Blog

Learn about marketing

Get a Quote

How Can Lawyers Negate Porn Backlinks

Sep 15, 2015

Recently, one of our clients was hit by a major spam attack. What do I mean by that? Well, imagine a law firm who has only ever had a maximum of maybe 1500 backlinks, now have over 10,000 backlinks in over a month. That’s a ridiculous increase – and one which frightened the hell out of us. We were petrified that Google would KILL our clients rankings.

Why?
All 10,000 of these links had the anchor text¬†los angeles personal injury lawyer, or personal injury lawyer. Considering our client is a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer, needless to say we were petrified that this would be interpreted by Google as a “manipulative,” sign and result in decreased rankings.

What type of backlinks were created?
All of the backlinks created were from porn websites. They were site-wide links, meaning 4-5 domains were each generating 2000-3000 links a piece. Each domain was using “rich anchor text,” such as personal injury lawyer, etc. We were horrified that this would be misinterpreted by Google’s algorithm – as a manipulative signal, and that we were trying to game the system. Heaven knows, we’ve read enough case studies where people discuss how they were negatively impacted by spammy/porn backlinks. In our case, our client had a 1000% increase in overall quantity of links.

So what did we do?

Our first step was to reach out to the various publishers, all of whom were overseas, in order to request the links be removed. Needless to say, we did not hear back from ANY of them. We tried multiple times, to the point where we reached out to the registrars and still heard nothing back. It was a complete silence.

After realizing that no one was going to help us, and this was a clearly malicious attack, we resorted to the only thing we could do: disavow them. Using MajesticSEO, we determined the domains from which the links were coming – it was about 4,5. We disavowed all of the domains, and sat there waiting!

What’s happened since then?

Since the porn backlink attack, there have been a number of algorithm updated, For example, the Panda algorithm update just triggered a few weeks ago. Our client used to rank position #1 consistently FOR MANY keywords. It was a fact. Since then, our client has down-trended to position #2, and #3. Some may say this is natural, I guess it is – but when you’ve been position #1, with ZERO fluctuations(we have rank trackers to prove it), it definitely is a curious change. For some other keywords, we saw a much more drastic decrease in rankings. For example, car accident related keywords went to position 5,6,7,8. This is huge, considering the client used to be letter A and position 1. Now, this could be a “natural,” down-trend that just happened. Alternatively, it could be that the links did have a negative impact.

Speculation

Here’s what I think happened. I think that the negative links DEFINITELY had a negative impact. I expected a significant down-trend(our client totally disappearing). I’m sure the competitor who did the negative SEO attack was hoping the same, based on the sheer volume of links created. Our client has links from Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, LifeHacker.com, and other great websites. I suspect those links diminished, but didn’t completely eliminate, the negative impact of the spam-porn links. I believe that the link disavowment must have helped, to some extent – again, due to the sheer number of links that were created. I have seen other websites with similar links profiles – get demolished.

If you are being serviced by another lawyer SEO company, and suspect you’re being negatively bombarded by negative SEO – consider asking them about their strategy on countering the links. While Google lends a helping hand with it’s disavowment tool – there’s no substitute for an active link removal process.