Captured Technology

Study Shows that Negative SEO Is Real

Jun 11 2012

One of the biggest fears held by most website owners is that any small mistake they make in producing their content or interacting their users will immediately lead to precipitous drop in their ranking at major search engines like Google. And, while it's responsible to avoid these pitfalls and mistakes altogether, it's worth noting that an immediate and mind-blowing drop at the internet's search leader is simply not likely in many cases. Such a theory was proved correct by an SEO firm which recently decided to deliberately destroy a reputable website's search engine rankings. As part of its project to make a first-page result into a last-page afterthought, the company loaded that website up with more than 50,000 undesirable links. This included forum posts, blog comment links, and other links placed into the sidebar for the sole effect of destroying the site's reputation.

The drop did happen, but it took a staggering five weeks for the website to drop off the front page of Google search results for its top keyword. That's actually quite notable, and it disproves the belief (or fear) held by many search engine optimization professionals that their website will immediately be treated as garbage by Google simply for making a mistake. The good news is that mistakes are not the end of the line for a website's high ranking at the search engine, and Google seems to understand that these things happen from time to time. Its algorithm is strict, but not unforgiving, and that should be heartening to any major website owner or operator.

Original study & infographic by TastyPlacement, an Austin SEO company.

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 Steve Patterson
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