06/10/2014 09:25 am

If Google find unnatural spike in the link velocity and the type of links made is majorly different than the existing links, then google ignores the links. That is why its not as easy to do negative seo than it sounds. However, if the links built looks like an extension of the existing link strategy then the website is in problem, but that takes some effort to do other than just buying fiverr gigs.

Ashish Ahuja

06/10/2014 09:36 am

"they neglected to point out that 50% of the site's old links were also spam." That is what is negative seo, trying to exploit the already existing chinks in the armor of a website. According to me definition of negative seo is If a site decrease rank due to influx of new links thats negative seo. If a site is ranking good even with bad links and with new links built it goes down thats negative seo. btw, I condone any kind of negative seo

Yo Mamma

06/10/2014 12:02 pm

In a country called America, where keying one's car is common place. Where confronting your offender is not common. How on God's green earth will you know who Bob is in the first place durant? In fact, how do we know who you are or where you live or what websites you have or what websites you may have affected?

Yo Mamma

06/10/2014 12:04 pm

Google could care less about the chaos that it causes - Only making money is its goal. Did someone say REVOLUTION?


06/10/2014 12:25 pm

really a scary one! popular brands are nowadays using them to outrank the negative feedbacks of their customers

Terry Van Horne

06/10/2014 01:11 pm

why bother with a domain just spoof the email the silly webmasters do not check. I have been absolutely amazed at how easy it is to get links removed. Less than 1% ask for any proof. Webmasters take the time to ask for verification by responding to the email before removing.

Terry Van Horne

06/10/2014 01:16 pm

Yeah but if you scale old stuff that was ok at one time... well even the mighty can/will fall with time.

Think About it

06/10/2014 01:18 pm

Actually you don't even need to get the links removed, just ask them to No Follow the links. Love the show Terry!

Think About it

06/10/2014 01:22 pm

I think to top it all off once you have started working on a good Neg-SEO campaign, you need to make sure that no other SEO will want to try to clean it up. So once you are done attacking a site hit it with some comment spam blasts & in the anchor text, use very descriptive, disgusting things that happens in the worst kind of porno films. This way when a clean up SEO is looking at the bac-klink profile they have to decide if they want to look at those links everyday for the next few weeks.

Terry Van Horne

06/10/2014 01:24 pm

Actually those that have not done stuff in the past are the only ones not vulnerable. Anyone who has done guest posting at scale, Press release distribution, any kind of comment or usage of UGC that is not noFollowed are real candidates for Nagative SEO but given my choice I'd rather expose them to Penguin than a manual Penalty... if I were doing that kind of stuff. If you have done that stuff in the past I strongly recommend a proactive disavow link monitoring program

Alexander Hemedinger

06/10/2014 01:28 pm

We use Cognitive SEO as a tool. It's really good.

Ben Guest

06/10/2014 01:30 pm

Good job Barry. Let's get everyone out there trying it. :-/ There is definitely a threshold so is it 20,000?

Josh Zehtabchi

06/10/2014 01:40 pm

Some of us are actual professional with multiple personal websites we use for this exact reason. Testing, research, prevention and then correction. It's better to test on a site we own rather than a paying client. Of course, I do understand your point in the more sinister usages of this.

Art L

06/10/2014 02:29 pm

Sure, exploiting a site's previous spam patterns would be negative SEO. The problem to me is that these articles do not say "If you have existing chinks in the armor..." Instead, these writers exaggerate or even lie about how frequently it really happens, and claim that it is very easy when there is not one bit of proof to show that it is easy or common. Yes, I know, there are hundreds of fiverr gigs and people selling neg seo as a service - but that does not mean it is easy or even something for most people to care about.

Art L

06/10/2014 02:43 pm

I do not doubt that people do it, nor that hundreds of webmasters in forums claim to be victims. But the problem is that when pressed for details, forum posters hide or it becomes evident that they had been doing plenty of link spam themselves. I don't recall where I saw it exactly, but the lawyer's story was debunked on Google+. He had spam articles going back several years, previously had lots of spammy domains pointing to his main site, and some other things that were conveniently left out of his story. That Moz story showed how a negative SEO spammer got caught, but unless I missed something, the attacks did not hurt the rankings or traffic of the site. It is not that I think everyone is lying, though many are. Most are just repeating what they have read without checking the facts in the links they post as "proof".

Art L

06/10/2014 02:46 pm

"Google will say that this is not possible." It won't be soon, now that you told them how you do it :)

Ben Guest

06/10/2014 03:00 pm

What's your URL, and I'll blast your site then you can tell us. ;-)


06/10/2014 03:07 pm

Have you not seen the drip fed negative seo services on Fiverr? The companies offering the same harmful link spam services elsewhere offer the drip feed option too.

Think About it

06/10/2014 03:14 pm

I would rather Google spend their time chasing Negative SEO, so we can all get back to building links for our clients:-)


06/10/2014 03:17 pm

I don't even know why people are still debating this topic. It stands to reason that if you can harm your own website by sending "SEO" links to it, then you can harm someone else's. In fact, each and every website that has been filtered by the Penguin algorithm has had a "Negative SEO" job applied to it. It's just that the biggest majority of Webmasters inadvertently did to themselves (or via their SEO agency). The just did a Negative SEO job on their own website(s). If you want to do a Negative SEO job on a website it's very simple - just make it look like an SEO campaign from 2009. Send various keyword rich anchor text variations to both the home page and deep pages. Actually use variations of the keywords that each page would like to rank for. You get these links from blog networks (these are your best bet for a Negative SEO campaign) and you need to be consistent which means new links every day for a few months. The site you're targeting will probably go up in rankings over the short term but as soon as the Penguin algorithm is refreshed or updated, it will disappear as if it never existed.


06/10/2014 03:39 pm

More collateral damage! Google knows they can't prevent this from sinking your site. Hell, just go buy a few keywords in the Big Word Project and see what happens!


06/10/2014 03:48 pm

But I've given you instructions to prove/disprove for yourself... This article gives instructions too. And any "links" to proof don't seem to count. Sounds like you need to roll up your sleeves and conduct an experiment... which is really what you should have done from the start. I hear what you are saying, but I think demanding proof they way you are doing isn't going to get you anywhere. It is very similar to the evolution deniers, for every "missing link" found there are two more missing links to be discovered. Plus I swear... NOTHING beats good primary research in SEO. Anything else is a plan to fail.


06/10/2014 03:54 pm

Assuming that the webmaster is well versed in WMT, they would *likely* get an unnatural link warning. However, I seem to recall (can't look it up at the moment) that there was an announcement a couple of months back that some future Penguin rollouts would be integrated into the main algorithm, meaning that they would not be big tides of updates that are clearly felt and marked like they are now, but rather smaller, continual penalties doled out to individuals from time to time. In this instance, there likely will not be a notice in WMT; instead, it would probably function more like older Google updates pre-Penguin and Panda, where things happened "behind the veil" and rankings dropped without notice. That's my take on that news.


06/10/2014 03:54 pm

Keyword stuffing still works... I don't advise it because of manual penalties. Look at Viacom's addictinggames (dot) com... they fluctuate between 950 -1200 keyword matches on the page. Between keyword stuffing and their link wheel it got them to #1 for the highest competition keyword there is. Trending across high comp keywords correlates it as a strong factor. Google has said that doesn't work, but yet it still does and always has. I think they largely fought that tactic with plausible deniability instead of with technology.


06/10/2014 03:58 pm

Nice. You just invented a meme I am going to use to describe bad SEO... M.A.D. SEO for anytime the SEO destroys himself and the client. I know you meant it between SEOs, but it warp anyway.


06/10/2014 04:01 pm

lets post any old sh1t to get people to this site as usual, last time im coming here due to this post.. pathetic


06/10/2014 04:02 pm

You're right that it is totally impractical, but in this particular case I want to live in Durant's world... its a nicer kinder place... but I fear it isn't the world we have. mutually assured destruction seams to be more popular than ever these days.

Yo Mamma

06/10/2014 04:16 pm

Keyword stuffing is alive and well. Google is a hypocrite. No news there

Think About it

06/10/2014 04:23 pm

And if non of these tactics work you can always buy expired penalized porn domains & 301 them to a site or rebuild it & create fake guest post content & links to your competitors site. Honestly I could keep going on, & on about this subject.

Think About it

06/10/2014 04:42 pm

The ultimate Neg SEO tactic. Convince a company that they are at risk for a Google penalty. Get access to their webmaster tools and disavow all their links.

F1 Steve

06/10/2014 04:52 pm

lmao! The disavow tool doesn't do shit!! If it did we wouldn't have the problem of negative SEO!! Its nothing more than a placebo!

Quality Search Results

06/10/2014 04:59 pm

Speaking of Negative SEO.. Do a Google search for: oven definition Look at the second result. WTF?

Ben Guest

06/10/2014 05:14 pm

That's funny as heck. Good one my friend.

Yo Mamma

06/10/2014 05:33 pm

Here you have proof that many, many, many people think Google Sucks. Experiment: Type in Google sucks Type in Bing sucks Type in Yahoo sucks Lots of stuff about Google sucks IN GOOGLE. Nice to know Google knows it sucks

Art L

06/10/2014 05:33 pm

I happen to follow the antiquated philosphy that he who makes a claim has the burden of proving it. Everyone who tries to frighten people with negative SEO stories seems to not agree with that concept. All they need is a headline and it becomes "proof". Yet when I question it, you tell me to test and document. You've got it backwards. I am supposed to believe an argument that basically goes like this: "I believe it, here's how I believe it works, I have seen it, no I won't show you where it happened, nobody else is going to show you where it happened either, go do my homework for me to prove what I say is true". I have a reasonable expectation that when someone publishes a story with a headline like "Here's Proof That Negative SEO Works And You Need To Be Afraid Of It", that there will be something in that article that shows that this threat to the existence of the web as we know it is what they say it is. It does seem like link blasting and other things could bring down a spamless site, in theory. Parachuting from your roof with a bed sheet sounds like that might work too, but I bet that isn't as easy as it sounds either. Don't you think that someone who believes it is a serious danger to all would have done a thorough, conclusive test or be able to show thorough documentation from the victim side of a negative SEO attack by now?

Art L

06/10/2014 05:35 pm

I get a page full of results from dictionary sites. What do you get? Don't forget google personalizes results to cater to what it thinks you want to see.


06/10/2014 05:36 pm

Negative SEO works. I know it does, because someone did it to me and ruined my life. I'm waiting for a Penguin refresh to confirm that the disavow works. If it doesn't, then yafter years of hard work building a business from scratch, my livelihood is finished.

Art L

06/10/2014 05:37 pm

There aren't any examples. Just a lot of people doing exactly what you said: reading about it and accepting the headlines as truth.

Yo Mamma

06/10/2014 05:38 pm

He is talking about the NAZI comment, #2 in Oven definition. "a cremation chamber in a Nazi concentration camp." But its a small issue when considering there is no obligation (right to be forgotten) for Google to change search results in America. Only Europe is somewhat civilized and has the balls to stop Google

Yo Mamma

06/10/2014 05:44 pm

Take a look at what people think about searching IDIOT terms

Nick Ker

06/10/2014 05:49 pm

I have to acknowledge that out of the many different negative SEO tactics that have been thrown at my site, this one almost worked. I did lose a couple of links to fraudulent link removal requests. Got one restored after the writer got suspicious and contacted the real me (and gave me the IP address from the sender's email thank you very much), the other was a link I really didn't mind losing. In the whole "does negative SEO really work" debate, I think this one falls in the category of fraud/identity theft/sabotage and not in the "anyone can take down any site with spammy links to get a penalty" category which is what most people consider to be the big negative SEO threat. Fake link removal requests are also much more traceable than link spam, and may even be something that could be prosecuted. Not a lawyer so I don't know for sure about that.


06/10/2014 06:03 pm

Ditto Ashley. Last year between September-October I got thousands of links from low quality sites. In most cases the anchor had nothing to do with my site. I worked hard removing links and disavowing and now there is no update to penguin this year. Anyone

Nick Ker

06/10/2014 06:18 pm

Join the club! I have been questioning claims of negative SEO for a while now, reading every so-called case study I can find, and have audited several penalized sites only to find that they either did it to themselves, or there was some other reason they were having problems in organic search. Scary headlines get clicks and links from people who don't read the whole story, or aren't informed enough to recognize that the story is incomplete. Those people spread the word, and more people believe it without question. Some of those articles are really good at analyzing "if this worked, here's how it might happen", and it does seem like it would work they way they say. But why, after a few years of "Watch Out For Negative SEO" articles, is there not a poster-child for victims of negative SEO? I don't buy the claim that the site owners are afraid of something. If they are already penalized, what have they got to lose? Shouldn't there be at least one victimized site whose owner would want to publicize the injustice? Be careful when being skeptical, though. The true believers, google haters and negative SEO service providers get very upset when you do things like ask for a URL that was hit so you can look at the details for yourself, or if you point out that the alleged victim had been building hundreds of spam links for years prior to the attack. Just about every time I do something like that, some goofball says "what's your site, I will prove it". And for almost two years, people have been trying to prove it to me that way. The funny/sad thing is that I don't question that it is possible, and it may one day come back to haunt me. What I question is the claim that it is some widespread epidemic and every single website is at a critical risk level. Just one solid case study could get me singing a different tune, just as loudly.

Art L

06/10/2014 06:24 pm

Oh didn't notice that in the knowledge graph. I just ignore the knowledge graph & ads and go to organic results out of habit, I guess.

Durant Imboden

06/10/2014 07:32 pm

It seems to me that, if "negative SEO" *does* work, Google is already at work on a solution. Why? Because Google has always discouraged attempts to manipulate its search results, and negative SEO falls under that heading. Still, the possibility that Google may be at work on a solution doesn't mean it will happen overnight. Google thinks long-term, as evidenced by the fact that it took more than three years to begin rectifying the shortcomings=(or what many publishers would regard as the shortcomings) of Panda. So don't expect Google to do anything sudden and radical just because "negative SEO" is the topic du jour on Search Engine Roundtable or Webmaster World. But at the same time, don't be so naive as to assume that the engineers at Google doesn't know at least as much about negative SEO as you do.

Try it

06/10/2014 07:42 pm

OK, lets do this. Currently the site www.godhatesfags.com ranks number 1 for the keyword westboro baptist church. It's a very strong site with a ton of authority links. If we can drop their rankings then we can prove that negative SEO does exist & make the internet a better place. I think all of the SEO community should have a whack at this site. Put your money where your mouth is, if you say it doesn't work then hit it with some spam.

Yo Mamma

06/10/2014 10:29 pm

"Google has always discouraged attempts to manipulate its search results" - Factually incorrect durant Google manipulates its search results all the time, for the worse when it comes to quality, for the better in paying its shareholders. Google is 'at work' as you say Google is 'at work' making very uncool things like video spectacles, shoes that talk, driverless cars, walking the nude beaches of America taking pictures and similar. Google should be known as the white man's uncool outlook. Don't do anything Google does because you already know its uncool. And the people working there are very uncool too, if you are reading this not-so-smart cannot-fight-your-way-out-of-a-paper-bag nerds.

Yo Mamma

06/10/2014 10:30 pm

Hi Kerry Good to remind me of your SEO services and how great you are. I must call and you must pickup. We will do great SEO together

Yo Mamma

06/10/2014 10:33 pm

Use your energy to kill the snake rather than toy with its tail. One website isn't the issue, Google is

Yo Mamma

06/10/2014 10:36 pm

"Not a lawyer so I don't know for sure about that." what are you other than a superb BSer?

Art L

06/10/2014 10:45 pm

You should be asking the people who say it DOES work to do this. If I don't believe it would hurt those a-holes and it might help them, I am definitely not going to do any link building for them, not even spam. We know spam sometimes works. We don't know the same about negative SEO.

David Beart

06/11/2014 12:34 am

The reality is links built into a site by a third party to potentially harm another site should be deemed as “negative SEO”; regardless if it does harm to the site or not. Too many people that add their thoughts to these posts are only concerned about the ‘amount’ of links and less about the fact the links were built in the first place. I have read a pile of posts just like this one and they all say the same BS. Some say it works, others don’t… but few get the point… if there is potential for harm… its negative SEO. The reality is if a bunch of links are added to a third party site using keyword rich anchor text that doesn’t include a no-follow attribute… the recipient of those links will end up with an “unnatural linking penalty”. Negative SEO… regardless if it works or not costs webmasters time, money and the potential loss of revenue; perhaps the goal of those building the bad links is simply to cost the host thousands of dollars in SEO fees… something that many small companies cannot afford.

Ben Guest

06/11/2014 12:51 am

Would you care to share the URL? I want to take a look see.

Ben Guest

06/11/2014 12:52 am



06/11/2014 06:30 am

Totally possible and ethically wrong. Google shouldn't allow this to happen, but they're locked in the trenches and to a degree have cabin fever. Maybe Cutts will one day have an epiphany and stop this shit.


06/11/2014 06:35 am

Yeah... you few others. Above the fold is where the action is... that is owned by ads and knowledge graph.


06/11/2014 06:37 am

I find it works when you disavow whole domains IF the domains are extremely toxic. Disavowing single links is worthless.


06/11/2014 06:39 am

I've been hit by that one several times now... It works but only for about a week if you disavow the domain quickly.


06/11/2014 06:45 am

1000's of webmasters arent lying...you have been given testimony and steps to reproduce... you just seem lazy to me.


06/11/2014 06:49 am

fake link removal requests would be civil not criminal... most IT crimes are 10 years or more ahead of the law... also doesn't matter when most would come from china or india

Ashish Ahuja

06/11/2014 06:54 am

I know about fiverr drip feed option, but negative seo is more than just that its like designing a SEO campaign but in reverse so it looks like a bad seo attempt


06/11/2014 06:55 am

If I only owned a toxic domain I would... unfortunately I see the effectiveness of negative SEO from the defense's side. Plus I wouldn't want the network admins seeing that kind of traffic coming from my computer.

Ashish Ahuja

06/11/2014 07:02 am



06/11/2014 08:08 am

What, like you use your time productively? All you seem to do is wallpaper these comments with childish drivel.

Anatolii Oslovskii

06/11/2014 11:14 am

Links work. Thank you Google!:)

Grammy Winner Taylor Swift

06/11/2014 11:21 am

Everyone, hammer seroundtable with spam links!

Yo Mamma

06/11/2014 12:17 pm

Google will unemploy you too soon


06/11/2014 01:53 pm

Ha ha! Thanks for proving my point!

Nick Ker

06/11/2014 04:52 pm

It looks like some states are including online impersonation in identity theft laws: http://business.time.com/2013/01/22/can-you-go-to-jail-for-impersonating-someone-online/ I wouldn't expect that to be easily prosecuted - unless it was verified as coming from a particular location. ISPs usually rotate IP addresses so that might be tough to do unless it came from a static assigned IP.

Ben Guest

06/11/2014 04:59 pm

Wonder if that could go for businesses, too. The PPC fraud where people are hijacking URLs in their ads for affiliate paybacks.

Nick Ker

06/11/2014 07:42 pm

Don't know much about how that works. I'd imagine that if people are somehow redirecting someone else's ads to their site, that would be breaking all sorts of laws. If you mean advertisers using fake visible URLs when their ad really goes to somewhere else, it seems like that should be illegal as well. Not sure how people would pull that off. Any time I have even mistyped the visible URL, Adwords flagged it before it was even saved. Since adwords is now showing some ads without a visible URL, that could get ugly very quickly.

Ben Guest

06/11/2014 08:01 pm

One example is say you are an affiliate of SER, you create an ad that goes to SER's URL, however, you drop your affiliate ID as an extension to that URL. Brilliant if you ask me. Here's the link: http://searchengineland.com/ppc-fraud-ring-impersonated-300-advertisers-may-2014-192801 Sorry for getting a little off topic, but it's obviously a hot topic since this was posted 6/9/14.

Art L

06/11/2014 08:40 pm

I can play your game too. Prove that it isn't possible that you are a child molester. Thousands of anonymous people say you are, but they don't want to post the proof. Prove you are not what they say you are. You see, junior, it is difficult to prove a negative. That guy who had negative SEO attacks on his site for a year or two with no bad effects might chime in with his story again. It shouldn't be too hard to find it if he doesn't. If multiple attackers using different methods, thousands of links, and other junk that happened to his site didn't work, would you accept that as proof that the hype over negative SEO is overblown? "1000's of webmasters" claiming to be innocent victims - yet you think not one of them will post so much as a URL to their site in order to get proper attention to this issue? You just seem like an idiot to me.

Don Dikaio

06/13/2014 03:29 am

@CaptainKevin This is the first time I've heard of companies actually selling these services on fiver so what should be done if it can is to seek criminal charges on paid fiver gigs for both the provider and buyer. I don't know how that can be done legally without knowing that a fiver gig was directed towards your web property. One approach is to possible take this mainstream and start with a press release that Fivver is allowing criminal activity to be solicited via their services. We may be able to find who buyers and sellers of these services are.

Don Dikaio

06/13/2014 03:34 am

I'm not sure that's exactly correct Ashish. I have a site that "magically" acquired 40K (Thousand) links all with the same keyword to two different pages in a matter of a month and the they tanked. I can say this though, even though all of those links are coming into those two pages the other pages of the site do just fine, there's great content on them no seo done whatsoever and they rank. The two pages I mentioned that received the links (home page and another top level page) have not recovered. It's disheartening to see my homepage not rank for the primary keyword but it's a good sign Google algorithm isn't set to just kill the whole site or at least in this circumstance.

Don Dikaio

06/13/2014 03:46 am

Nick I'd be happy to share some data with you, what's the best way to reach you.

Ashish Ahuja

06/13/2014 06:14 am

Don like everything Seo, even negative seo is not an exact science, we all are making our own conclusions based on what we experience. Also, like Seo, many strategies work many times, but its about what works consistently that counts. The bulk backlink negative seo may have worked to tank your website but it may not work to tank all kinds of websites on a consistent basis. I have seen websites hit by millions of backlinks which still stand their ground and websites hit by few thousands go down. it depends on various other factors than links alone like the history of the website with google, its domain & niche authority, user interaction with the website etc. based on my experience, I find websites that are adored by its users are the least affected by any kind of negative seo, even if they have really bad backlink profile.

Art L

06/13/2014 01:26 pm

It isn't criminal... unfortunately.


06/15/2014 05:45 am

Google needs to provide a full list of backlinks to webmasters as close to real time as possible, so webmasters can keep up with the NSEO issue and also message webmasters in GWT if there is suspicious linking activity related to their domain.

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