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Founder's blog: About Blackhat SEOs. Have you been naughty or nice?

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Here is a summary of what I learnt about Blackhat and Whitehat SEOs from Daniel Somers of SEOmers (seomers.co.uk) at the Suffolk Internet Marketing Specialists event organised by Sam Parnell and Max Shelley (Measure Brilliance) on 15 December 2015.


Whitehat: the proper way

Blackhat: the cheating, exploiting, hacking way


Key takeaways

  • Negative SEOs
    • Your competitors or bad people can spam bad backlinks to your site causing Google to think you have been cheating and giving you a penalty. This will hurt your page ranking on Google search. Your site traffic from Google will drop a lot.
      • Backlinks (links on another website that are pointing to your site pages) help you to get page ranking. The more backlinks pointing to your site and the more they are from reputable sources, the higher your page will rank on Google
    • Always check your Google Analytics (referral traffic) and Google Webmaster tools to see whether you have been targeted. If you have been hit, collect evidence and use the Webmaster tools to tell Google about it.
  • Being too clever with local SEOs
    • Don't try to abuse local SEOs (e.g. using virtual offices). You might gain a little in the short term, but if you get caught the penalty from Google is huge.
  • False right to be forgotten request
    • Your competitors or bad people can pretend to be you and ask Google to forget you. It only works if your name is the brand.
  • Stealing likes and fans:
    • Watch out for fake stories on social networks: either the stories are untrue or are set up to pretend to have come from a reputable source.
    • Watch out for social network account hijacks. The bad people just want to socially force you to like their stuff. You probably won't notice when it is happening. If Facebook suddenly asked you to login again, be careful. If you have been hit, tell Facebook. The best way to avoid this is always make sure you log out of your Facebook account when you finish.
  • Are you "breaking the rules" without knowing it?
    • Web designers: e.g. design a webpage with footer link "designed by Ipswich designers", this is keyword stuffing for local SEO. You should use your real business name instead.
    • Link networks: Linking from personal sites to business site using keyword stuffing. Linking is only, but don't use keyword stuffing.
    • Buying links or adverts without 'nofollow': buying links or adverts is okay, but you need to have the 'nofollow' tag.
    • Being stupid with sites like ifttt. The tool helps you automate posting updates to your social network accounts. It is a great tool, but don't abuse it, otherwise you are link farming! -> Big penalty.
    • Zombie sites: you set up multiple other zombie websites with landing pages that link back to your site.
  • Website Time Machine
    • Waybackmachine (https://archive.org/web/) is a tool that enables you to see what a website looks like in the past. Like a website history book.


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