Late January, someone (most likely a local competitor) launched a negative SEO attack against AltitudeSEO.com. In the matter of a week, thousands of spammy, optimized links pointed at AltitudeSEO.com using my name and email in an attempt to ‘trick’ Google into thinking Altitude SEO was executing an SEO campaign that violated their Webmaster Guidelines.
Do negative SEO attacks actually work?
I’ve taken two comparison screen shots. The first one is a report from SEMRush.com that shows steady search engine growth through Jan and reduced visibility in Feb. The second screen shot is from ahrefs.com that shows link growth. As you can see in that screen shot, a HUGE increase of links targeted at AltitudeSEO.com were deployed around Feb 1, 2019.
Since the negative SEO attack, according to SEMRush.com AltitudeSEO.com lost about 30% of its organic traffic – was the negative SEO attack to blame?
The anchors used in the negative SEO attack were “SEO Companies Denver,” “Denver SEO Company,” and “Denver SEO.”
For Denver SEO, Altitude SEO dropped to #2 for a short time. Before the attack, Altitude SEO ranked #1 for ‘Denver SEO Company’ dropped to #2/#3 for a bit then quickly recovered. Finally, for SEO Companies Denver, we were #1 and have hung out around the 3rd position since the attack.
Luckily, Google has seen these poorly executed negative SEO campaigns before and their negative effect is typically short lived, and minimal.