For the SEO sinners out there ranking a website becomes a leisurely, challenging activity to test your wits.
You’re a fool to think that search engines can’t be manipulated. Right now technology simply hasn’t been able to keep up with human ingenuity and deception.
What a computer deems “untrustworthy” is drawing on an algorithmic system that’s without gut instinct or a complex learning element.
If you pull up any site on the net, can you tell, right now, what the *purpose* of that site might be?
Any idiot can blog about a great number of things but over time there is a trust element and genuine feeling to the site that keeps real humans coming back for more.
Every site on the net was created for a reason but with billions of sites and massive quantities of information flying around, no group of people could possibly sort through it all to determine the useful from the worthless.
Sometimes that reason is simply to be a stealth, “fake” website that does nothing other than provide links to another site.
Algorithms try to predict credibility on a great many things, some of which are higher priority then others.
In the last decade, many, many people have abused these algorithms to make a lot of money. Affiliate commissions and direct sales come from web traffic and the more you have the more you make, regardless of your credibility.
This topic is far too deep to cover in a single blog post, so I’m simply going to describe one or two ways that people manipulate Google.
In the previous post on white hat SEO, I described in detail the ways in which you are “supposed” to earn credibility and trust.
You start a website. You write content. People link to it. People share it on social. You rank for relevant terms.
Much like building a business or working out, it can take years of consistency and merit to gain any ground. If you’re blogging or selling in a niche that is completely dominated by major brands, you are a fool to think you might one day rank #1 for whatever keywords you are gunning for.
So, how the hell do you skip all that bullshit and just get on with the money making?
It’s not as easy as it once was, but let’s get into the scheming and tom-foolery used to fool the big G.
This post will cover the following:
1) Private blog networks – domains as exploitable “property”
2) GSA and link building scripts – the reason you have Akismet
3) SAPE – pure evil, and fantastically powerful when used correctly
Private Blog Networks
Web sites are bought and sold like real estate as they gain power and reputation over time.
Speaking of authority – does anyone doubt Wikipedia anymore? Maybe, but that respect wasn’t earned instantaneously.
Even bloggers can build up a sizable and successful site starting from nothing. If it has high traffic or perhaps makes a lot of money, you can just simply sell the domain to someone else and cash out.
Thing is, thousands if not hundreds of thousands of domains expire or are dropped every day because either someone forgot to renew them, or the person just didn’t realize the domain could have been sold off especially if it has juice behind it.
Domain auctions take place and people bid and go to war with each other to claim them.
In the previous post, I covered the idea of gaining links from other sites. They give you a “vote” of credibility, and the better the site that links to you, the better your site looks to Google.
But wait a minute…
What if I just bought a powerful domain from an auction and then link to myself?
Do I now assume the identity of that domain?
In a way, yes.
You do not take over the domain and put up the same exact content as the previous owner. You can do with it as you like. Host it wherever, write whatever the hell you want on it, start a tranny blowjob cam site.
Or, you could doll it up to like nice and legitimate, write a beast article on a subject you are trying to rank, and link it to your money site.
A “money” site is described as such because it is a site you care about, that you are trying to rank, and can potentially be monetized. This could be your personal blog or it could be some one-pager that you threw up in 15 minutes.
In the white hat post, I mentioned the importance of anchor text and how Google uses it to try and figure out what the site you are linking to is about. In fact, this used to be an enormously exploitable way to ram your site to the top of any keyword search until Google smartened up.
Today, if you over-optimize your anchor text, usually on purpose, you will get penalized.
Let’s say I have a page about Ninja Turtle Action figures on my site. If Google looks at inbound links to that page and the anchor text is all the same:
Ninja Turtle Action figures
Ninja Turtle Action figures
Ninja Turtle Action figures
Ninja Turtle Action figures
Ninja Turtle Action figures
…what are the chances of that actually happening naturally? Every single link is the exact same thing…by chance? It was almost certainly manually inflated or built by one person with one thing in mind – try to rank for Ninja Turtle Action figures.
Doing this *used* to get you crazy good rankings, but no more. It is far more likely that natural links would look something like this:
Ninja Turtle Action figures
buy Ninja Turtle Action figures here
check out this site
this is the best Ninja Turtle Action figure site ever
this site fucking sucks
You get the point.
Now, if you think it’s simply as easy as buying a domain, hosting it and linking to money sites, you’re kidding yourself.
Hosting, ip addresses, name servers, and registration name can all contribute to getting your site wacked never to come back again. Google can piece it together like a crime scene.
You can waste a shit load of time and money setting up an army of private blog network (PBN) sites only to have them utterly annihilated.
If every link to this very blog came from the same hosting company on the same IP address, it’s obvious what is going on.
Therefore, if you are going to use a PBN you will need to know how to hide it. When you start building up a lot of links and a lot of anchor text, you’ll have to track everything.
You’ll have to use all different kinds of hosting, toss Cloudflare in there, and generally troll around under the radar to avoid getting your PBN site immediately deindexed. Once that happens, you can toss the site out, it’s worthless.
The reason this is so powerful is that in many cases, 1-2 juicy links can push you to the top 5 in niches or searches with weak competition.
You still need to be careful but wouldn’t it be nice to rank a website #1 within, uh, a week or two?
Especially if that site has money making potential, even if only a little.
This is how many advanced SEOs boost their client sites in the background.
They do the research, they send some “fake” links, and the site moves up.
When you do it right, Google can’t tell and you make money until the site burns…which might never happen.
And by the way, clients will pay you thousands of dollars to move their sites…
Some people make $5k a month per client to sit around, do almost nothing but send 3-5 nice links to a site, and cash in.
Here’s a basic diagram of PBN links in action
Think about how much someone will pay you to rank them #1 for “personal injury lawyer [city]”
I’m no expert on GSA but I know plenty of people who use it.
If you ever wonder why people take the time to try and build spam comments by hand…
Well, they don’t.
People use many different types of software/scripts to mass link build and annoy the shit out of blog owners everywhere.
The point is to do nothing more then attempt to peg their backlinks all over the place in an effort to get micro-amounts of link juice that add up over time.
Once you know how it works, you turn it on and let it run sometimes for days and it will go out and spam the shit out of comments and trackbacks to try and get links in some way.
As I mentioned before, you used to be able to do this and point them all back to your money site, building a tremendous amount of link power in a short amount of time. You can still do it, but Google will destroy you.
Nowadays, it is recommended that link building in this manner be aimed at properties at least 3 tiers back from your money site. You can set up satellite Weebly sites or something that link to your money site, and blast those with links to try and power them up, thereby powering up your money site. not to mention the use of proxies, VPS, etc.
Some people still go this route and “churn and burn” simply trying to get as many leads as possible before the site gets hosed.
You could setup a site called “dentistchicago.com” then blow the hell out of it with spam links. It might temporarily rank and generate leads. As time goes on however, this approach seems to work less and less without knowing what to do, not to mention Google is out to stop it.
I don’t recommend anyone go out and start using GSA at all until you are highly competent with SEO, black and white.
I like talking about these things because when used properly, white hats still won’t have a chance.
Let’s talk about some real evil shit. When I say “evil” here I’m not necessarily implying that the person responsible is out to watch humanity burn, hurt people or the like.
I’m talking about upper-hand, cheat-to-win spitball ace-up-your-sleeve cheapness that can GUARANTEE victory if used properly.
SAPE is essentially a network of Russian hackers that you can pay to infiltrate high authority websites, planting your backlinks.
In fact, they already have stockpiled a shit load of sites that are hacked and are presented menu form, in the form of desirable metrics.
It can be pricey but having the link juice power from some savage websites that have years of authority and power can make your gimp site rocket to the top for certain keywords.
Imagine if someone hacked WebMD.com and gave your doctor site a backlink. It would cause the Earth to shake and that small site might immediately rank #1 for certain keywords, such as within a local market.
SAPE has a website but you generally won’t be able to get through to them there. Why this is I am not sure, maybe it’s a front or an effort to remain somewhat mysterious.
The way to contact and order these devastating hell-screamer links is to find the right person in an underground Blackhat forum. You generally talk to the right people and simply get referred.
Do I know a guy?
I got a guy.
Will I tell you? Maybe.
Unlikely if you have no idea what to do or consider SEO simply a “hobby.” I don’t want to be responsible for you burning your site to the ground.
And I am not going to act like it isn’t possible. If your site gets de-indexed or penalized, it might never be found again.
There is a strategy to using SAPE. If you want to know more perhaps leave a few comments and you might catch me in the right mood.
Black hat SEO works.
If you don’t know what you are doing, it’s best to avoid it. Using PBNs, GSA, and SAPE without experience will result in you destroying your hard work.
Using it correctly however can make you a lot of money, gain you some serious rankings, and give you a better understanding of how Google works.
I do NOT recommend doing this for client sites unless you really, really know what you are doing.
I really don’t care what anyone says – being strictly white hat will more often then not get you mangled by expert SEOs that play on the dark side.
WOW! Blackhat methods have changed so much since back in the days! It is still very interesting to read about the Strategies and concept that they use.
Sometimes I forget that Google is a machine and not a human and that it can be easily manipulated if you know what to do.
I never could figure out why people are so against Blackhat tactics I think learning how something works is what its all about!
Going to check out those strategies you mentioned on your article.
Fantastic Post Riz!
Looking forward to reading more about this!
The key is to adapt. Google will smarten up to almost all black hat eventually.
With the hundreds of case studies I have reviewed, there are almost never any manual reviews by Google that result in someone’s private blog network sites getting smacked. They get you with algorithms.
Unless you are doing something serious that warrants outcry, you generally won’t get a manual review, meaning a live person visits your site.
Of anything on this list, learn PBNs first. Avoid using them on your personal blog, but create a site and try to rank something to make some affiliate cash.
Learning how to auction shop for domains is also tricky – not as easy as just checking a few metrics.
I have affiliate sites ranking now that make a few hundred per month, which I boosted myself in a rather short amount of time.
And for fuck’s sake, no one should be messing around with SAPE unless you have serious skills, especially on sites you care bout!
Thank you for those points Riz really appreciate it!
Hey Riz great article. From my understanding it’s a bit of a task to get your own PBN up and running. Another thing you could do with a PBN besides ranking your own sites and doing freelance SEO is to sell links on there to SEO agencies.
Alternatively, if you don’t have your own PBN and want some good links, find someone that does have a PBN and buy some links from them. It helps to know someone personally who has a PBN. Easier said than done.
I remember reading about SAPE and thought it was pretty interesting.
This is the last frontier of SEO wizard tactics for the small time guy. The only other thing you can do is using those SSL links that companies do like Houzz.
Riz, do you do freelance SEO or work for an agency?
It can definitely be a task but a worthwhile effort. The knowledge you gain from doing it can payoff tremendously either way.
I now run my own SEO business and offer consulting services as well. I originally got into basic marketing and web development but found that everyone, literally everyone will buy SEO services IF you have a trust factor.
So many people spam SEO offers and present downright shit service that understandbly many business owners have the wall up. But bring in a ton of leads for one person, and watch your own leads pile up.
Not to mention, everything you learn along the way can be immediately applied to your own affiliate sites. I’ve built and ranked a page that was making money, even if a tiny amount, within days.
If you’re going to get to the top, you’re going to have to know black hat and make it gray.