Firstly I feel the need to mention that this article is solely for academic purposes. I wouldn’t even be sharing this sort of information on the web if it wasn’t something that you could probably already find somewhere else if you looked for it. Secondly there is the fact that if you know how to negative SEO then you are more prepared to deal with it or see it coming.
1. Reposting of innocent content – pretty simple turn your competitors content into duplicate content, post it around on article directories, other small spammy websites even spin it a little while you’re doing it and link back to the source from the spun versions for good measure.
2. Google Bowling – Back and Better than Ever – Since Penguin came out Google basically told webmasters that this works do it and kill your competitors the cheaper and spammier the links look the better. So SENuke links Xhrumer blasts, mass directory submissions, spun article posting all the stuff that SEOmoz tells you not to do.
3. Guilty by Association – The method of creating terribly spammy sites similar to your competitors accept spammier and then 301ing it. Ideally you would get a similar domain name before doing this. If you can get a very similar domain name say an exact match to theirs but a different tld then this will probably work.
4. Snitching – is your competitor building spam? Report it. Over and over again.
5. Clone websites – This is a nasty trick I actually thought about after seeing what a client had done to their own domain. Basically buy out the regional domains for your competitors’ website and clone it, translate the home page and fill this with the competitors’ content. Then link to their website through a language dropdown in the top corner. Make a few of these to make their website look like part of a spam network.
6. Infect their site – Now we’re getting to the really nasty bits, the problem is that to infect their site with a virus is far more unethical and hurts a lot more people. Added to which it also assumes you have a certain level of knowledge on how to do this, I am not going to tell you how.
7. DDOS Attacks – these are nasty in themselves, but keep doing this and it will make the site look unreliable if Google keeps crawling it and it’s down.
8. Black Link Building – Target spam signal keywords to their site. Things like “Viagra”, “Porn” and “casino” if you’re not in any of those niches of course.
9. Overcook already dubious metrics – run a competitor through something like linkresearchtools.com and then once you can see anything you would flag as dangerous, whether it be tld, ip or anchor text splits then make it worse.
10. Link Unbuilding – We’ve been a huge a link removal campaign to a client in the Forex sector (1000s of links being removed) so occasionally good sites get in the list of to be removed. The interesting thing is that they have a very high response rate and are very willing to pull down the link (although they tend to ask why) which is when we apologise and say it was a mailing mistake. But the point is all you have to do is set up an official looking fake SEO agency and off you go.
11. In Concept destructive onsite behaviour– I know this is being built (not by me or any company I work with for or have done previously, it’s actually being built by a French Guy). Basically this script which is being created is designed to run on 1000s of node IPs across various countries, whilst using these as proxies these will all have gmail, youtube and other accounts set up which they will have basic interaction with. A couple will even send random emails to each other to properly mimic simplistic user behaviour. These will then be used to increase the bounce rate on certain keywords, or lower CTR etc. See in theory at the moment Google should be able to detect bots to prevent this. However the idea of this network is to properly emulate a user.