Authority Website Income

Negative SEO Attack Results in Record Traffic Growth

CORRECTION – Apr 29 – Tung from Cloud Living Journey in the comments did some more research and determine that it was not in fact a negative SEO attack against my site but just a massive amount of links from 1 website that was generating the unusual # of backlinks. Thanks for correcting me Tung!

Let me make sure to clear this up right away – I do not credit the negative SEO campaign that is hitting my case study website (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden) for increasing my traffic to record levels.

So what’s wrong with the title?

–          Have I been attacked by a negative SEO campaign – Yes

–          Have I had record traffic numbers (480+ visitors per day!) – Yes

–          Do I think the negative SEO campaign affected my traffic – NO! 

There are many factors that go into how much traffic comes to my site and although there has been a big increase in search traffic I believe the work done over the month including more relationship building and some high PR relevant links will have had a larger effect than thousands of crappy links.

I discovered that my site had a completely unnatural amount of backlinks and after doing some research I suspected I had been targeted by a negative SEO attack.

There is a lot of misinformation, bad advice and fear mongering. A lot of people were claiming a negative seo attack had ruined their site. However, I was unable to find a single story where people would show with even reasonable data to back it up that negative SEO effected their site.

There were more people talking about how to prevent negative SEO or even sell people products claiming to protect your site (don’t buy this).

There is too much talk without enough data….so here is a little data…


Effect of Negative SEO on my Website?

Massive number of backlinks started to come Mar 23rd and at around the same time my traffic which had been relatively level since the January rush started to climb.


Negative SEO – Myths, Realities, and Precautions

SEO Moz (the source I most trust for all things SEO) compared Negative SEO claims to those of UFO’s and challenged its readers to come forward with any factual stories of negative SEO affecting their site.


What Other People Say

Spencer Haws who is also sharing a live case study had his site attacked with a negative SEO backlink campaign and today announce his site had gone to #1 in Google for his keyword.

Here is his take on the negative SEO campaigns effectiveness…

So, at this point I am seeing no ill effects from all the poor quality links coming to my site.  I hope it stays that way, but I’m quite nervous about it.

A few weeks after his post about negative SEO -he posted the site was at #1 in Google!

Even though he has seen an increase in traffic I don’t and believe he doesn’t credit the negative SEO campaign with its rise.


My Fast 4 Part Negative SEO Defense Strategy (Spent as little time as possible!)

  1. Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools
  2. Continue building higher authority links via Guest Posting and Relationship Building
  3. Monitor Backlinks using MajesticSEO and AHrefs (both a free accounts)
  4. If I receive an unnatural link profile email from Google – Use the Google Disavow tool
    1. I have not used the disavow tool and don’t plan on it


Who Attacked Me? Am I Pissed?

Probably a reader of this site looking for a website to test his/her (but most likely a him) strategy on to see the results.

In the end I am in fact glad this attack has occurred –it has given me another personal data point along with the information from sources like SEO Moz that has me thinking negative SEO campaigns do not work.

Most talk online about negative SEO is just fear mongering – don’t waste your time on negative seo!

About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

Leave a Comment:

Jeff says April 26, 2013

My mind is blown – this serves the person right. Wasting time and money trying to kill your site and it results in if anything more traffic to your site.
Keep up the awesome work – Haters are going to hate!

    Jon says April 26, 2013

    “haters are going to hate” – well I guess so – Just happy it hasnt caused me any grief!

Kristy @ says April 26, 2013

I can’t believe there are people in the world that would do this, why would someone waste so much effort and money trying to tear someone down.
For me and all the other loyal followers of this case study I really hope it does not affect the trial.
Thank you so much for sharing!

    Jon says April 26, 2013

    Hi Kristy, well the good news is I doubt it will affect me. Thanks for following along!

The Financial Blogger says April 26, 2013

That is incredibly funny!

What would be interesting is to see if you use this Negative SEO strategy on one of your site and check out your traffic. I bet you $20 that Google will like the negative SEO and probably boost your ranking. After all, scrapers rank on Google’s first taking my articles for months 😉

Do you have an idea of how much Neg SEO services cost? I’m tempted to try it on one of my site…

    Jon says April 26, 2013

    I doubt it had any impact on my traffic. However, if it did I definitely wouldn’t try to replicate it – dangerous game!

    Like anything that gets peoples attention and causes fear there are companies that have popped up that offer the “service” of negative SEO. I think SEO services in general struggle to offer something that isnt simply snake oil salesmanship so I can only imagine the kind of people behind the negative SEO companies.

    If you are dead set on trying to see if negative SEO would positively/negatively effect one of your sites I would suggest going Fiverr and buying some 1,000 or 10,000 backlink gigs. -BUT I DONT SUGGEST IT – however, if you do be sure to let me know how it works out!


      Tung Tran says April 26, 2013

      I’m attacking you ..
      lol just kidding hehe =)

      Actually I think it’s not a negative attack and those new backlinks do help to increase the weight of your site 😀 Let me explain:

      1) I use to check your backlink profile, here is what i found:
      From March 23 2013 till today April 27 2013 : Your website gets 33,479 new backlinks but only 32 new referring domains which are quite relevant and high quality.
      -> So, my conclusion here is those new links don’t come from those new referring domains. They come from your old backlinks (likely a homepage backlink that appears on every page of a website which thousands of pages)

      2. I see the link velocity to your site is quite steady.. around 1500-2500 links per day.. that’s a good sign that make your links look “natural” :D.

      In March 23, 2013 you got 1416 links: but 1414 links are from this site:
      I checked the site and found that it has a widget that automatically displays the top 10 pages that appear in the search for this query : ” how do iget a student loan”. Your web is at #10. That’s why you have a sitewide link (a link that appears on every page) on that website. And the cool part is that website has over 30,000 pages indexed in google (include tags, categories, etc) so that’s why you received a lot of links 😀

      Again, in March 24, 2013: 777 out of 798 links are from
      In March 27, 2013: 920 out of 928 links are from 😀

      And on yesterday: 1816 out of 1834 are from that website again lol.

      That’s information is enough for me to make a strong conclusion that:
      1) Your are not a victim of a negative attack
      2) Your website are gaining real benefit from a high quality sitewide backlink from a PR 2 related website
      3) Google are reindexing that website and they constantly found your link on every page of That’s why the links keep coming 😀

      You can contact the webmaster of and tell him to remove the link. But honestly you shouln’t because that link is high quality and removing link may harm your site greatly

      You can feel safe now 😀

        Jon says April 28, 2013

        Hahaha – I stand corrected and humbled.

        Tung you are the man – first off congrats on ranking #1 in Google after 30+ days – for everyone reading this go check out his story here –

        1. Based on the information you shared I believe you are correct – Not a Negative SEO Attack!
        2. What will I do about the link volume? – Like you said nothing its coming from a relevant site naturally

        Thanks for pointing out my error!

          Tung Tran says April 29, 2013

          You’re welcome mate 😀 Keep up your good work 🙂

Joe @ How I Got Rich says April 26, 2013

Congrats on the increase in traffic! Shame about the negative SEO but what can you do?

Hope the extra traffic has translated into increased earnings.

    Jon says April 28, 2013

    The extra traffic has resulted in increased earnings (perfectly correlated) so thats always good!

Theodore Nwangene says April 27, 2013

Hi Jon,
I also read the post at, The truth is that i also became nervious after reading it. This issue of Negative SEO attack can be sometimes confusing you know.

But you’ve improved my knowledge on the subject now.

Thanks for sharing.

    Jon says April 28, 2013

    Thanks Theodore, there is a lot of information out there but unfortunately a lot of misinformation or misleading information (including my own apparently – according to Tung (thanks for correcting me Tung))

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