How Black Hats Are Weaponising Google’s Backlink Algorithm

How Black Hats Are Weaponising Google’s Backlink Algorithm
SHARE
THIS



In this guest column, Digital 360’s strategic partnerships manager Don Milne (pictured below), takes a look at the dangers of Google’s SEO and brands hitching a ride on your website…

Google’s search ranking algorithm is complex beyond understanding. The few things we know for sure about search engine optimisation (SEO) are the things Google has told us.

Last year, Andrey Lipattsev, a search quality senior strategist at Google said, “I can tell you what they are. It is content. And it’s links pointing to your site” when asked what the most important ranking factors were, as reported by Search Engine Land.

2e4b741

Which means people can you use backlinks to attack your website or your clients’ websites.

What has this done to the digital marketing landscape in the last year?

Links have always been an important ranking factor. Links from high-quality, authoritative websites boost your rankings while links from untrustworthy or spammy websites hurt your rankings.

With Google reasserting their importance, it has given rise to new black hat SEO tactics. The danger of valuing backlinks so highly is that you do not have direct control over who links to your website.

This means that your competitors, disgruntled former employees, disgruntled customers, or anyone who feels like it can pay for a service that sends hundreds of low-quality links to your website to damage your search result rankings.

In a time when the best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google, this can have a devastating impact on businesses.

What can you do about it?

If you or a client’s website has slipped in the search rankings, it’s worth having a look at your backlinks. You can use online tools such as moz.com and majestic.com to check the who is linking to your website.

A negative SEO attack is pretty easily identified. There will be potentially hundreds of links from untrustworthy looking websites. You can disavow the links using Google’s webmaster tools to neutralise their negative effect.

You should also consider proactively gaining good links to your website. This can be done with things like relevant directory listings and guest blog posts. To do this the right way, everything you do should provide value for users. Guest blog posts must have unique, useful content on a relevant website for the link to your site to have any value.

In Google’s ideal world, all links would be made organically. You write good content, so people link to your website. More good links makes your website more authoritative. Unfortunately, not many people will link to your business’s website if you sell pallets or oil-water separators.

There are plenty of ways to improve your backlink profile without resorting to black-hat tactics.

SEO agencies have a responsibility to be proactive about getting good links pointing to their clients’ websites. This can be done without violating any of Google’s quality guidelines or using black hat tactics.

In all likelihood, your competitors are already doing it.

What should Google do about it?

According to Google’s policies and everything they have said; black hat tactics shouldn’t still be effective. Unfortunately, that just isn’t the case.

To be fair, Google has improved a lot in recent years, and there are many black hat tactics which no longer work. The same kind of backlinks that are being used for negative SEO attacks were formerly sold as a positive SEO tactic.

Google recognised this behaviour and now penalises websites for it, which is what makes weaponised backlinks possible.

It’s very frustrating to see competitors benefit from circumventing Google’s policies. Eventually, negative SEO attacks likely to become ineffective as well. But until then, we all need to be vigilant about our links and continue doing things the right way for ourselves and our clients.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Designworks Digital 360 Don Milne PRIA

Latest News

Princess Polly Appoints Jaywing To Drive Global Expansion With SEO Account Win
  • Marketing

Princess Polly Appoints Jaywing To Drive Global Expansion With SEO Account Win

Data science led marketing agency, Jaywing, has won the SEO account for online fashion retailer, Princess Polly, in both Australia and the United States, adding to its ever-growing eCommerce portfolio. The Sydney based agency will be managing the retailer’s search engine optimisation, with the aim of facilitating the brands growth in Australia and the US, […]

Connect Agency Launches Micro Influencer Booking Agency
  • Advertising

Connect Agency Launches Micro Influencer Booking Agency

The Connect Agency has just announced the launch of their micro influencer booking agency, Connect Engage. The division will represent digital content creators in the kids and family; interiors; and health and wellness spaces to drive brand engagement and reach further. Connect Engage will work alongside the public relations, creative, and talent representation arms of […]

Processed with VSCO with  preset
  • Marketing

Bernard Wilson To Lead Cashrewards

Cashrewards, today announced the appointment of experienced loyalty, data, digital marketing and ecommerce executive Bernard Wilson as its Chief Executive Officer. Wilson previously ran loyalty, data, media and marketplace for Myer and was a senior executive in loyalty and data at WooliesX. He joins from data science and artificial intelligence leader Quantium, where he was […]

Network 10’s Moira Hogan To Lead Australia BritBox, Richard Hill To Lead Marketing & PR
  • Media

Network 10’s Moira Hogan To Lead Australia BritBox, Richard Hill To Lead Marketing & PR

As BritBox escalates its plans to launch in Australia later this year, joint venture partners BBC Studios and ITV announce the appointment of Moira Hogan as Country Manager. Tasked with leading the BritBox Australia strategy and team, Moira joins from Network 10, where she was Head of Content and Commercial Partnerships for Digital Media.  She […]

Bean Body Launches ‘Be Any Body’ Campaign
  • Campaigns

Bean Body Launches ‘Be Any Body’ Campaign

Australian Energetic Beauty brand, Bean Body today launches its new campaign #BEANYBODY that breaks convention by featuring every bodies. Captured by Steven Chee and styled by Marina Didovich, with hair by Anthony Nader and makeup by Max May, the campaign features the completely unretouched new faces of Bean Body – 12 inspiring everyday women who […]

Media Platform Cannabiz Launches For The Burgeoning Legal Cannabis Market
  • Media

Media Platform Cannabiz Launches For The Burgeoning Legal Cannabis Market

A new media platform servicing Australia’s burgeoning legal cannabis industry launches today. Cannabiz is the brainchild of Mumbrella co-founder and former CEO Martin Lane and KlickX founder Kim McKay. It will inform, educate and connect Australia’s legal cannabis sector through its website weekly newsletter, podcast, market intelligence, industry reports, networking events and business consulting services. As […]

Courier holding package and tablet while male customer is signing receipt for his home delivery parcel.
  • Technology

Medallia Partners With Adobe To Deliver Complete View Of Customer Experience Journey

Medallia today announced an integration between Medallia Experience Cloud and Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) that gives brands comprehensive insights into the complete customer journey to deliver highly personalised real-time experiences that increase purchase frequency. Customer feedback from Medallia Experience Cloud seamlessly integrates with behavioral data in Adobe Experience Cloud to deliver a single view of […]

How Marketers Can Avoid ‘Overcooking’ The Storytelling Process
  • Media

How Marketers Can Avoid ‘Overcooking’ The Storytelling Process

“As marketers, we tend to overcook the storytelling process.” That was the message from Carlton and United Breweries head of creative and production Jonathon Bernard, during a special B&T Webinar on Storytelling at Scale, presented in partnership with Shutterstock. “Successful storytelling is the ability for a story to resonate and connect with its audience. As […]

New Leader Boosts oOh!’s Queensland Sales Team
  • Media

New Leader Boosts oOh!’s Queensland Sales Team

oOh!media’s Queensland market position is set to be bolstered with the appointment of former ARN Sales Director Jamie Wood as the new leader of its Queensland sales team. An experienced and respected industry figure, Wood will enhance the capabilities of the local sales team while delivering strategic leadership and building customer relationships across the portfolio. […]

New Research Shows Echo Chambers Present An Opporunity For Brands To Escape The Sea Of Sameness
  • Media

New Research Shows Echo Chambers Present An Opporunity For Brands To Escape The Sea Of Sameness

New research has examined the role of echo chambers in Australia and their impact on society, media and brands, offering guidance to marketers on how to escape the sea of sameness surrounding their industry. The independent study conducted by the human and cultural strategy team of FiftyFive5 and Nine’s marketing solutions division, Powered, examined the […]

Magnite Reveals Australian Leadership Team Following Rubicon Project And Telaria Merger
  • Technology

Magnite Reveals Australian Leadership Team Following Rubicon Project And Telaria Merger

Magnite, the merged company of Telaria and Rubicon Project, today announced James Young has been appointed as Managing Director for Australia, where he will be responsible for growing the business in the country. James held the role of general manager for Telaria in Australia prior to the merger of Telaria and Rubicon Project, where he […]

Binge On The Lookout For ‘Official Bingers’ To Review Titles
  • Media

Binge On The Lookout For ‘Official Bingers’ To Review Titles

Australia’s newest streaming service, BINGE, has launched a national competition to find 10 budding reviewers to become Australia’s first official Bingers and members of the BINGE Club. The competition, which launched this week, invites Aussies to tell us what makes them the country’s best entertainment reviewer and submit a review of their favourite show or […]