Exposing Crap-Hat SEO Tactics, One at a Time

Those of us that work in SEO can rattle off a long list of techniques that can be classified as a waste of time, high-risk or downright suicidal for a website. Unfortunately, there are a lot of website owners out there that aren’t as informed, and may be easily misled by crap-hat providers, offering crap-hat tactics.

That’s what this site is about… pointing out those tactics that can be dangerous or unproductive. We figure most of you aren’t rolling in dough, and aren’t eager to pay good money for the privilege of shooting yourself in the foot.

There’s no shortage of self-proclaimed SEO “experts”, “ninjas” and “gurus”, offering some new, “secret” technique to catapult your website to the top of the SERPs. Sound like a silver bullet? Here’s a tidbit of truth for you:

Silver Bullet Truth #1 – There ARE no silver bullets! There are no secrets, either! Virtually everything has been tried, in a myriad of permutations, sometimes with some level of success, sometimes ending in disaster. If someone offers to share some secret technique, run, don’t walk. Either they’re a fool, or they think you are.

 All the misconceptions you might be exposed to don’t come from the lips of wannabee SEOs, hell-bent on relieving you of your money, though. The amount of misinformation to be found on SEO forums and blogs is staggering. In fact, in my experience, there is more crap than gold out there, unless you’re very careful who you listen to. And the fact that someone has 100,000 Twitter followers or is a well-known name with a Klout score of 87 doesn’t mean squat!

  • There are some that used to know a lot… in the late ’90s… but lost touch with the evolution of SEO.
  • There are others that never knew much to begin with, but built a cardboard reputation on the backs of others, by blogging regurgitated information like a printing press run amok.
  • Some truly try to do it right, but just don’t stay abreast of the latest developments, so they don’t realize that the tactics they used to use successfully no longer work.
  • And of course, there are those that don’t care. They may be fully aware that what they do doesn’t yield the desired result, or that it may even get your site de-indexed. All they care about is seeing your payment hit their PayPal account.

Fortunately, though, there are also some great SEOs out there. The downside is this: the really good ones are often in such demand that you rarely see or hear them. They may speak at the occasional conference,  they may even have a blog where they share some great information. But the bottom line is, they’re so busy getting positive results for their clients, that they have little time for much else, beyond fielding calls from prospective clients to whom they were recommended.  They’re not out there pushing their services, because they already have more work than they can handle.

That means that the probability of what you DO see or hear being incorrect or misguided is disturbingly high.

If you have an SEO provider proposing actions to you that you’re not sure of or would just like to understand better, feel free to ask here. We’ll tell you what we know, what we think and what we don’t know, and we’ll even offer you some resources to check it out more fully. Don’t blindly accept whatever you’re told by anyone, including us.

 

About Doc Sheldon

Retired business management consultant and publisher, turned SEO. 35+ years as a copywriter and content strategist, 9 years of it on-line.

Comments

  1. I’d never support a black hat campaign, but I’ve been beaten in the past by black hat tactics and when the client looks at us and says “well why did that work?” do we lie to protect “the industry” or do we lay out what happened and why. I can speak from experience that one of the first things that client will do after the meeting is start looking for an SEO consultant more willing to break the rules than I am.

    • True enough, Виктор. I think we’ve all had clients throw things like that in our faces, and it’s not always easy to make them understand. All I’ve had luck with is simply telling them that it’s not a matter of IF sites get hammered for black hat tactics, but WHEN.
      Of course, if the competitor’s site has been getting away with it for 2 or 3 years, that makes it a lot tougher.
      Personally, I don’t believe in hat colors… as long as the client understands the risks involved with any tactic, then it’s not “black hat”, just because it happens to be against Google’s guidelines. But I draw the line at sabotaging a competitor’s site – to me, that’s just unethical, so I won’t do it.

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