Negative SEO is a concept that many website owners have been concerned about, and TastyPlacement decided to see exactly what the truth was behind such fears. By purposefully taking out low quality paid links, TastyPlacement was able to sink a site’s search engine ranking in only four weeks. TastyPlacement performed this test on a domain that they had owned for two years; the site did not have the benefit of any positive promotion in the twelve months prior to the negative SEO test.
By distributing 56,000 junk links, TastyPlacement essentially destroyed much of the sales viability of their own website. The most important aspect of a test of this nature is that it shows just how easy it is to mess up another site’s search engine ranking. TastyPlacement may have performed their test with a URL that they owned, but there is nothing stopping owners of competitor websites from employing a similar tactic. The test showed that a mere $45 was enough to drop the website from number three to number 14 for one of its most popular search strings. As all website owners know, being on the second page of search engine listings will have a negative impact on sales, and this is exactly what happened.
Original study & infographic by TastyPlacement, an Austin SEO company.