A year ago Akamai's Threat Research Team exposed a "Blackhat Search Engine Optimization (SEO)" attack campaign. The goal of the campaign was to manipulate search engines rankings and grow visibility for a web site that allows users to share their cheating and infidelity stories.
The attack method used SQL injection to inject HTML links to as many web sites as possible across the Internet. By doing so, the attackers created a nest of links referring to the promoted Web site. The expected result? The injected links would eventually lead to growth in the site's ranking, driving traffic, and increasing awareness in search engines.
The success of SEO ranking manipulation is a product of time and referral links. In order to determine whether such "blackhat SEO" manipulation was successful, we measured the promoted web site ranking in the past year to see whether the Blackhat SEO "worked."