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Competitors can Harm your Google Rankings - Negative SEO

Can competitors create a negative impact on Google rankings by launching negative link building campaigns?  That is, creating links from spammy low quality sites.. there are differences in the manner in which Google has opined recently!

Now it reads:
Google works hard to prevent other webmasters from being able to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you’re concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don’t control the content of these pages.

Before it read:
There’s almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you’re concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don’t control the content of these pages.

Google: Can Competitors Harm Ranking
There are several threads saying that this change means that negative SEO is possible and Google admits it by changing this statement. We have threads at WebmasterWorld, TrafficPlanet and Google Webmaster Help.

In fact, the Google Webmaster Help thread was from April 18th, so I am not sure what was changed on May 22nd, because the content copied and pasted in that thread is exactly what I see there. I am thinking maybe the video above the content was added, since Google published that video last week.
What do you make of this statement change, which again happened at least back by April 18th. Update, it was around March 14th as Hobo-Web has it on their blog then.

Source: http://www.seroundtable.com/google-can-competitors-harm-me-15210.html

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