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Negative SEO - How to Tank a Site in Google 101
JD_Toims




msg:4677868
 3:48 am on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

I decided to start a new thread for this one, which is an answer to a question posted in this thread [webmasterworld.com...] because I think it's good for people to know both sides of SEO for Google, and unfortunately, they've opened up the door for the negative version, so if anyone wants to know how to tank the competition, here you go:

From tests I have done, it is possible to impact serps with low quality links, just not to the degree some people seem to be implying it does.

Clay_More -- MSG# 4677852 -- Page 2, Post 13 @ 30 Post/Page
Here: [webmasterworld.com...]

That's because to seriously impact the SERPs with negative SEO you have to build links as if you were trying to "fly under the radar" and "increase rankings" rather than making it obvious.

You stated previously if you could figure out the pattern, or something to that effect -- The pattern is "appear to be trying to not get caught building links" while appearing to be trying to "increase rankings" -- It's really simple to do and I wouldn't ever use a Neg-SEO service to do it.

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.



Note: I don't normally post about "how to do negative stuff", but Google needs to fix this sh*t, so I hope people understand how it's done and feel free to use it until Google fixes their broken system and mentality -- Penalties don't bring links back to citations; penalties simply change who creates the links and who's site they point to. Period!

 

fathom




msg:4680657
 12:43 am on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Itís hard to believe some people doubt the lows a human being will go to get on top of other human beings. Its possible some of you have lived very, very sheltered lives?

Considering there is (apparently) 20% of people in the world who donít blink twice before beating their own women/children I think itís a stretch to believe a moral compass would stop them bringing down their competition given the chance? You give a human being a weapon, history shows they will always use it against others!

Does negative SEO work? I don't know yet, when penguin refreshes ill see if the negative seo services I brought from Google PPC advertisers for a test site I run are effective, I suspect they will but that's my best guess!


I believe the lows people will go to benefit themselves... ABSOLUTELY! I don't believe anyone will spend business revenue on another firm just on a lark!

The moral compass isn't a factor in this you do it (or did it) to make a gain for yourself ... not to just produce a loss for someone else.

There is an equation here... if there is nothing on the other side of the = sign it isn't profitable... only a business moron knowingly spends money to produce a net loss.

I have no idea why you need to test this:

Any website that is vulnerable to Negative SEO is doing Negative SEO on themselves already.

As simple as the opening poster claims it is, it isn't that simple.

It is simple enough to acquire the tools to invent this stuff and it is easy to find cheap links and places to post non-administrated content but as ColourOfSpring points out here:
In any case, I think it's obviously risky to think that low quality links are a good SEO technique in 2014
if you acquire low quality links to start with I am not sure how you can claim another party using the same tactics you are using did anything more than you did.

That's the problem... if your domains' ranks were built with low quality adding more low quality (no matter who did it) won't help. And Googlebot (& PENGUIN) won't say your low quality webspam is good webspam and the other persons' low quality webspam is bad website... it is all webspam.

Most Negative SEO campaigns are self-created. As much as I enjoy this topic as already pointed out... the thread will simply go around & around and the last time I did that Tedster banned me (his last official moderation act here)... so time to let the pot simmer.

JD_Toims




msg:4680660
 12:54 am on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've been on a bit of a self-ban from posting here lately, but decided to clear the record a bit due to those who have misinterpreted what I said.



the thread starter sound like they are a Negative SEOer

Nope -- RustyBrick got it wrong on his blog at SERoundTable too.
Just because I know how to do something doesn't mean I do it.

I know how to tip a cow, but I don't do it.

I know how to shoot the neighbor's cat, but I don't do it.

I know how to steal, spin and post content automatically with PHP, but I don't do it.

I know how to grab, aggregate and spin portions of content from multiple sites with PHP so it's not even close to infringement for me to use it, but I don't do it.

I know how to tank the competition in Google, but I don't do that either.



no idea why they would hire a 3rd party to do the job.

Uh, if I did it would be a really simple productivity decision -- I could spend a hour or two and a bit of cash to give my competition a gift that keeps on giving, then get back to working on my own sites while they "have fun" disavowing spammy keyword rich links to their key pages for months on end trying to "pay penance" to Google and praying Penguin is run again sometime soon.



People who are thinking along the lines of it only being "beneficial" when you're close to the top 10 aren't really thinking through what type of benefit there might be if you were in say, the top 3, or top 4 and decided to "help" some weaker sites that might not be as inclined to move above you get into the spots below you by removing a few from the top 10 who are in their way.



Self-ban: Reinstated

fathom




msg:4680682
 2:28 am on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thanks for re-posting.

I know how to tank the competition in Google, but I don't do that either.


Which was my point... so we all agree that everyone that knows how to rank a website generally know that lackluster quality is the devil's advocate here and if you avoid the footprints of lackluster quality you also avoid Negative SEO. The higher up the quality pole your domain goes the less potential anyone can do anything about your ranks and in reverse, the lower down the quality pole your domain resources are the easier it is to succumb to "some form of gifting".

I also agree, just because everyone discusses Negative SEO few actually use such services... which means it isn't as big of a problem as you first pointed out in the opening post.

Penalties don't bring links back to citations;


But in my experience low quality links are not citations of quality, and your experience didn't just materialized by accident, you have built it over years of work on your own websites or sites for others.

Clay_More




msg:4680684
 2:42 am on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

I meant to post this earlier in this thread, but I had some higher priority issues.

I went into WMT on a established site I own and pulled up the first 25 "Links to your site" which in this case can be considered "sites that link to you".

10 from industry specific sites
6 from sites that compare other sites (I'd call them junk)
5 from foreign sites in different languages
3 from wordpress,blogger,aolstalker
1 from an article site (I'd call it junk)

Overall, 10 of 25 are relevant, 3 more may have value
12 of 25 probably don't help much.

I have not done any disavow of those links and haven't noticed any impacts from not disavowing. It is possible that smaller/newer sites without an established link profile could be impacted by outside SEO to a greater degree, but I agree with fathom's concept of avoiding lower quality links as a foundation.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4680736
 9:01 am on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

@ColourOfSpring - 23 is not hundreds as you previously claimed but it is five more than I found.


There are hundreds of identical services on fiverr.com - they offer identical link building services (scrapebox-type automated links in the 100,000s). I can list them if you want, but this kind of fetching of service providers is quite time consuming(!). They simply advertise themselves as link building without the "warnings" (note, my quotation marks) that they may impact negatively on rankings. If the service is identical, then the impacts are identical, regardless of how the service is described. Many many sites have ended up penalising their own sites with such services. In my view, then these services can easily be used for negative SEO - they're just not advertised as such.

Anyway, it's kind of ridiculous to argue over this - as my point is that it's easy to find services that offer negative SEO - end of story. It matters not how many services are out there. 23 is more than enough on one site alone (that come up when you search for "negative SEO"), with queues of orders pending, thousands of positive reviews published.

I'm sure we're not going to reach a consensus here, as you stated that even those that state "negative SEO" in their service offerings are only doing so to earnestly and honestly warn their customers, not attract the "wrong" customers, despite the fact that they are inadvertently easy to find for a search on "negative SEO" (that's how I found those particular 23). In fact, with that point of view (that these services actually provide positive SEO), there are actually zero services on fiverr.com offering negative SEO. I think that's a hard argument to put forward given the evidence provided. If you then say "no, I didn't say that, I said there are some" - then where's your line drawn? Does a service have to have an exact-match phrase stating "negative SEO" in the title? If it says "may impact negatively", then it's a "positive SEO service"?

I have shown that there is an appetite for negative SEO, and it is being used. I highly doubt that such offerings would get so much positive feedback for what are, as advertised!, services that up-front warn against negative impacts of the service itself. They are clearly using this as a selling point / benefit - in titles and descriptions - to lure in a certain clientele. It would be strange that the only services that actively warn users in the very titles of their offerings seem to be doing a roaring trade.

Perren




msg:4680771
 11:21 am on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

I wonder you could automate this stuff 100%. Example: A website with a order form. Once paid a "directory submit" script takes over and starts to submit... No manual labor besides the customers who has to order.

That would bring the cost down really low, and could impact huge number of sites. As I said before, if this really works someone is going to get this going soon.

aristotle




msg:4680805
 1:45 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

I wonder if the possibility of negative SEO has anything to do with the long delay in the next Penguin update, which is way overdue. Since Penguin is the part of the algorithm that penalizes sites for un-natural links, its next update would reveal which sites, if any, may have have been attacked by negative SEO over the last 8+ months since the last update. If the update reveals a lot of successful attacks, it would be like a bomb going off.

In other words, all of the latent negative SEO perpetrated during the past 8 months would be revealed all at once. If this is the case, then Google may have delayed Penguin to try to fix it in a way that would prevent this from happening.

Shepherd




msg:4680810
 1:55 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

I wonder if the possibility of negative SEO has anything to do with the long delay in the next Penguin update


I've thought this for a while now and I firmly believe it to be the case.

I see 1 of 2 things happening in the near future:

1. google runs the update/refresh they've been talking about and takes a ton of heat regarding negseo.

2. google quietly and slowly does away with penguin.

Based on traffic patterns we have seen on our penguin affected sites I think google has already been doing number 2.

netmeg




msg:4680811
 2:00 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

I wonder if the possibility of negative SEO has anything to do with the long delay in the next Penguin update, which is way overdue.


Actually I understand that Matt said at SMX that the latest payday loan algo change would also be mitigating the negative SEO thing somewhat. I wasn't there, so I don't have any details (not that they give out details)

EditorialGuy




msg:4680816
 2:18 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

2. google quietly and slowly does away with penguin.


Or Google integrates Penguin into the main algorithm, as it's done with Panda.

Shepherd




msg:4680819
 2:25 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Or Google integrates Penguin into the main algorithm, as it's done with Panda.


Update/refresh/integrate, all really interchangeable in the big picture. The question is, assuming negseo exists, how can penguin be anything other than a reversal of how the search engine is gamed?

aristotle




msg:4680821
 2:30 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Or Google integrates Penguin into the main algorithm

They need to fix it first. That should the main priority.

mrengine




msg:4680845
 3:41 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Anyway, it's kind of ridiculous to argue over this - as my point is that it's easy to find services that offer negative SEO - end of story.

I don't see why anyone would even bother arguing against your point. Google does not penalize link building services but unnatural links. There are thousands upon thousands of individuals/companies that make their living building unnatural links. Any one of those individuals/companies can be used to conduct negative seo.

It's not just competitors that businesses need to be concerned with in terms of negative seo. Upset customers, who understand how Google works, can also participate in the same negative seo game to get back at businesses that do not capitulate to their every demand.

Many industries, mine included, do not draw a large number of links because our customers are not web designers, forum posters, bloggers, etc. I have not checked lately, but if memory serves me right we have around two dozen links pointing to our entire website. With 100% certainty I believe Google would throw our website in the rubbish with just one of those $5 fiverr link jobs. As a result, I'm sure some staff would have to be let go.

It's a terrible thought knowing that a $5 fiverr job is all that stands between a successful business/website and employees feeding their families.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4680879
 6:05 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Good post mrengine!

It doesn't matter how fiver gigs are packaged 'positive/negative', unless u have been living under a rock everyone who does seo for themselves or others since 2012 knows these links are toxic!

EditorialGuy




msg:4680880
 6:09 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Fathom wrote:

everyone that knows how to rank a website generally know that lackluster quality is the devil's advocate here and if you avoid the footprints of lackluster quality you also avoid Negative SEO. The higher up the quality pole your domain goes the less potential anyone can do anything about your ranks and in reverse, the lower down the quality pole your domain resources are the easier it is to succumb to "some form of gifting".


If Fathom is correct, then the site owners who are most vulnerable to "$5 fiverr jobs" are those who fail to invest time and money in useful content.

Let's look it from the POV of a search engine and its users: If there are 10,000 similar sites offering solar-powered WiMax routers, does it really matter to anyone but the site owners if some of those sites get knocked out of the running by negative SEO? Sure, Google doesn't like to have outsiders manipulate its search results, but keeping Tom, Dick, or Harry in business isn't Google's responsibility.

So what can Tom, Dick, and Harry do to keep Bob, Barney, or Bubba from knocking them off their perches? Offering content of intrinsic value to searchers might be a good start. Good content will attract links. It's also likely to be viewed favorably by Google's algorithms (including Panda). And assuming that Fathom's observations are correct, building a "best of breed" site is also good insurance against damage from those $5 fiverr jobs. In short, it's all upside and no downside (unless you think useful content is a waste of time and money, in which case you probably shouldn't be relying on organic search traffic to stay in business).

netmeg




msg:4680885
 6:14 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

It's a terrible thought knowing that a $5 fiverr job is all that stands between a successful business/website and employees feeding their families.


It would be a terrible thought for me to think that my websites and employees' future were riding on something I have so little control over.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4680892
 6:47 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

>>If Fathom is correct, then the site owners who are most vulnerable to "$5 fiverr jobs" are those who fail to invest time and money in useful content. <<<

Do you mean sites who don't have a strong back link profile? If so all new/future up and coming sites that haven't had time to accumulate back links can be nipped in the bud and decimated before they can get off the ground! Bad for users and bad for google moving the web forward IMO

philgames




msg:4680896
 6:59 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

the only way you can stick out from the crowd for "solar-powered WiMax routers" is if you invented something like a invisible solar panel.... all other "content" would be just a rehash of something else on the web. Also google uses links to determine how good and popular content is anyway. now what happens if for instance a hacker/spammer then grabs this content and starts using it on their million spam hacked pages (no links to my site but dilutes and duplicates the content on millions of sites? no longer unique would this be bad? that what happened with me.

If you search for sentences from my content the hacked super spam pages that uses extract of my articles are above mine.... LOL

All this makes churn and burn more tempting.... thats just a numbers game.

spreporter




msg:4680898
 7:02 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

I bet that many googlers are reading that thread and loughing with those theories like that established trusted sites can tank because tom dick and harry hit them with a billion links...I'm damned sure that the guys in the plex know their jobs better than us webmasters.My 2 cents

[edited by: spreporter at 7:07 pm (utc) on Jun 18, 2014]

dvduval




msg:4680900
 7:05 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

It would be a terrible thought for me to think that my websites and employees' future were riding on something I have so little control over.


Yep, yet this happens all the time. A business sees its revenue tank because of a change at Google, and I see ample evidence this can be orchestrated by a third party.

I've seen businesses that led their market for many years just one day have to start laying off people, and it was all as a result of a change at Google. I have to question if the penalties that are given actually penalize sites well beyond placing the sites at the most appropriate place in the search results.

Going back to that "Moral Compass" idea...

1. There is the child that is caught stealing, and gets grounded.
2. There is the person that commits armed robbery and is locked up for many years.

It often seems that Google tends toward #2, and even uses algorithms to decide on #2. What is someone does succeed in getting 10 million unnatural links? Does that mean Google should no longer provide the best search results and treat them like an armed robber?

And now we have the case where a 3rd party can make their competition look like an armed robber in Google's algorithm. I've seen it work. Why do you suppose so many sites are now writing (placebo) link removal requests?

In my opinion, a good site is a good site. Period. Unnatural links or not. This could be a strong weakness in Google's algorithm for quite some time to come. Maybe they need more investment in human editors. This one is going to be a toughy!

EditorialGuy




msg:4680905
 7:16 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Maybe they need more investment in human editors.


Google is what it is: A spidered search engine that indexes billions of pages. Scalability counts.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4680926
 9:07 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google does not penalize link building services but unnatural links. There are thousands upon thousands of individuals/companies that make their living building unnatural links. Any one of those individuals/companies can be used to conduct negative seo.


mrengine, you've said it better than me, and in fewer words.

EditorialGuy




msg:4680929
 9:30 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google does not penalize link building services but unnatural links. There are thousands upon thousands of individuals/companies that make their living building unnatural links. Any one of those individuals/companies can be used to conduct negative seo.


What we really need now is actionable information.

I suggested one possible course of action in this thread. Are there any others?

ColourOfSpring




msg:4680942
 10:26 pm on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

What we really need now is actionable information.


Action against negative SEO after it's happened? To prevent it from impacting your site somehow? Or...?

fathom




msg:4681283
 7:30 pm on Jun 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

What we really need now is actionable information.

I suggested one possible course of action in this thread. Are there any others?


What post was your suggestion?

There are 2 distinct paths for Negative SEO to go: so Countermeasure Tactics need to follow the specific concept.

1. Is to get the Webspam Teams' attention and a manual review or the targeted inorganic link notification that does not force a Manual Action.

This here is easy to fix... Disavow all unnatural links. But assumes you have no self-created unnatural links of your own ... If someone attention is on your self created stuff that is indeed a problem... You are in fact doing BLACKHAT SEO... Which is what Negative SEO really is.

2. Negative SEO is in fact BlackHat SEO... Simply done on a different website. So when PENGUIN comes a calling... You simply change the pattern that the automatic filtering system detected.

How do you do that? Well if your domain is about SEO... The negative Campaign (anchors) are also about SEO. I would get a few expired domains that have large quantity of unrelated link anchors to your domain... These are precisely what natural links are. Because the quality level of the link juice is likely far more powerful you don't need as many as the Negative SEO campaign had.

I would also hide these expired domains from link checkers so the Negative SEO provider cannot tell what is screwing up his campaign.

Robert Charlton




msg:4681287
 7:34 pm on Jun 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Goodroi has started a thread asking for feedback from those who have been affected by negative SEO....

Have you personally faced negative SEO & was it reversed?
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4680778.htm [webmasterworld.com]

So far, no responses on that topic.

EditorialGuy




msg:4681291
 7:39 pm on Jun 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

This here is easy to fix... Disavow all unnatural links.


Sure, assuming that have "unnatural" inbound links. Links can be crappy without being "unnatural."

I prefer the approach that I outlined above: Focus on content, building a "best of breed" site in your niche that will attract quality links and be looked upon favorably by Google's algorithms. If you don't have the skills to do that, hire someone who does or look for alternatives to organic search traffic.

fathom




msg:4681341
 11:39 pm on Jun 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Sure, assuming that have "unnatural" inbound links. Links can be crappy without being "unnatural."

I prefer the approach that I outlined above: Focus on content, building a "best of breed" site in your niche that will attract quality links and be looked upon favorably by Google's algorithms. If you don't have the skills to do that, hire someone who does or look for alternatives to organic search traffic.


Oh ok but that also assumes you haven't been attack as yet, which could be evidence that this works but if you been attacked your version as the best of the breed didnt actually work.

Most site owner suggest their website is better than their competition. So how does one grade the best of the breed?

Rherotical question actually.

EditorialGuy




msg:4681353
 12:18 am on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Fathom, you're the one who wrote:

everyone that knows how to rank a website generally know that lackluster quality is the devil's advocate here and if you avoid the footprints of lackluster quality you also avoid Negative SEO. The higher up the quality pole your domain goes the less potential anyone can do anything about your ranks and in reverse, the lower down the quality pole your domain resources are the easier it is to succumb to "some form of gifting".


It seems to me that we're on the same page.

graeme_p




msg:4681439
 7:55 am on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

There are a lot of fiverr jobs mentioning negative SEO, but there are even more claiming to be Penguin or Panda safe (which I doubt they are!). There are even more making the same claim on other freelance sites - for example PeoplePerHour has no services that mention negative SEO other than those that offer to fix it, but it has LOTS of offers of the "penguin safe liinkwheel" variety.

aristotle




msg:4681486
 12:25 pm on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

everyone that knows how to rank a website generally know that lackluster quality is the devil's advocate here and if you avoid the footprints of lackluster quality you also avoid Negative SEO. The higher up the quality pole your domain goes the less potential anyone can do anything about your ranks and in reverse, the lower down the quality pole your domain resources are the easier it is to succumb to "some form of gifting".

A glaring exception to this is small new sites that haven't had time to attract any quality backlinks. Such a site could be the work of the world's foremost expert, with the most trustworthy and most useful information on its subject, by any meaningful standard far far far better than any other site in the field. Yet because it hasn't had time to attract any quality backlinks, some hateful person could combine neagtive SEO with the Penguin flaw to drive it down into oblivlion in Google's rankings.

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