negative seo bloggingOver the last few months I have noticed that a number of well-known bloggers are writing shrill-sounding articles about negative SEO, and I know why.

It seems that  everybody and their brother is trying to blame negative SEO attacks for everything that is wrong in the search engine results. However, the reason these articles are so popular (and numerous), is because negative SEO represents the bogeyman, a mysterious force who threatens to unravel everything that we hold dear.

Human beings have long blamed various leviathans for the ills in society; these attempts to explain an undesirable phenomenon crop up frequently. For instance, politicians have tried to draw connections between video game violence and real violence (despite the fact that places like Japan, where violent video games have been made and played for years, has one of the lowest violent crime rates of any industrialized country).

It strikes me that something very similar is going on in the SEO community as bloggers sit down behind their MacBook, take a sip of their Starbucks latte, put on some Snow Patrol, and type a few little vignettes about how bad negative SEO is. Nice lifestyle, but a million miles from where most businesses and real people are.

Meanwhile, in the real world, people and businesses are being dragged through the mud every second of every day, as search engines continue to allow libelous, malicious information to rank on the first page for someone’s name or business.

Why the truth about negative SEO is hard to come by

To be clear, we are not against the idea of the truth being out there about a person or a company that has done something wrong.

However the standards for truth have to raise higher than merely making a claim. What I mean is that anybody can claim anything about a person or business, and in a competitive world, it is only natural to assume that some of the negative information that is online is written by people who have a vested interest in hurting somebody’s reputation.

We are like defense attorneys–our job is to to everything we can to defend our client, raise questions about accusations made, and do everything possible to curate the information about them online. I mean, who really wants all of their dirty laundry on the first page of Google?

I am sure that if we pried into the lives of even the most squeaky clean blogger, we could uncover facts about their past and present life that would be embarrassing and would probably damage their career. So then how can they not appreciates that it is in the interest of businesses and individuals not to have embarrassing information online about them?

The internet is essentially as trustworthy as the National Enquirer. there is no vetting process, no judge who presides over search engine rankings to see whether or not they reflect the truth, and no quality control in place that is able to filter out deliberate attempts to harm someone’s reputation online.

So what is one to do, bloggers? You offer critique without any solution.

negative seo blogAdditionally, I think it is more accurate to suggest that negative SEO only comprises a small fraction of online activity, and that these bloggers rely on sensational headlines and articles to stir up unrest. it is like the children’s story about chicken Little who ran around calling out “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”¬†

My own assumption is that these bloggers spend most of their time not doing search engine optimization, and have probably never spoken with somebody whose reputation has been damaged by a a competitor, former employee, or online news agency.

The overwhelming majority of clients that come to us in search of a negative SEO attack, do so because they have already been damaged by something that someone has posted and refuses to take down.

Diplomatic approaches, offers for compensation, reputation management, and good old-fashioned begging have often been unsuccessful, and so individuals turn to us for help. Can you blame them?

Why negative SEO exists: what bloggers don’t want to hear

I get the sense that what is happening in the search engine optimization industry toward negative SEO is an online version of slut-shaming.

Bloggers assume that they know the entire story, and feel no compunction about casting aspersions on another approach to search engine ranking. Our team has only been contacted once by a blogger for an interview. None of these writers really wants to get a real behind the scenes understanding of the rationale is for doing but we do. It is easier to maintain an illusion when you do not have to deal with facts or the real world I suppose.

Nonetheless, one would think that a legitimate reporter, rather than simply blasting off thoughtless articles about a topic that they know very little about, and according to them have never practiced, they would at least seek out the best negative SEO company to hear a bit more of the story. It also does not reflect well upon the editors that they would allow articles to make claims without hearing another point of view.

So the moral is that if you want to hire a negative SEO company, do not allow yourself to be shamed by people who make a living by deriving theories about things that they themselves know very little about in the practical realm. These individuals are no different from a college professor who teaches a course on entrepreneurship, but has never started or run a business in their life.

Theory is great, but reality is what matters. Our team at deals with reality and our clients know it.

UPDATE: Despite repeated attempts to interact with bloggers in the industry, we have as yet, been unable to enter into a meaningful dialogue. One would like to think that this world isn’t so insular, especially when it comes to important topics such as how one can protect their reputation online. Nonetheless, we have not received a single response from opponents that outlines an actionable method for sanitizing damaging, even libelous, online content. Our hypothesis, then, is that the SEO-blogging community has but one rationale: walk in lock-step and just ignore whatever controversial approaches that are not in favor with mainstream thought. It is not an especially revolutionary movement when all those acting as spokespersons are echoing the next guy.¬†

Leave a Reply