Hunted by the Algorithm, Competitors and SEO’s

Hunted by the Algorithm, Competitors and SEO’s

20th May 2013

The last 12-18 months of Google changes to content and link building practices have impacts far above  simply just changing tactics or getting a Manual Action removed. It has turned many business owners to have resentment towards other website who have not yet been affected through the changes.

Some SEO’s have turned spiteful with numbers of Negative SEO attacks being recorded, you can read more about this by Looking at @irishwonder ‘s recent presentation about Negative SEO.

A background on SEO Outing

Since I started in Digital I’ve always seen and heard about SEOs outing other SEO tactics, you may find the following posts useful from Aaron Wall and Shaun Anderson.

An Unwritten Rule

To summarise a number of SEO’s believed that by ‘Outing’ an SEO tactic we “urinate in the well we are all drinking from“.

The Advent of Social.

Twitter is such an open social network were you can actually tweet the like of “Matt Cutts” directly which has increased the efforts of some SEOs to publisise themselves as self proclaimed white hat marketers. However there us a careful road to tred especially with an announcement that the next iteration of Penguin will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

Ignorance is not an Option

It is more important to start cleaning up your sites than ever, not only to prevent from Algorithmic updates, but also from Manual Inspections, this came to the forefront for me as last year I was hired to help fix a site which had an “Unnatural link warning.”

After speaking with the developer involved and the CEO I showed examples of five of their competitors who also had low quality links and questionable link profiles but who had not been affected like the clients site had.

I left the meeting and found out through their webmaster tools panel that they took my information and submitted several reports for paid links.


I’ll be honest that was 5-6 months ago and I seemingly forgot about it. I didn’t particular condone this action, I’ve never been the cleanest link builder in the past and I’m a big believer in karma.

However this month in the name of research I decided to have a look if these site had been affected, knowing that they questionable links and had been reported.

The Results.

Each site reported saw a noticeable drop in SEO visibility according to Search Metrics.

paid-link-report-v1 paid-link-report-v2 paid-link-report-v3 paid-link-report-v4

As you can see in these instances you can clearly see that the sites with bad link profiles have been effected by either the report or an Algorithmic update.

Prevention is always better than Cure

The final part of this post is that although you may have cleaned up how you build links going forward, you should spend time carrying out a link audit on your current profile, clean some things up now before you end up in a position that either Google Algorithm catches you up your site is outed by a Competitor or other SEO.

Please play carefully.


Written By
Neil Walker started working as an SEO in 2002 and rose to become Group CTO for Swedish Marketing Agency “Online Group” in 2010 he moved to consulting with agencies, in-house teams and PR companies. In 2014 he formalised this work and founded Made Notable Ltd a boutique digital consultancy based...
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