Has Google Penguin Update incited Negative SEO?

by Afaf Waris
(Social Media Strategist – Marketified™)

After the Pandas have sizzled the SEO world, it’s the Google Penguins who are keeping the internet marketing experts on their toes. Unlike Panda this Google Penguin update has appeared to be harsh on website rankings. Since the Penguin was focused to eradicate unethical SEO practices, thus it has literally ruined such websites who were involved in immoral SEO practices.

Despite this tedious effort by Google it is still doubtful that it will successfully implement its moral guidelines for search engine optimization. It is predicted that there are higher chances of companies to be involved in negative SEO practices in their competitive efforts to gain better SERP and improved PR. In fact this trend has already been started since companies are eager to rank better against their competitors in search results. They are practicing several techniques to damage the online reputation of their competitors such as giving bad comments or reviews for competitor’s websites/ products, posting bad or unnatural links to competitor’s sites, in order to get themselves in top ranks.

Unfortunately Google algorithms are only capable of evaluating a site on the basis of quality and quantity of back links and the credibility of content of the site. No particular tool has been introduced by Google till now to keep an eye on negative SEO. Google algorithms are unable to identify the spammers who are deliberately vaccinating your site with bad links to bring your site down the ranking ladder. Therefore it is webmaster that needs to be alert of all the prevailing threats in the market and needs to track of all the SEO activities going on and off the site.

Back link building is one of the major factors used by Google to assess a website’s performance in search results. However with the inception of negative SEO, this tool is no longer feasible since many companies are posting low quality back links to their competitor’s sites. This practice is mostly common among small to medium firms who have low marketing budgets hence they adopt alternate ways to deal with competition. On the other hand the big companies with strong financial portfolio can easily get rid of negative SEO since they can afford to take legal action or use strong analytics to deal with spammers.

Above all it is Google which has to develop some refinement tool to target negative SEO. Google needs to review its rewarding system and should not base its website evaluation process on link building as a major factor. It should also improve its SERP process since it is much easier with negative SEO techniques to immorally gain better PR and SERP. Google soon needs to realize that ignoring this practice can negatively impact its search quality.