How Can a Negative SEO Attack Be Turned into a Positive Outcome?


    How Can a Negative SEO Attack Be Turned into a Positive Outcome?

    Turning adversity into opportunity is a skill, and when it comes to negative SEO attacks, it's no different. We've gathered insights from SEO Strategists and Marketing Managers, who have shared their compelling experiences. From recovering a client's site to overcoming a DDoS attack and restoring SEO position, discover how nine experts turned negative SEO into a positive outcome for their sites.

    • Recovered Client's Site from Negative SEO
    • Converted SEO Attack into Strategic Growth
    • Leveraged Spam Keywords for Unexpected Sales
    • Negative SEO Spurs Website and UX Redesign
    • SEO Setback Sparks Content and Strategy Revamp
    • Prevented Backlink Removal and Strengthened Partnerships
    • Transformed Attack into Enhanced Organic Search Performance
    • Gained Traffic and Recognition from Negative SEO
    • Overcame DDoS Attack and Restored SEO Position

    Recovered Client's Site from Negative SEO

    Just like normal SEO practices, negative SEO also has on-page and off-page SEO practices. You have full control over your website's on-page improvement, while for off-page activities, here are the few steps I took to recover one of my client's websites from negative SEO.

    I did not disavow the links based on what other SEO tools suggest. Sometimes the links that look bad to these tools turn into good links. Do not remove unless you have analyzed the incoming links.

    Penguin took care of these spammy links, which gave me more time for link audit and generating quality links for the website. Google Penguin neutralized all these spammy links that were built to affect your website negatively.

    My team of link-building experts worked on the link-building campaign to generate some quality links for my client's website on a regular basis. Soon, we also started ranking for many commercial-intent keywords.

    Meanwhile, my team also started to add more high-quality and valuable content to the website. It sent Google authoritative signals. We also optimized the author profile later on.

    As I said above, about not disavowing the links based on what other tools suggest. However, I continually audited the upcoming links manually and decided to disavow them based on these analytics. Also, we've noticed most of these spammy links were being generated from spammy domains, so it was easy for us to identify a single domain and start removing the links.

    Sumit PandeySEO Strategist, Two Ten Agency

    Converted SEO Attack into Strategic Growth

    Our website faced a damaging SEO attack with a sudden influx of spammy backlinks. Instead of panicking, we approached it strategically. First, we conducted a thorough backlink analysis to identify the harmful links. Next, we disavowed those links through Google's Disavow Tool, signaling to search engines that we didn't endorse those connections.

    Simultaneously, we strengthened our content and engagement strategies. We produced high-quality, shareable content and actively engaged with our audience through social media. This improved our online presence and showcased our commitment to genuine user interaction.

    As a result, search engines recognized our efforts, and our site's authority increased. The damaging SEO attack inadvertently pushed us to enhance our overall SEO strategy, leading to improved rankings and a more resilient online presence. Turning adversity into an opportunity, we recovered from the attack, emerged stronger, and focused on sustainable growth.

    Oliver Andrews
    Oliver AndrewsDigital Marketing, OA Design Services

    Leveraged Spam Keywords for Unexpected Sales

    We had a situation where we uncovered a negative SEO attack in the form of keyword spam. What was happening was that third-party sites were spamming us with random text through anchors; this made us rank for all sorts of spam results. However, a few of the random spam keywords turned out to actually be relevant terms, and we actually got a few sales as a result.

    Isaac Hammelburger
    Isaac HammelburgerFounder, Search Pros

    Negative SEO Spurs Website and UX Redesign

    We were hit by a SAPE link injection, where malicious backlinks were artificially created to harm our site's SEO rankings. Initially, it was a significant setback, as these low-quality links damaged our search engine credibility and visibility.

    However, this situation pushed us to rethink not just our SEO strategy, but our entire website's structure and user experience (UX). We realized that simply fixing the SEO issue wouldn't be enough; we needed to overhaul our website to better serve our users and enhance our online presence. This led to the creation of a new website with a much-improved UX and conversion rates.

    In the process of redesigning the website, we prioritized user-centric design, ensuring that navigation was intuitive and the overall experience was aligned with our users' needs and expectations. This shift not only rectified the SEO damage but also significantly improved user engagement and conversion rates.

    The key lesson from this experience was to view challenges as opportunities. The negative SEO attack, while initially disruptive, became a catalyst for positive change.

    Blake Smith
    Blake SmithMarketing Manager, ClockOn

    SEO Setback Sparks Content and Strategy Revamp

    Our site saw a dip in rankings when we were hit with an SEO attack—not cool. However, instead of panicking, we used it as a wake-up call. We doubled down on our SEO strategy, focusing on quality content, robust backlinks, and a solid user experience. We also launched a content refresh campaign. We updated old blog posts with new data, images, and insights, making them relevant again. Plus, we actively reached out for quality backlinks from reputable sites in our niche.

    The result was that our website traffic recovered and soared higher than before. This attack pushed us to fine-tune our SEO and content game, turning a setback into a setup for a comeback. It's about turning a challenge into an opportunity for growth.

    Zephyr Chan
    Zephyr ChanFounder and Growth Marketer, Living The Good Life

    Prevented Backlink Removal and Strengthened Partnerships

    I received an email from a website that had given us a backlink, asking to confirm that we wanted it removed. I told them that I was grateful they contacted us, because the person who requested it was not with our company. We never found out exactly who created a Gmail account that looked like it was affiliated with us, but it was likely a competitor. We were able to fix the deleted backlinks, and the ordeal strengthened our relationship with two of those websites. They have helped us acquire more backlinks since then.

    Kam Talebi
    Kam TalebiCEO of Gigli, Gigli

    Transformed Attack into Enhanced Organic Search Performance

    We had a client come to us having been bombarded with low-quality backlinks and spammy content in a coordinated negative SEO attack. This was undermining the site's credibility and severely affecting search engine rankings, so we took action to rectify the situation. I initiated a comprehensive audit of the site's backlink profile, identifying and disavowing harmful links. Simultaneously, we intensified our content creation efforts, focusing on high-quality, relevant articles that showcased the client's expertise and industry authority.

    This dual approach not only mitigated the impact of the negative SEO but also brought an unexpected benefit. The fresh, valuable content attracted legitimate backlinks and improved user engagement, boosting the site's organic search performance beyond its original state. This experience underscored the resilience and adaptability necessary in digital marketing, turning a malicious attempt into an opportunity for business growth and an enhanced online presence.

    Shane Mcevoy
    Shane McevoyMD, Flycast Media

    Gained Traffic and Recognition from Negative SEO

    I once noticed some malicious links to my website, which I suspected to be from rival legal firms. I decided to make them famous on social media without mentioning their names, and it paid off. After writing a simple post about how my rivals had launched negative SEO on my website, I received more traffic from organic sources than I had ever received before.

    I even got an interview from the local newspaper and an online magazine that asked me about the challenges associated with SEO strategies for small businesses. The news coverage helped me to build better recognition from diverse sources. After the positive success, I invested in new strategies to remove all malicious links from my website. For example, I removed all spammy links and regularly disavowed and removed all malicious links from my website. The social media fame and removal of malicious links turned out well for my website, and since then, my website has had a great domain rating and high-quality backlinks.

    Martin Gasparian
    Martin GasparianAttorney and Owner, Maison Law

    Overcame DDoS Attack and Restored SEO Position

    In June 2022, was targeted by a massive Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack. It was during our high-sale season, and we noticed increased latency and intermittent downtime on our website, which was unusual because we had highly optimized our webpage. The attack overloaded our servers to the point where our website stopped responding. It affected our SEO performance as Google's bot couldn't crawl our pages.

    Most of the pages were de-indexed, and we experienced significant organic traffic loss. We immediately contacted our hosting provider and secured our site with a CloudFront CDN because it has a proven track record against DDoS attacks. It has multiple layers of protection and a robust scrubbing capacity. We let our clients know and assured them of our corrective actions. The process took a couple of weeks to fully implement and recover, but we regained our SEO position. We remain vigilant and proactive to avoid any further attacks.

    Lev Tretyakov
    Lev TretyakovCEO and Sales Director, Fortador