How Black Hat SEOs Game Google Search


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

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

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

Credit card provider Capital One piggybacks 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 that 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 service cost. 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 get Google search of its usefulness.

Black Hat SEO Topics Discussed

  • How national lead gen companies outrank 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?

Since this podcast was recorded, Google significantly changed the Goolge Local search algorithm.

Photo by Julius Drost on Unsplash

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