Black Hat

Linkbuildr Gets Targeted For Negative SEO

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March 22  |  Black Hat  |   Ryan Clark

I am actually shocked it took this long for someone to try something funny towards our site. I don’t think I’ve pissed anyone off all that much in the past year or so, but regardless someone has blasted with a load of anchor text specific links from blog comments. Looks like Scrapebox went to town on us and pushed us into the top 5 for the target keyword they focused on.

linkbuildr negative seo attack 1
We certainly never had that many links before and I honestly haven’t even checked in months as all of our business comes from people reading my content and referrals. We do not build links and the majority of them come from me being apart of the industry and our content getting linked to.

Negative SEO Attempt

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So far we’re now ranking in the top 5 for “link building blog” which has rose since these nofollow links came flooding in from blogs all over the world. I’m not too worried about it as they’re nofollow anyway and no one has really seen a full proof case of negative SEO working.

With that being said, I kind of hope the Google algorithm burns us for it because I’ll turn that into some sweet link bait. Luckily for us, our business of getting new clients does not rely on free Google traffic all that much. While I also don’t have a whole lot of time any more to handle social media relationships either, we get a lot of content shares from the great people of this industry.

What Kind Of Links Did We Get?

The majority of links are the usual crap you get from the services sections of the “SEO” forums that plague the internet. I’m always ragging on Warrior Forum, Blackhat World, Digital Point and the like so perhaps someone from there is responsible for the new link love.

Open Galleries:

linkbuildr negative seo attack 3

At least they were polite!

Blog Comment Spam:

linkbuildr negative seo attack 5

Will We Get Dropped?

I decided to write about this publicly just incase we do get hit as it will make for an interesting discussion. I don’t think much will happen and if negative SEO does work, it shouldn’t be this easy. There are certainly a lot of people coming into Google’s webmaster help central complaining that competitors are doing this and its working. Problem with that is so many companies hire “SEO” companies and have no idea they’re just getting link spam.

Like I’ve stated before, 99% of SEO companies out there are spammers and either know they’re just slinging junk or still think that manually submitting a site to 250 directories, doing one line blog comments and submitting to social bookmark sites is marketing. I also state that Google keeps ranking link spammers and snake oil SEO consultants at the top for every and any keyword related to online marketing.

It’s a tough game!

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Penguin Friendly Link Building Scams!

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August 29  |  Black Hat  |   Ryan Clark

I feel really bad and scared for the businesses out there who know they need to get “SEO” done, and most of them only hear everyone chanting about “links links links”. The scary part is 99% of the providers out there are offering total and utter garbage in regards to quality, creativity and most importantly something that is not against Google’s TOS. I get messages all the time on LinkedIn and the latest one inspired me to do this quick post.

With all the updates in the past year, your link profile is either an asset or complete poison and this is where you have to be really careful in what you do(or who you hire). This sales pitch seen below is crazy misleading and they’re offering nothing but the same old spam that’s eventually going to get your company in bad health.

Email Title: Google Penguin Friendly Back-Linking
I am *name omitted*
Manager (Marketing Department)
We have a large crew of Professionals who are expert in Quality Link Building, SMM, Search Engine Marketing, SEO and Online Business Optimization, time consuming duties for you in half of your in-house resource cost. You don’t even have to pay NI or tax contributions either.
Our core focus is following industry verticals:-ac
 Quality Link Building
 Rate Effective Link Building – Google Page rank oriented
 Keyword oriented Article & PR Submissions
 Relevant Directory Submissions
 Local Google Business Listing
 Mass Coverage of customers through SMO
 Internet Traffic – Bookmarking and Local Classified Submissions
 Link Wheeling
 Google Panda Friendly Content Writing
 Business Website Advertise Online
We are open to sign “NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement)” with SEO Resellers
We always adopt the Google friendly ETHICAL LINK building process/White hat technique; also follow the guidelines of Google and major search Engine.
We are looking forward starting a long and healthy business relationship with you. I will really appreciate you please let me know your requirement.
Note: – Please Share Your Email id for better and healthy communication.
Looking for Positive Response.
Kind Regards,
*name omitted*
Manager (Marketing Department)

After seeing this same kind of bullsh*t being spewed on pretty much all the webmaster forums, LinkedIn, Twitter and PPC ads I’ve decided we’re going to do something about it. In the fall we’ll be releasing a guide on how to pick an SEO firm. This guide will detail how you can do an audit on their practices and on any clients they list on their portfolio page. While it may seem a bit preachy for our services, we’d be happy to recommend a dozen quality companies(Distilled, Jason Acidre, SEER etc) that create things to attract links, not build them. If the majority of your link profile consists of links you did yourself and influencing which anchor text was used, then it’s time to wake up.

Link Spammer Complains To Google About Spam Not Working

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August 13  |  Black Hat  |   Ryan Clark

I just caught this while helping out companies on Google’s webmaster help and thought you folks might get a laugh out of this one. There are sadly way too many “SEO’s” who have 0 clue as to what’s against Google’s TOS in regards to building links. This bloke is definitely lost at sea as you’ll quickly figure out from reading his post:

I’m doing only white hat SEO for my site but it is caught in Penguin update and it has given low ranking, it should be on top for the keyword “forum posting service” it is on the seventh place.
I don’t know where I made the mistakes.

Yikes… While 7th place is no penalty, his site will surely end up much worse over the next few weeks. I know most of you forum owners most likely want to punch this spammer in the face so settle down… one more will bite the dust soon. A quick look at the site’s link profile shows more ignorance as they’ve just been spamming forums with a couple of targeted anchor texts. This is exactly the kind of stuff Penguin is automatically looking out for in its hunt – not to mention ALL the links are of one type.

So this brings me to another point. If you’re hunting around for a service provider to attract links for you, do your homework on them. A lot of folks have no idea what to do and where to start, so knowing what’s going to cause your business trouble in the long (or short) run will make your life a whole lot easier.

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Pay Me To Remove Your Unnatural Link

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July 17  |  Black Hat, Link Cleanup  |   Ryan Clark

I just came across a Google Webmaster Central thread where an SEO firm doing a link cleanup kept coming across webmasters requesting a monetary fee to have the “illicit” link removed. The Linkbuildr team talked about something like this happening a few weeks ago during a company retreat and now we see something in the wild. We don’t do link takedown requests on behalf of clients for two reasons:

  1. We help people attract links, not build sh#@ links.
  2. We don’t build sh#@ links. If a major brand has a trillabazillion naughty links, the cleanup mess is going to be a bloody nightmare.

How have you been handling requests for processing fees in response to your link removal requests?

Some webmasters are now requesting processing fees from $20 to $500 to remove links from their web sites.

I don’t like paying those fees, as I did not ask them to place the links in the first place. On the other hand, they see it as a reasonable fee for the time and effort required to remove links. Nobody likes to work for free.

The web site I am currently working on has over half a million inbound links and the link removal processing fees are starting to add up to quite considerable numbers.

How do you handle such requests?

EastwoodThere is a great possibility this person is trolling, but this scenario is definitely not far fetched at all. I imagine a lot of companies will do anything to get out of Penguin’s grip and pass that manual review. I’m probably not helping the situation by blogging about this as other nefarious webmasters are likely to start doing this to other companies trying to clean up a link mess. Regardless of the negatives, what do you folks think? Would you pay a webmaster or track them down and go Eastwood on their behinds?

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The Future Of Google Spam?

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May 3  |  Black Hat  |   Ryan Clark

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Bad Credit Personal Loans In Google

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April 28  |  Black Hat  |   Ryan Clark

The other day I wrote about the hilarity still showing up for buy Cialis still in Google even after all these “quality” updates. While I can see how Google’s toned down the power of having a lot of specific anchor text links, there are clearly problems still. So right now for the search term bad credit personal loans is showing one silly result. This is a very competitive term and this type of crap shouldn’t still be showing up, right?

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Buy Cialis Online Google Results

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April 26  |  Black Hat  |   Ryan Clark

So the super duper spam attack Google algo update hit this week and continues to roll out, so what do the search results for some of the most spammed keywords look like? Well let’s take a look at buy Cialis and see what we can find ranking in the top 10 for one very competitive keyword.

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Negative SEO Fiverr

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April 21  |  Black Hat  |   Ryan Clark

While this is most likely just a quick way to make a few bucks while jumping on a trend, we will however see an influx of these services. I’ve been enjoying the debating on whether or not you can penalize a site with boat loads of links. If you can buy yourself a bunch of junk links and end up in all sorts of trouble, why couldn’t someone else. There’s no way to tell who paid for those links so we have an interesting year ahead of us still.

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