It’s a fact that the more successful you become, the more you’ll end up antagonising someone and leave yourself (or your website) prone to a negative SEO attack.

But negative SEO doesn’t have to always be a result of someone trying to get you.

Sometimes a site that gets hacked will suddenly start spamming the net and this can happen without any malicious intent.

Here’s what John Mueller, from Google, had to say on the issue:

[Scroll to 31 mins, 43 secs]


In summary, here’s what John had to say:

“From our point of view, we have a lot of practice in regards to handling kind of these spammy links that competitors build to each other’s sites.

And we do know that this is a practice and we do take it into account in all of our algorithms when we, especially when we look at things like links.

So that’s not something where I’d really worry too much about that with regards to future updates there.

I know the people that are working on these algorithms, they’re really well aware of this kind of situation and we have a lot of data to show them on specifically what things to watch out for, and what things to keep in mind when it comes to these updates.”


How This Affects You

Google are doing their best to assure website owners that they’re on top of negative SEO.

In reality, the only way that you can be confident that your rankings haven’t suffered from a negative SEO attack is to check where your site was before and after the suspected attack.

If there’s been little (or no) change then you don’t need to worry.

If your website has slipped then you’ll likely need to get in touch with Google and use the disavow tool.