Don’t Mistake Your Crappy Links as Negative SEO

by Stuart McHenry October 1, 2012

People are still scared and afraid of negative SEO. Sure, they have a right to be. Some small businesses pour their hearts and budgets into the online world. They often depend on the Google gods to smile upon their website and provide quality traffic for their companies. Let’s face it some keywords can quadruple income overnight.

Last week one company swore that someone did negative SEO against them. After I looked into the situation we found out the spammy links had been there for years and the algorithms finally caught up to them. They actually didn’t realize that a previous so-called SEO company had bought them spammy links trying to get their website to rank.

The fact is most companies in the early days of SEO didn’t know what they were getting. They hired someone to “SEO their Website” and usually for a small fee. What you often got for that small fee was lots of directory and comment spam links. Sadly, in the early days, these tactics worked. Fast-forward 6-7 years and now companies are starting to wonder why they don’t rank anymore.

They hear something or read something about negative SEO and think that might be their problem. They do some basic research and find tons of spammy links. They start thinking that their competitors must have put these links up but the truth is a much sadder fact. The truth is the algorithms finally caught up with the $199 SEO Package you bought in 2005.

Yes, it’s still negative SEO but guess what? You did it to yourself. Now not everyone is in this boat. I’ve known about negative SEO since 2006. Back then there were people that would load up link networks with the keywords you ranked for. Then about three weeks later your website would incur a -30 penalty and their site would move up a spot.

Nonetheless, if you want to help fight off negative SEO you should build as much quality signals to your website as possible. Quality links, social signals, and quality content. It’s not easy to SEO a website as it once was but if you want to succeed, you will really get out what you put in.

Stuart McHenry
Stuart McHenry is a US-based SEO Consultant focusing on link building, content marketing, local SEO, and reputation management. Follow Stuart on Twitter @smindsrt

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