Negative SEO Attacks and How to Fight Them

Alexis Azria
7 min readAug 5, 2022


The Danger of Negative SEO Attacks

A hidden well-organized negative SEO (search engine optimization) campaign against you can wipe out your Internet footprint, obliterate online rankings, or cause you to be de-indexed by Google. It can do irreparable harm to your reputation and earning potential.

And if these malicious actors circumvent the current laws by targeting someone’s actual name instead of their website, victims have little recourse. Why? Because these concealed attacks don’t leave the necessary IP addresses to track down the perpetrators. Note that it takes money and motivation to go to these lengths to ruin a company or private person.

The worst part?

You don’t even know it’s happening.

So how did I learn about the negative SEO campaign against me and how they were burying my articles?

Through a little-known trick on

I follow my articles’ ranking on Google — incognito as a writer. However, I noticed last October that my high-ranking pieces were disappearing from the internet as they were being bundled in 3rd party links such as or There was a huge traffic drop to the sites I wrote for. First, I found my name in Google images in conjunction with a Toronto escort service and, later, an erotic Turkish TikTok site. Then, my name would appear in spammy and fake web links from other countries in Google searches. Pieces of my writing were stuffed in non-existent websites all over the world. But worse, most photos and articles concerning my previous philanthropic work disappeared.

I was watching someone erase my very existence from Google.

Within 48 hours, I interviewed online reputation management (ORM) companies. As I explained the attacks, we would refresh our browsers every few minutes to watch links disappear before our eyes or weirdly shuffle themselves.

One manager said, “Damn, somebody’s out to get you.” He explained negative SEO attacks were not common because spammers don’t put in the time and effort. But they happen, and it could be from a disgruntled employee, an aggressive competitor, a crazy girlfriend, or a jealous ex-spouse who hired an…



Alexis Azria

Writer and curious creator. Passionate about work, life & social issues. Visit