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Negative Seo Is Working


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31 replies to this topic

#1 Jill

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:02 AM

Okay guys, it's getting dirty out there and once again Google is making a liar out of all of us who have been trying to support them.

There have been many reports of reputable companies and websites (such as our own DanThies's) getting Google bowled right out of the search results, even though they have many years of authority and great links.

See the SEObook post: GoogleBowling, Negative SEO & Outing.

Also just saw Wil Reynolds from SEER Interactive having same problem.

See his G+ thread about it.

Seems like a bit of a witch hunt by Google trying to scare all SEOs. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.


[edit] my original worries posted above were based off of incorrect info. Neither Dan nor Wil had their sites hurt in the search results due to something a competitor did. See the posts from Dan Thies below.

Edited by Jill, 21 April 2012 - 01:57 PM.
Cleared up misinformation


#2 chrishirst

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:25 AM

Yeah, but we have seen this at every major update since at least the "Florida" update, Google starts off with volume turned up full, then when the crap hits the fan they start to turn it down until the neighbours stop complaining.

Marketers and SEO are rarely happy with Google, they either complain about too many spammy results, or complain when Google turns up the heat and their pages get hit along with the spammers.

Sometimes I think it does show that it is a very fine line between "nice" and "naughty"

#3 ScooterMan

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:29 PM

I still have yet to see any actual proof that negative SEO is working. In the Dan Thies case, can any person say they know for a fact that all link building Thies did prior to the "SEO bomb" conformed to the latest Google algorithm update? The problem with all of these "proof" cases is that people cite them at precisely the same time a new update occurs. Was it the SEO bomb or were some of the links that Thies had coming to his website not as snowy white as we all would like to think they were?

I'd like to see some proof two months AFTER the latest algorithm hits and all things have settled. I want to see a website that has survived months after a Google update get bombed and see the results. Until someone does that, this is absolutley no proof at all. T,hies' site might have tanked due to the new update without that bomb for all I know simply because of prior links that the new algorithm now sees as being worthless. For all I know, 90% of the links pointing at his site were devalued with the latest update - links that were regarded as "legitimate" for years!

#4 Michael Martinez

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:35 PM

He's referring to a case study published on a link spam forum. The case study documents an experiment that is so sloppy and poorly defined that there is no value in discussing these claims and allegations.

Negative SEO has been around for a long time. Google's recent Webmaster Tools notifications don't make it any more meaningful than in the past, except as a scare factor (which is a point Dan Thies makes in the comments on that blog post).

So Google is not making a liar out of anyone. Rather, people who have not learned how to be scientific about SEO after years of publishing ridiculous rants are continuing to rant and rave without making any real sense. It's sad that so many real SEOs are giving this poison link campaign any real attention at all.

#5 robwatts

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:07 AM

I think it's a simple case of FUD. Google loves FUD, it's profitable for them.

Here's a stellar thought. You can do negative SEO on yourself, it's called do stupid things and get yourself filtered.

I'll leave others to judge whether it's possible for others to make one look the same using similar tactics.

I guess it's all gearing up for a WMT option of 'ignore this link'.

That said, Google should just ignore crap links regardless. Yet they don't. I wonder why that is.

#6 Jill

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:45 AM

I didn't realize Dan said that his site's loss wasn't due to the bad links (See http://www.seroundta...-seo-15042.html). That makes me feel a lot better.

#7 robwatts

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:02 AM

I didn't realize Dan said that his site's loss wasn't due to the bad links (See http://www.seroundta...-seo-15042.html). That makes me feel a lot better.


Unfortunately, it's one of those things that we just don't really know. Google's probably got in there and messed around a little and who knows what the agenda is. As long as people are talking about it and ooohing and ahhing then from a Goog perspective it's job done. FUD continues, message remains that SEO is a risky use of one's marketing budget.
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#8 qwerty

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:24 PM

Wil Reynolds published a blog post last night about what he'd gone through. The lessons learned are more about community and reputation than any theories about what happened. It's only in the comments that some suggestions get thrown out there -- negative SEO, sudden jump in backlinks (malicious or not), the parked domain nonsense, and Wil finally suggests that

I think it was something to do with the 301 from thinkseer.com to seerinteractive.com.

So I generally agree with Rob, but not completely. It may not be a simple case of FUD, but there's FUD in the mix. I hope there are Google engineers working on fixing this. I'm almost certain that there are people in the 'Plex laughing it up over this.

And I guess I have to decide how much to worry about this 301 theory. My bosses have bought out a few competitors and redirected all of their pages to ours, including a big property they purchased from Yahoo a couple of years ago. If it turns out that makes us evildoers in the eyes of Google... :sorry:

#9 Michael Martinez

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 01:05 PM

Of course, he still hasn't learned the most important lesson: Those who live by the link die by the algorithm (burp).
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#10 DanThies

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 08:39 PM

This may be the first time Michael and I agree 100% on something... I mean... one time he even refused to acknowledge the moral superiority of bacon vs. all other foods... but...

Yeah. What Michael said. And I mean every word. Yes. Exactly that. All of it.

Organic referrals from Google are up 8.95% during the 4 weeks since they started this, vs. the prior 4 weeks. They managed to drive my site all the way up to page 1 for [seo] and then claimed they successfully knocked it down, even though it's still higher than it ever was before.

It was interesting that it only took 3-4 days for Google to start discounting the spam links and drop the ranking for [seo] back down.

It is surprising that the site hasn't had Panda problems or something, given that it's been half-broken for 3 months. But the shift on [seo book] is the *only* query I can find the site trending down against, and I have "reproduced" that effect several times by making similar changes.

[seo book], by the way, is a navigational query that is at least 90% directed at finding Aaron Wall. (These things can be measured with money and time...)

He's referring to a case study published on a link spam forum. The case study documents an experiment that is so sloppy and poorly defined that there is no value in discussing these claims and allegations.

Negative SEO has been around for a long time. Google's recent Webmaster Tools notifications don't make it any more meaningful than in the past, except as a scare factor (which is a point Dan Thies makes in the comments on that blog post).

So Google is not making a liar out of anyone. Rather, people who have not learned how to be scientific about SEO after years of publishing ridiculous rants are continuing to rant and rave without making any real sense. It's sad that so many real SEOs are giving this poison link campaign any real attention at all.



#11 clandestino

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:34 PM

I didn't realize Dan said that his site's loss wasn't due to the bad links (See http://www.seroundta...-seo-15042.html). That makes me feel a lot better.


If that's the case, why did Dan say this? --> https://groups.google.com/a/googleproductforums.com/forum/#!category-topic/webmasters/chit-chat/Azfly-iRtLs

@DanThies ???

#12 chrishirst

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 05:46 AM

If that's the case, why did Dan say this?

Sometimes we all say (or publish) things that are retracted or revised when fresh evidence appears that is contrary to ones original point of view or assessment.

"The mark of a wise man is being able to admit that he was wrong"

#13 DanThies

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 11:00 AM

If that's the case, why did Dan say this? --> https://groups.googl...hat/Azfly-iRtLs

@DanThies ???

What I said was that they'd caused me to get a message in Webmaster Tools. They did. Which to most people would be a pretty damaging thing, because they freak out about it. I looked at it as a chance to finally get an answer out of Google on what webmasters are supposed to do when they have no idea what the hell Google is talking about.
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#14 Jill

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 01:59 PM

Thanks for the additional info Dan. Good to know that competitors cannot hurt a well established site. I've added a note to my first post in this thread indicating that I was basing it on erroneous information

#15 Michael Martinez

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 05:22 PM

If anything, Dan's site was probably just a convenient honeypot for the Google spam team. Frankly, as a means of "getting revenge" against Dan, this SEO test was pretty stupid and self-defeating.




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