What is 'Negative SEO'
- Negative SEO has previously been narrowly defined as creating links that will negative impact a website in Google's index. For the purposes of this thread, I will maintain that as the core meaning of negative SEO despite the fact that it can mean much more in the broad scope. The fact is, any time Google gives SEO's a weapon to hurt their competition, no matter what that weapon is, Negative SEO will begin to take root and flourish.
- Negative SEO is often considered a purely black hat SEO technique, but Google has officially broken that connection. In early 2012 Google went on a mission to destroy blog and homepage backlink networks. These had been considered Grey Hat (in terms of SEO, not cracking - which is also Grey Hat) SEO techniques, while some at WarriorForum even considered them White Hat means of link building! We don't give much credit to what comes out of high school hallways of marketing known as warriorforum however.
- Negative SEO at it's root is using any and all means required to create highly unnatural links, SEO farm linking, and link distraction to force Google's automatic algorithm to punish a site or domain.
- For internet marketers and affiliate marketing, this means you have a chance to destroy your competition, and take all of the traffic from the search engine rankings for yourself.
Many internet marketers have begun to feel that Google purposefully created this major hole in early 2012 to compensate for Google's very poor Q1 earning performance. In order for Larry Page to not look incompetent on the job, the theory is that Google would earn substantially more in adwords revenue is companies were to invest in that kind of advertising over SEO. In order to accomplish that, the SERP's needed to become a less reliable way to have traffic and buyers get to your site. What better way to create that instability than to turn SEO's against each other and make the SERP's a dog-eat-dog battle of who could buy more domains in an arms race to have any presence on the web what so ever. Did it work? Kind of...
What Went Wrong For Google and Negative SEO?
Simply put, negative SEO has been around for years. Since Google's algo would punish sites if their inbound link velocity was too high suddenly, it's no surprise that marketers with poor intentions would simply pound their competition with over a million links a day (if not more) until Google slapped the target. This was fine for the most part because so few marketers had the ability to create that many links.
Then Google lowered the standards for Negative SEO related punishments, and all hell broke loose. In order to be successful using Negative SEO, you no longer needed to be able to create millions of links in a day. You merely need to buy some profile link blasts from easy-to-find and willing vendors as well as using more widely available blog and article link farms that Google decided they had to punish just months before.
They essentially put the average marketer with any kind of reasonable budget into the business of Negative SEO. There was no training or education required, merely a desire and access to widely available and advertised services.
Negative SEO Counter Strike Pending Against Google
As a result of Google essentially devaluing the hard work of thousands of honest and sincere SEO's, there have been rumblings of an Adsense Program Devaluation Movement. It's hard to know if any of these rumors would ever come true, and if the movement would be organized enough to do enough damage to the system to be productive but the thought is simple.
How Google Affected SEO's
- SEO's earn a living by helping boost a site's visibility in Google's search Engine.
- Google decided to create an atmosphere that will damage the livelihoods of SEO's all over the planet.
- Google decided to ruin the financial investment of thousands of small businesses across the globe by not only permitting Negative SEO, but encouraging it with it's most recent algorithm updates.
- At the same time, Google's stance has been that it's their search engine - and their results are up to them as a company to decide. Nobody should have room to complain.
How SEO's Would Affect Google
- Google's earnings are very closely affected by the success of the Adwords and Adsense programs.
- Every time an Adsense link is clicked on, it costs the advertiser money.
- If a large number of clicks begin to occur without sales being generated, the advertiser will have to devalue their investment in the Adwords program.
- The result of advertisers pulling out of the Adwords program will be a financial impact against Google similar to the financial impact that Google has exposed honest SEO's and webmaster to already.
The principle is solid. If there is nothing wrong with Google automatically punishing site's that have SEO's and webmaster who are honest and of good moral and ethical character - then equally where does Google have room to complain about those SEO's simply clicking on the same little blue links that you find across the internet already?
As you can see, the internet has suddenly found a way to remind Google that 'Two can play that game.' See, there's no legal binding agreement in place between your casual internet surfer who might click on an Adwords link and Google. As such, Google is in no position to tell a person when and how they can click on that link.
SEOSUNITE.COM and I, as GODOVERYOU have no connection to this Anti-Adwords movement, and merely bring it up as an example of the 'Can of Worms' that Google is allowing to be opened by keeping unethical SEO's in the business of Negative SEO.
Conclusion on Negative SEO:
Google has to ability to stop Negative SEO immediately, but it seems they are committed to allowing it to continue. As a result, the very structure of how we all get information will change significantly every day they allow it to continue. Overall, as a marketer, I find this whole thing somewhat stimulating from the sense that there's a new function and process to learn - but as a person - this is a dangerous game that Google is now playing.
- Big Brands such as Amazon, Ebay, Wikipedia, and news outlets such as cnn.com could be destabilized and removed from Google's easily found indexed results?
- Small start-ups could be destroyed and equally removed from the easily accessed search results - removing any new innovation or value they could eventually offer to the internet?
Would the internet be a better place? Of course not.
Overall, Google can't stop internet marketing, because internet marketing is bigger than Google - but they are risking the rest of the purely informational outlets to try to stop marketing and for what reason? Why risk how every man and woman who uses Google get's information just to stop someone from selling something that Google has decided they don't want to have sold?
The Bigger Picture Of Google
Google has spent years protecting themselves with a zero-transparency policy. This has lead to a lot of resentment for the company.
- They will close people's adsense accounts for cookie cutter reasoning with no specifics listed.
- They will flush site's out of the SERP's and pretend that there's nothing more to be said on the matter.
- If you go to their offices to speak to anyone, they refer you to their legal department and treat you as if you were something less than human.
- They collect volumes of information against you, and they know they can as the largest provider of search engine results on the face of the planet.
Essentially, they have committed themselves to acting like thugs and bullies, giving people the choice of either:
A) Not using the largest search engine and not using the most widely installed mobile phone operating system, essentially cutting off people's rights to free and fair choice.
B) Selling the massive piles of personal information they collect on you to the highest bidder, deciding how and what information you deserve to read, and how you should be able to conduct your life - even down the the type of cell phone you are permitted to use.
What's changed now?
Their arrogance has finally caught up to them and got the attention of even the most pure and innocent SEO and allowed everyone with a website to become a victim. They just put every SEO in the business of digital assassination ... and have yet to say there's anything wrong with it.
The question is....
Does your website have a target on it's back? If so, is Google liable for it's death? I think so... but what do I know anyways?