Site Hammered By Simple Negative SEO Attack

By | October 10, 2013

It didn’t take long, five days after Penguin 2.1, and I’ve Being attacked by a competitor with a negative SEO spamming campaign.

Waking up this morning to find the number of back links pointing to have increased roughly 20 fold with a smaller increase in the number of referring domains and subnets.

Here is the stat update (from Majestic SEO) taken on 24th August 2013 (about 6 weeks ago)


August Stats

Bearing in mind the site is a couple of years old and has several hundred posts on it, this seems a fair result. Also remember that Majestic reports all the links it finds. Google’s web master tools, for reasons best  kept to themselves, show just a fraction of these links.  Then today…


Domain Backlinks


This is quite a large site and ranks for several hundred keywords, but this attack quite specifically has targeted six specific keywords related to 3 products. The increase in links was incredibly quick, more or less overnight between 7th October 2013 and 8th October 2013. My ranking for all of these keywords has vanished. My site is no longer appears in the top 50 for any of them.

Citation AfterA quick look at the domains these links have been put on, and the style of links that they are, it is clear that a tool like Scrapebox has been used, probably with an auto approve list of a few hundred thousand sites. These were pointed directly at the URLs which ranked for these key phrases.

There are some very deep coloured purples at the bottom of the graph, offering zero in the way of “trust” – just dead links.

Having used to Scrapebox direct linking for my old microsite network up until about 2009 I’m aware of just how quick these links can be created. 60,000 links is probably about 90 minutes work with a list and a decent success rate, certainly no more than a couple of hours.

It seems that’s all it takes now to destroy a website.

A $50 tool and 90 minutes of your time.

Given the enormous number of links there is no possibility I would even consider using the disavow procedure. Ironic really, as this is something I’ve mentioned before

For those of you who are unaware, Google does not allow you to blanket disavow links, you have to go through a process of proving that you did your very best to get them removed yourself. Supplying lists of links you are aware of as well as proof that you have contacted the hosting Webmasters and ask for their removal, giving it a suitable amount of time to them to reply. Even after all that, Google seem to expect you to have removed a lot of them yourself.

A quick look at the sort of site that these are on Gives a good indication that there is little or no chance of the Webmasters would remove the links in any case. Sites that allow auto approve links on them tend to have been abandoned or have Webmasters that simply don’t care. I can’t put the URLs here, there is a very real risk that they could damage this site still further, many of them are that bad.

Hair-trigger Negative SEO Works

. I don’t know how long my site will be penalised by these links, possibly permanently. There’s very little I can do about that.

All it takes is a $50 tool, the worst content you can find, 10 minutes to set it up and the job is done. Destroy any site in minutes. Thanks Google, you really are geniuses.

You may like;

What do you think?