Negative SEO is a form of sabotage that some try to use to knock down the competition’s websites in the search engine results. There is much debate over whether or not NSEO is effective.
Many believe that directing lots of spammy links to a website, using the site’s most valuable keywords as the anchor text, will cause the website to get a Google penalty for unnatural links, or trigger the Penguin algorithm filter. Despite the claims of some otherwise trustworthy SEO blogs who are likely trying to capitalize on the fear and confusion surrounding the topic of Negative SEO, this method has not been proven to be effective on websites that do not already have some clear violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Ker Communications has had a lengthy battle with several such “link bombing” negative seo attacks, and there has been no effect on the site’s rankings or traffic.
To date, Google has only acknowledged one or two fringe cases in which the victim site was hacked or hijacked, causing a ranking drop. However, neither Google, nor any impartial and informed analyst has shown that link-based Negative SEO can be effective on an otherwise clean site.
Other forms of negative SEO which may work could include fraudulent directory listings, fake reviews, online identity theft, false DMCA reports, high volume content scraping & theft, and various forms of malicious website hacking.
Attempting to sabotage a business is a highly unethical thing to do. For the low-lifes who are not concerned about things like what is right and wrong, the difficulty, cost, and potential legal ramifications should be enough to deter all but the truly stupid from attempting such actions. The amount of effort required to successfully take down a competitor’s website using NSEO is such that the perpetrator’s time would be much better spent building and improving their own web presence rather than trying to destroy the work of others.
Here are some articles that relate to the topic of Negative SEO: