Fortune 500 Company + SEnuke = Disaster

July 3  |  Black Hat  |   Ryan Clark

Before we get into this quick post I’ll state this is in by no means a bash to SEnuke, but more of a lesson when hiring an in-house SEO. A lot of the link building tactics used in the software are 100% link schemes, and are going to eventually get you in trouble. However, it is also in the user(think guns don’t kill people, people with guns..) to make it black hat. You could most definitely use it for legit purposes in small doses. But for the most part, this software spams forums, blog comments and web 2.0 profiles. It also now does link wheel “strategies”, and by looking at the diagram below, what do you think of;

If that’s not a visual definition of a link scheme. So in came an email from a fortune 500 company asking for help when their homepage dipped out of the SERPs, and a whole ton of their target kw’s were now bouncing around the 50-70 range. Not good right? Naturally my first step was to run a link report and see what was going on. I nearly spat my coffee all over the keyboard with what I saw after my Link Research Tools (shameless plug for Cemper here :) report finished.

So what happened? This company is an old school one, and they for so many years just relied on a webmaster, basic on page SEO and the natural links they received. After a few of the higher ups went to a conference and got all jazzed on online marketing, they decided to put together an in-house team. This lead to someone fresh out of university being picked up and hired, along with 4 other graduates from the same school/marketing program.

Perhaps a risky move, but the university has a great reputation, and the fresh hires were cheaper than some one with a lot of real world experience. Perhaps the first mistake, but not necessarily a bad move. The problems arose once the team decided to implement SEnuke as their link building platform and methodology.

After learning about link wheels, profile links and all the other “techniques” out there they went to town with this software. After 8 months there were nearly a dozen link wheels setup with spun content, but the worst part, the thousands and thousands of forum spam, blog comment and 2.0 profile links. To back that up, only 6-10 different money keyword anchor text were thrown in the mix. This got real obvious real quick.

So a year later and some very major problems are now a reality in this companies life. The clean up process is going to be down right awful, and guess who gets the clean up work duty? No me, that’s for sure! We’ll be taking their link building efforts into 2012 with awesome content, resources, web apps, mobile apps and beyond. Large companies have huge pull and don’t need to resort to anything other than natural link creation, so let this be a warning to all.

Be careful who you hire, don’t use questionable tactics and do things right if you want to stick around longer than a year in the SERPs. Google is going to be really focusing on SERP quality over the next year (and beyond), so now is the time to go over everything and make sure you’re squeaky clean.

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About Ryan Clark

I'm the CEO of Linkbuildr Marketing and the brains behind our branding and blog content. I specialize in effective marketing strategies for hotels, luxury brands and real estate. If your brand is in need of a boost then don't hesitate to contact me for a free proposal. Follow me on Google+: +Ryan Clark Twitter: @Linkbuildr on Twitter. You can also come ask me a question on our Facebook Page.  

10 Responses to Fortune 500 Company + SEnuke = Disaster

  1. Jason Acidre says:

    Haha cool image! 

    They should have just invested on in-house marketer(s) and in training them instead of the automating the whole process of link building.

  2. That’s not true. If it were that easy, I could just SENuke the heck out my competition and they would get penalized by Google.

    It doesn’t work that way.

    Anything you do that is not on the website itself will incur any penalty. The worst that could happen is that Google will simply ignore those link wheels.

  3. Linkbuildr says:

    Well you’re forgetting one aspect…you’re not going to keep your rankings when those links get devalued.

  4. Bradman Jack says:

    Thanks for sharing nice image and also a great article. I have read each & every thing about link wheel submission. As far as link building is concern, I have to do link wheel submission using social media sites and high page rank blogging sites.

    link wheel creation

  5. Hey Ryan,

    Great post buddy. Funny our team was just reviewing the SENUKE application. Question for you….we all know that everyone preaches quality over quantity. Sometimes when you look at the competitive landscape that philosophy just does play out. What do you do to try and scale you link building efforts on a monthly basis….?

  6. Linkbuildr says:

    Hey Tigue,

    Good questions with a sad answer coming your way. Google has still been slow to respond to junk links. With that being said, it’s just a matter of waiting until those competitor link devalue and fade out. It’s supremely frustrating when you’re doing everything “clean” and getting slow results.

    Post Panda as well I’m still on the bandwagon that links are getting looked at differently. The Web Spam team has also stated that another update this year will “drastically change the way we view links”.

    Scaling monthly efforts really depends on site you’re working on. If it’s just another site pushing the same things as 100 other sites, then you’re in for a long battle. If they have something unique, tons of great content then hit the digital streets and request those links. Go get product reviews, mobile app, create resource guides specifically for the landscape and other niche targets.

    It will pay off in the long run when your client has a solid link profile that will avoid any problems in the future. The folks gaming weak links via SENuke will have to keep battling weak pages that don’t stay indexed, account bans and other annoyances of the “grey/black hat” methods.

  7. Gnuboss says:

    I took a look at the free version of SE Nuke recently and had a thought that if used incorrectly or overused, this software could land you in major trouble.

    I agree, this is the kind of thing that should be used under strict control and in small doses only.

  8. WOW! It’s JCPenny all over again.

    Honestly, I laughed when I read that they started using SENuke.

    You definitely have to throttle that one.

    Me personally, I prefer natural all the way, with a little encouragement, of course.

    Wait! you’re not going to tell us who they are so we can laugh…:)


  9. Linkbuildr says:

    Hey Mark!

    My ass would be fired if I spilled the beans although they’ve been enjoying the responses so far!

  10. Steve says:

    I am amazed that Senuke could have a negative impact on a large site – why, because I have tried it and it just does not work, Google ignores the links it creates.

    It does not create thousands of link btw, at the most we are talking hundreds.

    Spend 30mins with scrapebox on the links it creates and you will see why it is junk, most submissions fail, then loads get deleted, then the rest are wither nofollow then not indexed and finally thay ARE ALL PR0

    So you end up with 10-20 PR0 links which google then ignores.

    That is why I am surprised in your post.

    Perhaps they were also running XRumer – this can certainly bugger up a site, not Senuke though.

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