Negative SEO

SEO’s our own worst enemies and Negative SEO

I just wanted to get this out there and vent a little it’s a little rant fired up by what I keep seeing every single week on forums, blogs etc. It isn’t going to go away, I know that – but I’ll feel better for getting it off my chest. 😀

To any SEO who thinks its cool to file a spam report then, unless it’s around something heinous or illegal then here is the news. You suck. No you really do. If you think that by reporting a site that ranks above your own, or venting somewhere in a forum is cool, then again, just in case you missed it the 1st time around here is the news. You suck.

The upshot is that by being a rat SEO you are doing the job of those who may one day move the goal posts and kill your site. Ultimately the only long term benefactor from all the tittle tattling and finger pointing is Google. If you manage to get a site demoted, if you manage to ruin someones hard work then the only real winner is those who they’ll end up paying PPC fees to. Sure, site in position number 2 and 3 will be happy too, but for how long? How long before they end up in a similar position too, not to mention of course the bigger question of how it can be so damn easy to get a competitor banned (more on that later)

What am I saying? I’m talking about competitive SERPs, those ones that are damn difficult to rank for, at least difficult in the sense of creating the required number and mix of links needed to push ones way onto page one.

My site is more relevant than yours 

The ultimate arbiter of what is the most relevant site for a keyword is of course the algo that puts it where it is. An algo that does supposedly rank sites based on factors that the people who constructed it believe to be the most useful signals in determining what is and what is not a good or a bad user experience. Yet, in a tope 10 SERP, how many sites can be the most relevant for say Loans, or Mortgages or Insurance or any other number of one or two word keywords that people pay huge bucks on PPC for? The answer is of course 10 but there are of course many many more.Every single site that sells or dissects the vertical in which it is in, is in some way relevant to what it is about. Just because the Google algo happens to place too much emphasis on a sites link profile doesn’t mean therefore that every domain that tries to play catch up is in some way web spamming, that whole negative connotation with competing really does need to go away. Christ it’s human nature 101 isn’t it? Don’t we all in some way try and learn from our peers? Don’t we all try and take the best of what our friends , competitors, family, allies, enemies do and in some way learn?

If my friend Bob just happens to have a knack for kicking my ass on the XBOX360 cos he has learned some nifty little 6 button combo that does little shimmies and leaves my players for toast or is glitching his way to success, then am I just supposed to let him continue to do so? Or do I take stock, learn and emulate. If I’m dumb then I do the former and just get used to never beating his ass at Pro Evo or whatever other game he happens to have a move or two on me. Yet of course I’m not dumb so I take the route of observing and learning and finding a way of doing what he does and then some.

What I don’t do is write to Microsoft and complain bitterly and ask them to ban his ass from Xbox Live. Neither do I go to various Internet fora  plastering his Xbox ID all over the shop. Unless of course I happen to be a malicious malevolent S.O.B. I like to think that I’m not

Yet some SEO’s do so all the time. They whine and bitch about how a competitor has managed to accrue so many links in so short a time. They whine about the unfairness of it all, the whole buying of links thing being one such example. They don’t quite get the connection between there being no difference  in a link being acquired for cold hard cash and a link being acquired for cold hard cash. Whatever way it’s sliced and diced someone, somewhere is being paid to influence a decision. Just because Google or Yahoo say that x is bad it doesn’t make it so. Why is it that some people are so thick that they struggle to think for themselves;  incapable of any semblance of independant thought, like monotoned Zombies wandering around aimlessly looking for the next juicy head to stick their teeth into. What’s worse is that when they find a victim they let off this hue and cry that encourages all the other Zombie gang to wade in and take their little piece too, tittling and prattling like fish wives in some 30’s production line. Sooner or later the big feck off Google Zombie comes along and rips out the heart of the tottering victim. A victim whose only crime was to do the same as practically everyone else beneath him in the SERP, only better.

If you make a big deal of something and make a big enough noise and point to an example then a search engine will respond, they will take actions and reinforce their agenda, it suits their purposes on a number of levels. PR, (thats public relations) and profit, why can’t people get this?

 Kill your competitors with Negative SEO

Just to reinforce the point a little further did you know that you can stealthily add links  to any top ranking competitor that you like. You can buy links from a link broker in a steady as you go way and after a month or two, silently slip in a little anonymous or overt blog post, or comment somewhere in the right place and get that business penalised. Just go Google for ‘negative seo’ and see how many firms are even offering this as a service.

Why would you try and help a site positioned above yours with link buying? Simple really! If they gain any short term benefit, then it doesn’t matter in the link numbers game, because they are above you already. If you do it properly and examine their link profile and present your case to the right people in the right way then…bang you can kill them, just like that.

Shut it Rob it’s business  

I’m not so naive in my thinking that I’m not aware of the whole ‘hey this is just business Rob, get used to it’ line. It’s part of the territory that goes with the whole free SERP thing, but for the love of something a whole lot bigger than I, can those of you that continually buy in to the whole ‘SERP fairness’ angle that the search engines like to feed us just wake up and smell the coffee? Can you just try and remember that the search engines exist to generate huge levels of profit for their shareholders via a little mechanism called PPC. Can you just please wake up to the fact that it is in the direct interests of the Search Engines to paint SEO as a risky hit and miss strategy that may or may not work and has many potential pitfalls. Can we all just stop adding fuel to the fire and close the whole gasbag factory down.


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