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The funny part of this post, is that it actually took me longer to write the post than it did to fix the rather big Negative SEO attack someone did against my blog.
Sometime in February, someone really didn’t like my blog… Who knows, they might still not like it now! So, they decided to launch a rather large scale Negative SEO attack at my blog. I quickly picked it up as I like to check my backlink profile on my blog a lot – It means I can easily reply to anyone who has linked out to me with a thank you, which might incline them to link out again! Small “content marketing” tip for you there 😉
I thought I’d look into the Negative SEO attack, due to me being penalized earlier this month. Though I really didn’t think it had anything to do with my penalty, it’s always nice to know your site’s link profile is in good health!
Step 1) Identifying The Links
A reader of my blog and fellow Black Hat Underground Member/Private Grouper Richard, ran me a full Link Detox report for free, which is awesome of him! So I got most of the links that the guys at LRT could identify as “Bad” or “Suspicious” for my blog. I trawled through them for about 5 minutes to quickly pick out anchors and URLs that were being hit.
The first thing I noticed was that the most spammed page was –
Which I thought was interesting… Obviously it’s someone doing a negative SEO attack against me.
I knew that this kind of attack would be easy to clean up, but we’ll get onto that later.
The second, I was very familiar with as the anchor was “visit poster’s website” – Which was also how Jacob King knew he’d got hit with a Negative SEO attack. This was fairly easy to cleanup with an automatic tool, though again.. I’ll get onto that one later.
The 3rd bit was straight to the homepage, and I’d posted about it back in 2013. Most of the links built in that attack were with “viagra pills” so it was easy to pull into a file + most of the links were nofollow anyway, so it shouldn’t really hurt the rankings… Apparently.
Step 2) Remove The Search Attack
I don’t need any search query’s being indexed in Google anyway, and because they’d built the links to that specific URL, it was super easy to remove. Shout out to Oliver Mason for pointing out the obvious.
All I had to do was fire in a Disallow within my robots file –
Now, when Google re-indexes my Robots file.. It won’t index the /search/ function, along with all the links pointing at that area.
Step 3) Identifying The Negative SEO
The attack tool used, was GSA.. Hence the anchor pattern I showed you earlier. So, this made it really easy!
I put all of the links in from the Link Detox file into a Notepad document, then loaded them into Matthew Woodward’s Rank Cracker –
I set my tool options to just GSA, so it’ll identify any links that you can build within GSA. This then gave me a list from the original 2,900 links back down to around 1,100.
Step 4) Fire Into a Disavow File?
I WOULD do this, but I don’t really want to… I still think it was a personal attack against me, and I’d rather not be coercedÂ into following Google’s imaginary rules than having to edit my site from what users and you guys (the readers) love it for.
Regardless, if you guys want to do this same model, then put those links (or the root domains) into a disavow file, and you’re done!
Thanks For Reading –
As always, thanks for reading my blog post, I hope it helps anyone who’s been hit with a similar attack!
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