WebFrootz, LLC, an Owings Mills SEO company allegedly used negative backlinks to artificially raise the ranking of U.N.I. Financial, Inc for search results.
Online PR News – 24-June-2015 – Baltimore MD – Paul Cornish, President of U.N.I. Financial, Inc., of Delaware, reports that two of his web sites, 123CashDepot and 123 CashMart, with once exceptionally high search rankings, dropped to obscurity after the latest Google Penguin II audit, which is an algorithm used to identify spam links. According to court documents of a hearing held at Baltimore County Circuit in May 2015, WebFrootz, LLC, an Owings Mills Search Engine Optimization (SEO) company is alleged to have used 3,700 negative backlinks to artificially raise the ranking of U.N.I. Financial, Inc for search results. Once Google disclosed the negative backlinks to the websites, it drastically reduced search ability, resulting in no traffic to the U.N.I Financial websites.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing visibility of a webpage on a search engine’s unpaid search results. One of the ways to increase a website’s rankings and traffic in a search result is to increase the number of “backlinks” pointing to that website. A “backlink” is an incoming link from one webpage to another. The number of backlinks to a website is assessed by search engines to measure the popularity or importance of a website and to “rank” sites in the search results.
SEOs accomplish this by encouraging bloggers and other website developers to create content linking to their clients’ websites. However, negative backlinks are links between web pages that negatively take advantage of the link-based algorithms used by search engines to increase the ranking of particular websites. This can be accomplished by creating dummy, or unrelated, websites that have backlinks to the original website that an SEO is trying to promote. Thousands of these can be purchased for very little money and cause websites to quickly rise in rankings, until foiled by the Google Penguin.
To address this issue, U.N.I used Google’s Webmaster Tool Disavow to ignore the negative backlinks. Disavow is the tool that allows anyone who believes that their site’s ranking is being harmed by negative backlinks to report them to Google to be ignored. This process has taken U.N.I Financial three months to get 3,700 backlinks ignored. Although it may take months or even years to rebuild the site’s rankings using legitimate methods, U.N.I expects substantial amounts of progress and to soon be on top again.