Juicy title, isn't it? Well, that is the topic of discussion at a WebmasterWorld. A senior member decided to post some generic, not specific examples, ways to hurt a website's Google rankings. Here are some of the methods you can take:
- Inbound links from "bad" places.
- Hundreds of links from one IP address.
- Duplicate content (a) from competitors scraping your entire site and creating their own from it
- Duplicate content (b) from competitors stealing your articles and submitting them to article submission services
- 301/302 redirect hijacking (after all this time it STILL happens!
Yes, there are many other ways to do this. Can it happen to your site. I am told it can. Can it happen to a site that has years and years of authority? Hard to believe, but people say yes. Can it happen to an Amazon like site or a Wikipedia? I doubt it is achievable.
The member also added that there is a new method to harm a site's ranking in Google, but said he couldn't give those details:
There is a new one that is very quick to work using 301's that I daren't put in here but a black hat "associate" of mine said she's dropped quite a few of her client's competitors within days!
Watching Google's most recent language, they seem to have moved from saying it is impossible for a competitor to hurt your rankings. Here are some past articles on it, but the language seems to be changing from words that symbolize "impossible" to words like "almost not possible," "very unlikely," and so on.
- Google Says Spam Links Can't Hurt You; Again
- Can a Competitor Hurt Your Google Rankings?
- Bad Links Can Kick You Once You Are Down
- Companies Offer to Damage Your Competitors Search Engine Rankings
- Google's Adam Lasnik Speaks On What Links Can & Can't Hurt You
I use to not feel that this was a major issue or an issue most webmasters should have a valid reason to worry about. I am not convinced that this is no longer an issue for webmasters.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.