I decided to put this together after suffering at the hands of this shit for the last 12 months. I have dominated my niche for the last 12 months now, its not been easy and its been far from cheap too. I have been through 5 sites that have each had over $10,000 spent on SEO. I have also had a few throw away sites that I use for throwaway marketing. With the SEO sites, each one would dominate Google for a multitude of keywords, then all of a sudden they just dropped off the face of the earth. Most people would say "Algo change, deal with it" - Thankfully we have tools to confirm or deny this, the most simple of which is tracking the number of inbound links to your site. Its no coincidence that the total loss of Google rankings is in direct correlation to your site suddenly getting 12,000 links per day to your homepage. I'm a big fan of Karma, I believe that what goes around comes around, so I dont fuck with neg SEO, but it got to the point where I actually am considering giving Karma a helping hand. With that in mind, I decided that the most Karmic way to go about this would be to tell people how to catch the assholes that think its cool to just fuck with peoples sites and take short cuts to success. Im doing this using tools that I already have access too, there may be other tools to do this, I am just using what I have already. So here goes. Most of us will use some kind of rank tracking tool, I use serpbook. Once a day I have a quick look to see how my ranks and and see if any extra effort is required for certain keywords. Here is one from one of my sites that ranks well : As you can see, all is good in the hood. What would you do if all of a sudden your rankes looked like this (taken from a different site that was recently fell victim to neg seo) : This site had less than 1000 inbound links for over 2 months and ranked solid for all of its 24 keywords. Then within a week it received 20,000 links and vanished. Its no big deal, I was expecting it to happen anyway. After all, this is site number 5 to get a high profile. Its painful to look at the top 20 sites and see how many of them are a total rip off of my original responsive wordpress theme. When I first started this niche, I noticed that a lot of my traffic was from mobile browsers, so I made sure my site used responsive CSS, for the first couple of months the new sites that popped up where all bespoke. Then when my first site got bowled, I noticed that 3 sites popped up that all used my theme and just changed the creative on the landing page. It wasnt hard to figure out that I had my own troll. Back to today. So once you notice that your site is getting bowled, what do you do? There isnt really jack shit you can do to stop this happening to you. There is however the option of tracking down whoever is doing this to you and then taking matters into your own hands. So without further a do, here is my method for tracking them down. Its not 100% foolproof, but it will find the culprit in most cases. First thing I do is Google for my main keyword (the most competitive) and make a list in notepad of the top 20 ranked sites (I tend to exclude youtube videos, articles and blog posts, but do take a look to see if they are directly promoting a competitors site) then go through my secondary keywords and look for other sites. I use this tool to remove any duplicates from the list. My list looks something like this : domain1.com domain2.com domain3.com Once I have listed all the competitors sites, I can import them into serpbook using the bulk import function, like this : domain1.com:main money keyword domain2.com:main money keyword domain3.com:main money keyword Then you can play around with the results and sort the data by various columns. First thing is to sort them by Google rank, then you can look at the number of inbound links and see what the link profiles are like for each site. Use the data to draw some preliminary conclusions. I generally start with the site that has got the highest number of backlinks, then take that url and put it into ahrefs site explorer and see what we get : From the data in the graph we can see that somebody started blasting this site on the 1st of may, after a couple of days they noticed their efforts had paid off and then stopped the neg SEO and moved onto the next victim. Generally, what gets done to 1 gets done to all of the assholes competitors. So you will quickly see a pattern starting to develop when you evaluate the other sites in your niche. Then you will see 1 site that stands out, because it ranks well, is pretty new and has a low number of inbound links. Then ask yourself, how is a new site with 400 inbound links ranking 6th and the entire top 20 has got over 100k spammy links pointing to them, that where all created over a short period of time, round about the same date. Hmmmm, some will argue link quality and say that the new site just has awesome high PR links to it. I cant deny that the quality of links plays a huge factor in ranking well. But this also proves that link quality plays a huge factor in ranking badly. So, now you have found your culprit, or at least who you think it is, its time to go sniffing around their site for links to other sites, see what else is on their server and if it can further incriminate them. Then... Well, the rest is upto you. But thats how to find them. There will be cases where this wont be 100% accurate and innocent people could get caught up in the crossfire, so if you decide to take any kind of action against this individual, make sure you are 100% certain that you have the right person. One possible course of action would be to reach out to them and tell them they have been busted and cut the shit, because its just going to cause a tit for tat mentality and everyone will lose.