NEGATIVE SEO Doesn’t Work!!

Negative SEO Overview

I’m going to do a case study on why Negative SEO doesn’t work based on someone who asked for my help.  I have had a lot of questions regarding Negative SEO so I am doing this case study for the benefit of anyone that may not yet of realised it.

Things you’ll learn

Effects of Negative SEO

How I dealt with slander online

If negative seo really works

Things you’ll need to Know

How to read Analytics

What negative seo is

Too Good To Be True

If you slander someone on they will be seen as bad and therefor get less traffic and business.  I think that everyone should be aware that this often backfires.  Take Barns And Noble, they tried to boycott Amazon and it only served to fuel them resulting in positive seo.

Getting Started

The case study is of two shop owners, that run similar yet very different shops on one of the big market places online.  The person that I helped has given me permission to blog about this so long as I omit some information crucial to identifying them.


Negative SEO is where you get pushed down in the rankings rather than up.  There are a number of ways to do this, one of the common ways is by making them look like a spammer.  The way we will be looking at is slander.

Key Facts

Google use robots to rank

If you are mean to someone they get attention

Negative publicity is still publicity.

Aims of the post

Show you what to do if you get slandered online.

To show you it isn’t all bad being slandered online.

To prove Negative seo doesn’t work

In Depth

Here’s the situation.  They  are both shoe makers, they both do high premium shoes.  and sell them on this market place.  Some of you may think you know which market place I am talking about.  If you do please leave your guess in the comments below.

What happened was that one of these shoe makers did not like the competition so decided to try and get rid of it.  This was done (or at least attempted) by calling the other seller names on one of the top flight social media platforms.

Ok so this isn’t the most intellectual form of negative SEO. However, the desired effect is still the same.  Your competitor falls to oblivion and you soak up all the glory.

So how was I asked to help?  Well I was asked to help defend against this attack, as simple as it is there was still the fear of permanent and massive damage.  I began by analysing the situation to see what damage control could be done straight away, what would need to be done to regain any negative effects and what sort of time span we were looking at.

I came to the conclusion that this would probably blow over and that waiting and not replying was the most powerful.  My reason for this was also a simple one.  People are curious, if they see this one way attack it is likely that they will want to know more about the seller being attacked and not rising to the occasion.

So I got in contact with a local Law expert to see if there was anyway to stop these attacks.  He came up with a simple Cease and Desist letter.  That was sent of and no more was heard about it.  A few months later and it was time to check what the effect had been to see if any recovery work was needed.  I was thinking going in that I would need to use SENuke and SEMRush, to combat this.

Here is what I found.

an1 The period above is covering the time that all this was going on.  Also it is Christmas so any negative effect may not be as visible. That said since this slander happened, the seller I worked for has made more sales ever since.

As you can see there is a slight increase in traffic over the Christmas period.  And not much of a drop after.


Here is a day by day graph of the same period.  As you can see the number of visitors has stayed around 50 per day.  Aside from Christmas which is the little peak in between December and January.  The shop was closed from December the 18th to January the 1st so no sales were made and yet there was still around 20 visitors per day.  I think of these people as window shoppers.

What does all of this have to do with Negative SEO? I hear you asking.   Well remember I said about the person that was calling names on Social Media.  Well we are about to see what impact they had on there competitor (the person I worked for).

Negative SEO doesn't work analytics

Above is a screen shot of the Google analytics for the shop that I worked for.  Please bare in mind that to this point all I have done is consult and get a Cease and Desist letter sent.  I have edited out any details that may lead to someone’s identity (in red).

Negative SEO

This is for the month of March as a posed to the other screenshots which were for October through to March. The first keyword is not given, most likely direct traffic this accounts for 1600 visits this month, then there is the name of the selling platform as a keyword this accounts for almost 400 visitors, now the interesting bit.

The 3rd term is the shop name of the shoe seller that was slandering the shoe seller I work for.  What does this mean?  Well I am going to have a guess.  I think that when the other shoe seller slandered the shoe seller I worked for a search engine like Google or Yahoo picked up the connection between their shop and the shoe sellers shop I worked.  Thus creating a search engine hit directly to their competitor.

This search term accounts for almost 300 visitors in March.  This is over ten per cent of the total traffic.  I can only assume that this counts for ten per cent of the sales too.  If this is right then their attempt to break my client has failed to the point of helping them to succeed.

an3Whilst I am on the topic I may as well run through the rest of the Analytics quickly.  As you can see organic search makes up 50% of the total traffic.  Although powerful in its own right, as I say in other posts don’t go out of your way to manipulate search results. By having a good all round strategy to get traffic you will in turn get traffic from Google.


The theory behind this is that Google create search engine results with robot.  This means that Google do not care about arguments or who is right or wrong.  When Google come across your link they will add it to the search engine along with the Anchor test ( the text the link is from)

To Do

Don’t retaliate

Write a Cease and Desist letter

Make your page brilliant.


To Avoid


Trying to use Black Hat back linking to compensate

Low quality Pages


White Hat


1 Star

This (the slander thing) doesn’t work at all, in fact all it does is drive traffic for your competitor.


Google Webmasters tool

(Mentioned but not used)





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