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Negative SEO - How to Tank a Site in Google 101

     
3:48 am on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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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!
12:25 pm on June 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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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.
12:47 pm on June 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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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.


I pointed out the same thing; however it does plays well for the posters here that already have established websites, no one to dethrone them! ;)
1:14 pm on June 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Please, lets try to stay somewhat within the scope of this topic (I know it is difficult).

This is a really serious issue because it pits webmaster against webmaster.

Anyone willing to stepup with a concrete - let's name-some-names - case study? If so, stickymail me and lets prep it right. We need:

- rankings screen shot before attack
- screen shots and list of urls, that linked (eg, the negative site). (prefer archive.org links)
- rankings screen shots after attack
1:20 pm on June 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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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.


Sure but also with that exception is the less likely potential to be in the Negative SEO crosshairs.

Yes everyone can target you but generally until you have established yourself you are not likely to be anyone's target.
1:27 pm on June 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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But there is the unintentional negative seo whereby content scrapers and link building software pick up website urls from google search (in places normal searchers wouldn't even look) and start posting links on their site to make their spam more natural.
2:19 pm on June 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm still wondering if Google is intentionally delaying the next Penguin update, which is way overdue, because they've realized that it would reveal a lot of successful negative SEO attacks unless they do something to prevent it.

It's the flaws in Penguin that have made negative SEO theoretically possible. But for the same reason, the results of an attempted attack aren't revealed until a Penguin update. It's been more than 8 months since the last update, so that's a long "dark period" during which a lot of attempted attacks could have been carried out, but their success or failure won't be known until the next Penguin update. If Google has realized that a lot of attacks would be successful unless something is done, they may be trying to modify Penguin to reduce the damage. So that could be why the next update is so long overdue.
9:16 am on June 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Here is a good point.. expired domain buying and pointing spam links to a once popular domain.. surely that would "look" like negative seo attack?
3:11 pm on June 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Just out of curiosity (and this is a serious question, not a challenge), how do you distinguish "negative SEO" links from "normal junk links"? We get thousands of links from what appear to be third-rate directories, scraper sites, etc., but as far as I can tell, they aren't helping or hurting us. They just seem to be part of the Web's background noise.
8:32 pm on June 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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We get thousands of links from what appear to be third-rate directories, scraper sites, etc., but as far as I can tell, they aren't helping or hurting us

Same here. It could be that Google can identify (and then ignores) such sites since they seem to link to many, many other websites.

I believe that the Negative SEO attack which Google has a difficulty to figure out is when a mass of inbound links suddenly come from a selection of sites that do not link to thousands and thousands of other sites in the same manner.
10:16 pm on June 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Here is a good point.. expired domain buying and pointing spam links to a once popular domain.. surely that would "look" like negative seo attack?


The former is a Countermeasure to the latter.

If you point an old baby bottle domain to your used car website the mass increase of links that are natural based on the algorithimic pattern detection looking for unnatural use of car oriented anchors makes it hard for the Negative SEO campaign to meet its goals.

Just out of curiosity (and this is a serious question, not a challenge), how do you distinguish "negative SEO" links from "normal junk links"? We get thousands of links from what appear to be third-rate directories, scraper sites, etc., but as far as I can tell, they aren't helping or hurting us. They just seem to be part of the Web's background noise.


I personally define normal junk links as natural... The links are intended for the patrons of the linking website... The links themselves have nothing to do with the owner's desire or ability to rank.

Unnatural links (which include Negative SEO links) are purpose built for the owner of the website. Whether that purpose is to rank better or to have the appearance to an algorithm that is the intended pupose.
5:12 pm on June 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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This thread is mostly speculative, so let's toss another thought into the mix:

Could a site's history influence its susceptibility to "negative SEO"?

Let's say that Joe's site has a history of manual penalties or has been given a thumbs-down by Penguin. Jill's site has a clean record and hasn't been impacted by Penguin. Isn't it possible that Google might be more skeptical about Joe's questionable backlinks than it is about Jill's, and that it might be inclined to give Jill (but not John) the benefit of the doubt? If that were the case, Joe would be more vulnerable to "negative SEO" than Jill would be--and Google might not place a high priority on saving Joe from being hurt by his past sins, since its users wouldn't be any worse off.
9:05 pm on June 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Could a site's history influence its susceptibility to "negative SEO"?


I'd imagine that's the case - any site that's been blacklisted before will have a hard job recovering from negative SEO as they will just look like a repeat offender.
1:57 pm on June 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Google might not place a high priority on saving Joe


Wouldnt this imply a Manual Review?

PENGUIN itself doesnt have an adaptive memory since it must be re-RUN to consolidate changes.
4:08 pm on July 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

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couple of people sent me very interesting case studys. One in a fairly noncompetitive market. I will post results when worthy.
6:25 pm on July 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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couple of people sent me very interesting case studys. One in a fairly noncompetitive market. I will post results when worthy.


I hope you do that. I'd like to hear about it. I have some good evidence that negative SEO can impact a site, but I don't know a way I can post it.
2:18 pm on July 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I have some good evidence that negative SEO can impact a site

The last announced Penguin rollout/update was Oct 4, 2013, more than 9 and 1/2 months ago, far longer than any previous interval between announced Penguin updates. One possible explanation for this delay is that Google realized that a lot of sites would be sabotaged by negative SEO if Penguin were rolled out without making changes to prevent this from happening.

In other words, Google may be trying to fix Penguin, or at least the part that makes negative SEO possible, before they roll it out, and this is the reason for the delay. But since the possibility of negative SEO is a basic aspect of the assumptions on which Penguin is based, an acceptable fix might not be possible, in which case the best solution might be to throw Penguin onto their garbage pile.
2:30 pm on July 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I can guarantee that it's possible to tank a site with negative SEO. Someone did it to me. It's cost me a substantial amount of income, so much it's changed my life severely. From depression, career, mortgage payments etc. I found about 700 phoney links, which I disavowed 9 months ago. I didn't expect that I would have to wait 10 months + for Google to refresh. It's incredible that they know this is happening but do nothing about it.
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