My first glimpse of negative SEO

I’ve had a client approach me and ask about some links in their link profile. I scratched my head when they showed me the links that they’d found, the site was basically a porn blog with a load of links underneath it. Strange, I would never build these kind of links, I’ve been building fewer links and high quality links myself because the way Google is going at the moment there’s no way I’d touch anything slightly dodgy.

So I’m scratching my head, the client is essentially accusing me of building the links and I can’t think that this can possible be true, then I look at the date on the link and realise that I was on a holiday break for the best part of a week when the links were built – so feeling a little bit more confident that I hadn’t been involved in the dodgy link building I went back to my client and said so. Rightly, the client then asked me: “well who has been building these links?” obviously still not believing me, but when I thought about it and thought about all the changes that have gone on in Google over the last couple of months lead me to think the much-fated negative seo techniques are finally getting used. Those black hat seos that we once referred to are truly turning to the real dark side!

What can be done about Negative SEO?

This got me thinking about what can be done to get this sorted, it’s not an easy question really because if you’re concentrating on building a select number of really good links, then you’re not going to constantly checking your own link profile, however it would seem that this is going to be something that we need to do in the future.

If we see a surge in links that are of poor quality then I’d suggest the first thing to do would be to let Google know that you think something strange is going on as soon as possible, this can be done through a reconsideration request, detailing everything you can see.

Dealing with Negative SEO in the future

So that’s if you see a surge in links – what happens if there are just a few dripping through, this is after all what we really want to happen with a site, we want people to find, it’s likely that these are going to slip under the radar, I think you don’t need to worry if you have a decent link portfolio in place, the few links that come through would be mitigated by the good quality links. The problems may come about when the links come in to a site that doesn’t have a big link portfolio not only because the ratio of these links will be much higher but also because the owner won’t be as on top of what’s happening in their link portfolio.

I’m fairly sure that I’ll be able to sort out what’s happening with my clients site, although I am a bit concerned that a competitor out there is adding negative seo links back to the site – it’s quite a negative process to have to keep building links to try to contain the potential affects of a competitor.

I really hope SEO isn’t going the way I think it might be doing, I’m all for growing businesses however I’ve always believed in a collaborative approach to business, not shameless destructive competitiveness that stops you focusing on what a business does well, rather makes the focus simply how to damage a businesses competitors.

Leave a Reply