London, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/31/2012 -- Millions of businesses who operate within the online space rely on one company for the clear majority of their traffic; Google. With what could almost be described as a monopoly on internet search, Google is unassailable within the market – and they hold the lives of millions of businesses in the palm of their hands.
Recently, conversation across the web has turned to various algorithmic updates on the part of the search giant. Having their origin with the much-hyped ‘Panda’ update in February last year, the changes Google have recently made to their algorithm were ostensibly aimed at reducing the rank of so-called ‘low-quality’ sites while ensuring highly relevant sites of good quality were returned to the top of the rankings.
Due to a group of savvy users of popular internet marketing forum Traffic Planet, however, a dark side to the new changes has been revealed, and it’s turned the world of SEO on its head.
The idea of Negative SEO is relatively straightforward. Unlike traditional SEO in which the goal of the exercise is to improve the search rankings of site, Negative SEO is strikingly different. By targeting a competitor, it was theoretically possible for aggressive marketers to force websites down in search engine rankings. Well, it’s theory no more. Due to case studies conducted by Traffic Planet members recently, it’s been proven that Negative SEO is alive and well. It also may be that Google’s algorithmic changes are, in fact, the real culprit.
As an example of the results Traffic Planet members were able to achieve, one should look no further than a website owned by popular SEO industry figure Dan Thies. After a month of activity, a sustained Negative SEO campaign demonstrated some alarming results, with the rankings of three of his most prominent keywords significantly reduced. One keyword was confirmed to have dropped over a thousand spots.
Internet-reliant businesses are, of course, up in arms. While the way in which Google has cornered the search market over recent years has, for the most part, seemed benign, the issues surrounding a monopoly in this huge sector within the global economy are now finally coming to the fore. If the results demonstrated on the Traffic Planet forums begin to be widely replicated within the internet marketing industry, the whole sector may be in for a very rough ride indeed.
Terry Kyle, founder of Traffic Planet and a prominent figure within the SEO community doesn’t mince words on how – or why – it’s possible that Google’s own algorithm may be responsible for the advent of Negative SEO. “Google is an advertising business, not a search business. Search just happens to be their delivery platform – and it’s an effective one.” The SEO expert goes on to explain that, while seemingly unsavoury, the practice of Negative SEO might actually work to Google’s favour, something which would explain why the practice has been pointedly ignored by the search giant thusfar. While Google rankings remain fluid and unpredictable, it could be said that safer advertising investments would be, unsurprisingly, Google’s own Adwords paid advertisement platform. The idea that Google could be offering tacit approval for Negative SEO is alarming, to say the least.
As businesses rightly show concern for the implications of Negative SEO, the most troubling of which would involve a competitors marketing budget being redirected towards aggressive attempts to lower a business’s search ranking, questions continue to be asked about the role of Google in ensuring the viability of ethical internet marketing as well as their responsibility to safeguard the livelihood of the millions of legitimate, hardworking online businesses all over the globe. While the internet owes Traffic Planet a great deal of gratitude for uncovering this shocking development, only time will tell if the chilling potential of Negative SEO will be addressed sufficiently by Google to ease the minds of business owners everywhere.
About Traffic Planet
Traffic Planet is the Web's premier online venue for advanced tactical discussions about search engine optimization, monetization and conversions (converting visitors to a website into buyers and email subscribers). All Traffic Planet tactical discussions are completely free to read and participate in and all levels of internet marketing skill are welcome. For more information, visit: http://trafficplanet.com/