Let the games begin!
I posted a few weeks ago that competitors can hurt your rankings - based on some of the evidence I've gathered here and there and based on the myriad of comments and posts supporting the idea, but interestingly enough, Mr. Rand Fishkin has put out a challenge to any or all SEOs to take down his sites with negative SEO - if you can!
He believes that negative SEO;
Are you up for the challenge? He also said in his interview with WebProNews.com that;That creates an entire industry and practice that no one (not engines, not marketers, not brands) benefits from. Only the spammers and link network owners win, and that’s exactly the opposite of what every legitimate player in the field wants. Thus, I’m wholeheartedly behind identifying and exposing whether Google or Bing are wrongly penalizing sites rather than merely removing the value passed by spam links. If we can remove that fear and that process, we’ve done the entire marketing and web world a huge favor.
So with this challenge by Rand, I have to say that I'm back on the fence again about whether it can be done or not. If he's willing to put his websites on the line like this he must have been doing his research, and what he states may just be true - no real established and trusted sites have anything to worry about.I’ve never seen it work on a truly clean, established site
So basically if anyone takes up the challenge and succeeds or not, we're going to be able to put this idea to rest once and for all. If someone does indeed succeed at knocking down his websites in the search results then Google, we've got a problem. If not then, well, Google just might be the reliable search engines it claims to be.
Is anyone going to take up his offer?
From the article I linked to above from WebProNews, there's a link directly to the post where a "negative SEO" study was done of which apparently proved that such attack can be done successfully.
What do you think?