Have you noticed lately that with every update to Google’s algorithm we are seeing the SEO playing field thin ever so slightly?
With the amount of SEO hacks out there, it’s not all that surprising to see so many of them confused and bewildered over what to do once the big G eliminates their once great blackhat ranking method.
You see there was a time when blasting a ton of links (votes) pointing to your site would get you ranking rather quickly — these days post-Penguin, this method no longer works. In fact it will hurt you now more than ever.
There is another side to this — for some strange reason Google feels that SEOs are not malicious enough to attack competitors – they are dead wrong.
What has been called Negative SEO — where other SEOs will deliberately perform “shady” and immoral tactics (blackhat) at another site with the clear intention of getting them punished by Google so that when they drop in rankings as a result…their client site can rise in the ranks.
Yes it’s pretty sketchy but none the less they are out there. And there are more than you might think.
Thinking back, it’s sort of hard to imagine that Google would open themselves up to the mercy of malicious SEOs but they certainly have with these last few updates dubbed Penguin that admittedly punishes sites for bad backlinking practices.
Weird really considering Google was originally called Backrub do to their main consideration for ranking determination as being the amount of links(votes) pointing back to the site.
Realistically they could alleviate this problem of Negative SEO by simply “discrediting” any links they deem shady. This would be more effective than punishing sites when they could simply be victims of Negative SEO.
The million dollar question is…how does Google know if it’s the actual webmaster doing it, or the actions of a competitors looking to move in?
Sure the big G will be the first ones to tell you that they are not that naive to allow this window of opportunity for shady SEO agents to exploit, but the truth of the matter is they have and I’ve already fallen victim to it.
Back in November 2011, I had the unfortunate experience of attracting the attention of a bitter little “SEO expert” who suspiciously had more time than sense on his hands so he immediately began performing Negative SEO against my site and my reputation. This same so called “expert” has built a bit of a reputation over the years throughout the SEO scene whereas he is known as a cyber-stalker who, due to the fact he can’t find businesses dumb enough to hire him, he chooses to hunt and harass legitimate SEOs.
Well, despite having the foresight on this nutbar and contacting Google well in advance before the effects of his actions were widespread…big G would simply ignore it and likely chalked it up as two SEOs having yet another cyber-battle over supremacy.
This crackpot would then take it further by registering TLDs of services that I offer, followed by writing untrue claims and malicious lies about someone he’s never met nor knows, all in the attempt to bring down a reputation I’ve spent years growing.
All this was going on while at the same time he was begging for work via Twitter. Is it any surprise this unprofessional hack couldn’t find a client if his life depended on it?
Did it work?
Well people are smart enough to realize a fraud when they see one so in that regard…NO. However in Google…YES.
So it is with great regret but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Negative SEO is in fact alive and well and thanks to Google opening the door for such malice…they are now being used to harm legitimate businesses and falling victim themselves to the actions of otherwise useless SEOs who lack the knowledge and social personality to play well with others.
It has been suggested that one could perform massive backlinking campaigns that only include high authority hand-picked backlinks and quality content in order to attempt to ward off the affects, should anyone try, of Negative SEO. This doesn’t make much sense to me that webmasters should have to spend all sorts of time and energy “protecting” their own asses because Google was dumb enough to permit such manipulation of their algo updates.
Should you be interested in getting started performing “whitehat” SEO on your own site to help get you started, please consider getting my FREE Quickstart SEO Guide below.[freebiesub download="http://www.donhalbert.com/letters/quickstartSEO.pdf"]