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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