ColourOfSpring - 3:48 pm on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0) [edited by: ColourOfSpring at 4:15 pm (utc) on Aug 11, 2013]
I didn't say anything about whether negative SEO is easy or difficult to do. I said that negative SEO could be the reason why a site owner lost Google's trust, but, "realistically, it's probably because the site or its SEO went a little too far with 'link building.'"
I made a point about how easy it was to do because there's a lot of it going on. Negative SEO doesn't necessarily mean there's an intent to hurt a site. I just mean that the likes of scrapers, aggregators, and cheap directories (that pre-populate their listings by scraping other lists) are all churning out links 24/7, and it's evident this happens when I look at any link profile of any given domain name. As I say, this doesn't even include malicious intent. Basically, these are links you didn't build, nor are they "positive" links.
I do get what you're saying about deliberate and cynical link building, but honestly I think that's truly a practice that's been withering on the vine for some time now. A "normal" business site that decides to use old SEO techniques of blog commenting, article directories and other previously popular "mainstream" methods - well, it would be as if they've been asleep in the last 18 months or so. Not many people bother with these techniques now. Most are mired in a situation of trying to remove years-old links that did employ such techniques years ago.
However, scrapers and aggregators haven't gone away....
[edited by: ColourOfSpring at 4:15 pm (utc) on Aug 11, 2013]