How Black Hat SEOs Game Google Search

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Are black hat SEO specialists getting better at outsmarting Google? And is Google Local Search particularly susceptible to gaming?

Earlier this year, JC Penny and Overstock.com had to be manually demoted by Google because they were paying for inbound links to artificially inflate their rankings.

Last month a Chinese start-up that uses illicit SEO tactics to outrank a number of major consumer brands for keywords like “summer dresses” secured a $15 million dollar investment from Sequoia Capital.

And credit card provider Capital One piggy backs off an online car dealership’s display ad widget to rank number one for the phrase “auto loans.” Most recently, lead gen companies have gotten so good at gaming local search, it’s become exceedingly difficult, if not impossible for local locksmiths to get found by customers.

Instead, the lead gen companies, or affiliate marketers, intercept the leads and sell them to the highest bidder, driving up the cost of service. Online search expert Doug Pierce, available via LinkedIn, Twitter or email, who is the co-founder of Digital Due Diligence, which helps investors evaluate online business models, talks about the shady schemes of black hat SEOs, and whether or not they’ll ever gut Google search of its usefulness. Topics Discussed:

  • How national lead gen companies outranking local companies in Google Local Search.
  • How lead gen sites use NAPs — name, address and phone number — to curry favor.
  • Was including Local Search in its current state in Universal Search Results a bad idea?
  • Inside the unseemly Chinese Internet web of inbound link purchasing networks.
  • How to use ALT tags to give inbound links from JPEGs SEO relevancy.
  • Did JC Penny know what it was doing, or was management digitally illiterate?
  • What https://www.opensiteexplorer.org/  does that Yahoo! Site Explorer doesn’t.

Since this podcast was recorded, Google made significant changes to the Goolge Local search algorithm.

Photo by Julius Drost on Unsplash

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