If you run a website, you need to know about the newest black hat search engine optimization tactic: negative SEO. Most people are familiar with SEO as a tool to boost a website’s search engine ranking through keyword content, quality linkbacks and positive social media feedback. However, a study done by TastyPlacement showed that with less than $50, they could drop their one of their own website’s Google rank.
The results showed that the company was able to lower their search engine ranking from #3 to #14; they also took the website from page one to page two for a keyword search result. This was accomplished by using a slew of junk links against the site. Using thousands of forum profiles, blog comments and trash sidebar links, they were able to dramatically lower their website’s Google ranking. Even worse, this was done for a very low cost.
You may be wondering why anyone would want to do this to their own website. The truth is that no one would want to purposely damage their website’s search engine ranking. However, in the highly competitive search engine ranking arena, people may consider doing this to competitor’s websites. While major companies could probably recover fairly easily from this type of onslaught, most small businesses would have problems combating this type of NSEO tactic.
Original study & infographic by TastyPlacement, an Austin SEO company.