Is it possible to endanger the ranking of a website through a Link Building campaign?

12 replies
  • SEO
  • |
I've read many contradictory opinions about this topic, but have not yet found any conclusive study about it.

Do you know of any reliable study done on this topic?
#building #campaign #endanger #link #ranking #website
  • Profile picture of the author ahew
    All I can talk about is my experience. I have some domains that are aged so supposedly they can take some abuse. I have hired various outsourcers to build links for me, for example when my daughter was born or I went on vacation. Every time I hired someone to build links for me, my sites dropped in PR as well as in the SERPs. As soon as I fired whomever it was and started building the old-fashioned way, my rankings started to climb again. Too many link building services build spammy links and it is clear to me that the SEs don't like them. Even if you build links using something like comment kahuna or manual forum profiles, the results are still better IMHO than using aggressive linkbuilding services.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brendan Mace
    Link building (usually) cannot permanently damage your ranking position. But unnatural spammy links can cause google to place a temporary penalty on your website. According to Matt Cutts, theses penalties are for a certain period of time, and then they are lifted.

    On another note, the google dance is not always a bad thing. If you're site goes down after link building, it usually is a good sign. In a very short amount of time, your website can surge back to where it was before OR further up the rankings.

    Although nobody wants to be 'temporarily penalized' by google for spammy links. So I would be careful how you build or outsource links.
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  • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
    @co2, I've heard of people essentially getting blacklisted by going overboard. I'm not too sure how long temporary is. But to them it was too long to wait and they dropped it and moved on.

    If I'm going to be super-aggressive it's almost always at my lower tier backlinks or "authority" sites that can handle the surge of backlinks. Never on a relatively new domain.
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  • Profile picture of the author cjbmeb14
    I have seen this discussed before and the opinion then was. If you could damage a sites ranking by building spammy links then your competition could easily destroy your rankings.
    However, I believe that good link building strategies always build a sites rankings.
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    • Profile picture of the author sunray
      Originally Posted by cjbmeb14 View Post

      I have seen this discussed before and the opinion then was. If you could damage a sites ranking by building spammy links then your competition could easily destroy your rankings.
      However, I believe that good link building strategies always build a sites rankings.
      It is a logical conclusion. But the question is, does Google really care? Someone destroys his competitor--so what? Google now has his website to show, people are happy with it and so are advertisers.
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      • Profile picture of the author Brendan Mace
        Originally Posted by sunray View Post

        It is a logical conclusion. But the question is, does Google really care? Someone destroys his competitor--so what? Google now has his website to show, people are happy with it and so are advertisers.
        This is exactly true. Spammy links CANNOT bring down an authority site like Facebook or Youtube. Blast all the links you want, they won't budge at all. Only smaller sites that do not have authority can be victims of spammy link blasts.

        And would google care about these sites at all?? Google has no responsibility to be fair. If a small percentage of sites with VERY LITTLE authority are unfairly penalized. I really don't see what that does to harm google's bottom line.

        Take out your weak competitors all you want. Google doesn't give a damn.
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      • Profile picture of the author mosthost
        Originally Posted by sunray View Post

        It is a logical conclusion. But the question is, does Google really care? Someone destroys his competitor--so what? Google now has his website to show, people are happy with it and so are advertisers.
        They probably wouldn't care in that one case. However, since it could happen to one person, it means ALL competitors could be taken out. That's too dangerous of a 'tool' to allow.

        That said, I'm sure 'negative SEO' is practiced every day.
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        • Profile picture of the author Brendan Mace
          Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

          They probably wouldn't care in that one case. However, since it could happen to one person, it means ALL competitors could be taken out. That's too dangerous of a 'tool' to allow.

          That said, I'm sure 'negative SEO' is practiced every day.
          Disagree. It is incredibly hard to take out aged domains or domains with a decent amount of authority. Only sites with a weak base can be damaged by negative SEO.

          Victims of negative SEO can (and do in many cases) request that google lift the penalties. The main point is that google is not going to go out of their way to help out a small webmaster.
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          • Profile picture of the author mosthost
            Originally Posted by co2 View Post

            Disagree. It is incredibly hard to take out aged domains or domains with a decent amount of authority. Only sites with a weak base can be damaged by negative SEO.

            Victims of negative SEO can (and do in many cases) request that google lift the penalties. The main point is that google is not going to go out of their way to help out a small webmaster.
            I think some websites are 'white-listed' and can't be hurt. Maybe websites with a certain number of authoritative links can no longer receive link penalties.

            But there's no question that there are many link-based penalties and websites with few aged links seem to them all the time
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  • Profile picture of the author Brendan Mace
    Yeah, I agree with you JSProjects. But I don't think there's an algorithmic penalty that's permanent. A manual review could of course take your site down.

    I had a relatively low quality site that I blasted directly with blog comments last year. The site didn't get any rankings or traffic for 6 months. And then it magically re-appeared to around the same position. I was clearly penalized for spammy links, and then the penalty eventually wore off.

    There are permanent penalties for unnatural link building but they are few and far between. Most have a time limit of some sort. Which still sucks. I don't blame people for moving on.

    Like JSProjects says, It's far better to blast lower tiers or "buffer sites."
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  • Profile picture of the author solado
    I dont believe they can damage your ranking.

    On another forum someone blasted there competitions website with porn backlinks, it caused a dance and knocked them off the #1 position for a matter of a week or so, then it went right back on to number #1. They coninued to do so and it made no difference.

    Spammy links dont work, but they dont damage ranking either.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brendan Mace
      Originally Posted by solado View Post

      I dont believe they can damage your ranking.

      On another forum someone blasted there competitions website with porn backlinks, it caused a dance and knocked them off the #1 position for a matter of a week or so, then it went right back on to number #1. They coninued to do so and it made no difference.

      Spammy links dont work, but they dont damage ranking either.
      Try doing a MASSIVE spam blast on a BRAND NEW website. You definitely can be penalized for link building. But it's usually not permanent.
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