Unwanted Side Effects
Negative SEO is still something of a unicorn within the world of webmasters and SEO experts. Everyone agrees that, thanks to the penalties assessed by Google toward low-quality and spammy sites, negative SEO should be possible. After all, if a website can be legitimately de-ranked by Google’s algorithms, it seems only natural that a black-hatter should be able to cheat the system to de-rank a page. Let me assure you, Negative SEO is very real.
In practice, it’s harder than it seems. While there are plenty of people selling negative SEO services on Fiverr and other websites, it’s hard to pin down the results of these efforts. No one seems willing to step forward and take credit for the de-ranking of a competitor’s website, so it’s still difficult to tell whether these negative SEO services are actually effective or have worked in the past. This is surprising because black-hat types are often very eager to share their clever exploits; the absence of threads of successful negative SEO attacks on various Black Hatter forums seems highly suspicious.
Since there are many other explanations for a site losing rank, it’s hard to pinpoint negative SEO as the reason a site has dropped on the search results page. Even some legitimate, non-malicious activities could result in activity that looks like negative SEO. For example, a site owner might have purchased a link-building practice from an inexperienced SEO “expert” who proceeded to spam backlinks. This makes it hard to confirm that a website really was the victim of a negative SEO attack.
What is Negative SEO?
There are lots of ways that a person could go about destroying the rank of a competitor. Some are more underhanded and illegal than others. For example, you could hack a website and wreak havoc with it. In common usage, negative SEO refers to a different tactic – one that is both legal and mostly untraceable.
In a negative SEO attack, you target a competitor’s website with thousands of spammy links from low-quality websites. The idea is to point so many bad websites back at a specific webpage, targeting specific keywords, that the site loses its search rank. In practice, this usually takes the form of a shotgun blast of backlinks built on Blogger and WordPress.com blogs, porn sites, brand new domains and other low-level websites. If you are looking for Negative Seo Services or Reputation Management Service you can contact by email at email@example.com
Could Negative SEO Backfire?
Sites can end up getting a temporary popularity bump, especially since the penalties may not be assessed until a search engine algorithm refresh occurs.
The problem with link-based negative SEO as a tactic for taking out your competitors is that it requires commitment. You can’t go halfway. If you don’t blast the site with enough links, if the links aren’t spammy enough, or the dummy sites you use aren’t low-ranked enough, you can actually improve the competitor’s rank rather than damage it.
This is especially true for fledgling websites that may not have a firm foothold in page ranks yet. These are the ideal target for a negative SEO attack because they’ve yet to establish a reputation with Google. You don’t have to fight against an existing legacy of high-quality backlinks and good SEO in order to tear down a new site; you just have to make sure that it never thrives.
Here’s the downside of link-based negative SEO: Sites can end up getting a temporary popularity bump, especially since the penalties may not be assessed until a search engine algorithm refresh occurs.
And, of course, there’s another problem. As much as SEO gurus might suggest otherwise, Google is not the only search engine on the web, and other search engines do not use exactly the same proprietary algorithms as Google. The entire notion of negative SEO exists in response to Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, but search engines that are flagging behind Google haven’t implemented all of those changes. In other words – a site you successfully de-rank in Google could hypothetically end up being a top result in Swagbucks or Bing, and is that a risk you’re willing to take?
Finally, the last problem with negative SEO is that search engines are always changing. You never know when Google might decide to swap its algorithms around again. And while it’s unlikely that Google will ever go back to rewarding backlinks to travel sites from porn hubs, it’s still possible that all of your hard work could be undone in a year or two.
Is Negative SEO an Effective Option?
So far, the jury is still out on negative SEO. It’s still not completely clear whether it even exists or at least if people are actually successfully using it, and it may do more harm than good, especially if the backlinking strategy is not thorough enough. That said, there are a few ways you might be able to boost your chances of having it work.
One step would be to do more than simply spam low-quality backlinks. You could maximize the power of Google’s penalties by duplicating the site’s content throughout the web as well. Since Google prioritizes original content, spamming low-quality sites with the same content might serve to knock the original site down a peg. Similarly, building up a web of de-ranked sites would be more effective than a uni-directional attack: You could build backlinks to new sites, and then point spammy backlinks to those sites, making them even more untrustworthy in Google’s eyes.
That said, all of this requires a lot of work without any assurance of reward. Until someone steps forward to admit that they’ve fully cracked the code for successful negative SEO, I don’t know that I’d volunteer to be the first guinea pig.