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Negative SEO does work, but not how it used to before. In this negative SEO case study, I collected data from my client’s SEO campaign (with his permission). His website got infected by negative SEO attacks.
Negative SEO in a traditional sense (making thousands of negative backlinks) doesn’t work.
I have personally tested the blog that I created for testing purposes. It did move some search results here and there, but nothing major.
Negative SEO worked a few years back when Google’s algorithm heavily relied on backlinks to rank a website.
Since then, Google’s algorithm has matured enough. It gets regular updates from Google’s search team, and they have developed an AI which can enhance itself as it learns more.
To read how Google search works, please check out this article.
What negative SEO / black hat SEO strategy still works?
My client had been targeted by a negative SEO campaign a few months ago; the competitor suppressed his website and social profiles of his brand name.
So, I thought about writing a negative SEO case study to help others in the industry know the results.
- He approached me through my website and asked if I could help him in this situation.
- I had to dig deeper. I analyzed each negative search result thoroughly.
- Most of the content on those websites was duplicated and stuffed with keywords of my client’s name.
Moving a single search result from the 1st page usually takes months. I told my client that it could take a long time, and even then, I could not guarantee outcomes. He desperately wanted to get rid of negative results. So, he permitted me to start the work.
In the first few weeks, most of the search results were gone.
- The ones that stayed on the 1st page were more stubborn because those domains had very high authority.
- At this point, I continued building the reputation with positive content about the business and brand.
- My client even got leads with my SEO efforts.
How did I suppress the last high authority result?
I had to publish his content on highly authoritative websites with a dofollow backlink to the client’s website. After posting a few such articles, the negative story finally started moving to the 2nd page of Google.
We are continuing the efforts to improve his business and brand reputation further.
Negative SEO is still in action, but not as most people think. There are other more innovative ways to trick Google Search.
Maybe now, but I believe it will be impossible to game the Google search because of self-learning AI in a few years.
Let me know what you think of using negative SEO and black hat SEO tactics. In your experience, are they still working? What negative SEO strategy have you seen in action?
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