seomoz issued a challenge at Traffic Planet to see if the Negative SEO experts there could work their Negative SEO Magic on his seomoz site.
Well, pixelgrinder and the gang succeeded. seomoz received the "unnatural links notice" on July 19th. --> http://www.seomoz.or...-links-warnings
seomoz tries to write it off saying that the terms of the new targeted links notice will apply and Google will just reduce the relevance of the spam links that were added to their site. That just isn't the case, though, because seomoz clearly recieved the old "unnatural links" notice because -- per matt Cutts, the original "unnatural links" notice arrives in WMT with an exclamation point marking the notice; the new notice does not. --> https://plus.google....sts/gik49G9c5LU seomoz clearly points out that their notice was marked by the exclamation point.
And, regardless, if you go to Traffic Planet and read the Negative SEO thread with some 448 replies, you'll see that what they do is way beyond spam links. They'll destroy your reputation by setting up Social Media accounts in your name and post dergoatory information and then use that to support complaints on the major review sites. They will also post fake reviews to your Places page until Google removes you from the index, etc., etc. etc. They post all the details over there.
seomoz probably will get out of this unscathed. Most likely Google will make a special exception for them and remove any penalty for seomoz so as to cloud the fact that Negative SEO is alive and well and possibly coming to your site --
Be nice to your competitors!
What's the difference between the notices?
The Original "Unnatural Links Notice"
1) Applies to the site overall so any penalty will affect the rankings of the whole site.
2) Requires that you remove unnatural links and doesn't tell you which links (if you have 200K links to your site, good luck).
3) It's marked by an exclamation point in WMT.
4) It reads as follows --
Dear site owner or webmaster of http://www.yourdomain.com/,
We've detected that some of your site's pages may be using techniques that are outside Google's Webmaster Guidelines.
Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.
We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you've made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google's search results.
If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.
If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.
Google Search Quality Team
The New "Targeted Links Notice"
1) Doesn't require action on the webmasters part, links are just devalued-- of course, Google waffles on this and says that it may require action, it depends.
2) There is no exclamation point marking the notice in WMT.
3) The action is only taken against the "unnatural links", not your whole site.
4) It reads as follows --
We've detected that some of the links pointing to your site are using techniques outside Google's Webmaster Guidelines.
We don't want to put any trust in links that are artificial or unnatural. We recommend removing any unnatural links to your site. However, we do realize that some links are outside of your control. As a result, for this specific incident we are taking very targeted action on the unnatural links instead of your site as a whole.
If you are able to remove any of the links, please submit a reconsideration request, including the actions that you took. If you have any questions, please visit our Webmaster Help Forum.
Bottom Line -- Negative SEO works and Google's "unnatural links" strategy unleashed it. Google will cover seomoz for PR purposes; they won't cover you or me. They are police, prosecutor, judge and jury. Moreover, Google won't allow any defense attorney or specific enforceable laws/rules for which they can be held responsible.
Edited by chuckfinley, 04 August 2012 - 01:18 AM.