Have you recently experienced an unexpected shift in where your website is ranked by search engines? A negative SEO attack might be the culprit. Tasty Placement recently conducted an experiment to determine if negative SEO could actually have a huge impact on a website’s search engine ranking, and they conclusively proved that the answer is a resounding yes.
In order to test their hypothesis, Tasty Placement took a website that they owned and had not actively advertised for 12 months. At the beginning of the experiment, the site had a search engine ranking of number three for a popular keyword search string. The goal was to see how dramatically that number could be changed in a short amount of time with only a minimal financial commitment. Tasty Placement spent $45 dollars to distribute 56,000 junk SEO links, including forum profile links, blog comment links and trashy sidebar links. After only one month, their site dropped off the first page of search engine results and landed at number 14.
Search engine rankings are the most important factor in whether or not a website will receive qualified traffic. Falling 11 spots is a huge blow, especially for a small business. Tasty Placement proved that junk SEO placement is an effective tactic for burying a competitor’s website; doing such a thing requires a very malicious approach, but you must be aware that it is a possibility.
Original study & infographic by TastyPlacement, an Austin SEO company.