Austin, Texas (PRWEB) June 24, 2012
TastyPlacement, an Austin-based search engine optimization firm, recently released a study that highlights the potential for businesses to negatively impact the search engine positions of competitors through the purchase of inexpensive spam links.
Negative SEO (search engine optimization) has emerged recently as a malicious technique employed by businesses that seeks to harm the Google search rankings of a competitor's website. The principal method employed by practitioners of negative SEO is to purchase hypertext links from poor quality websites and direct those links to point to a competitor's website. While digital marketing practitioners disagree on the effectiveness of negative SEO, the theory underlying the practice is that Google's ranking algorithm interprets the low-quality links as an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings and responds by punishing the target website by lowering its ranking position.
Specifically, the study began with a sample website that enjoyed consistent favorable search rankings for a popular search term. Operators then purchased over 50,000 "spam" website links through online forums and from practitioners of negative SEO techniques over the course of several weeks in May of 2012. The total cost of the purchased links was $45. The operators then monitored the search engine ranking position of the target website over the course of the study.
The results revealed a drop in ranking position for the test website's principal search phrase from position 3 to position 14 in Google search results within the 30 days covered by the study.
Michael David, who conducted the study, noted, "We only tested one website, but the short period of time and the correlation between the dates we got the links and the dates the website moved lower in search results seems pretty clear to us that negative SEO is very real, and is likely to become very popular as a result."
An infographic covering the study, as well as a detailed methodology, are available here: http://www.tastyplacement.com/infographic-testing-negative-seo
TastyPlacement is an Austin based firm specializing in search engine optimization, web design, social media promotion, and Pay Per Click campaign management. It was founded in 2009 by the author of Wordpress 3.0 Search Engine Optimization, Michael David.
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