The Dark Side of SEO: What You Need to Know

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There are two “worlds” to SEO: blackhat and whitehat. If you asked us we would say we are whitehat, but I personally don’t really believe there is that much of a difference. SEO is basically just the act of trying to drive traffic to a website through the search engines. How we do it isn’t entirely important, it may be better to say that there is risky SEO, and safe SEO.

Today we are going to go over a few “sneaky” or risky links that are currently working in Google. What you choose to do with this information is entirely up to you. In my opinion, it is always important to know what really is working in Google and what is getting results. The inner workings of Google are always changing, and any good SEO user should have a fundamental understanding of what is going on with Google.

Expired Domains

This is a strategy that has been gaining a lot of popularity lately. I have seen this strategy have a lot of success, so I am going to include it on here. I would like to add however that I would not be surprised if it is devalued by Google sometime down the road. If you’re looking for a powerful strategy to get you started though, expired domains is the way to go.

What you need to do is look for an expired domain that has to do with your niche. The easiest place to do this is at godaddy auction just head over there and try to find the highest quality expired domain that you can buy at a decent price.

Now you have two options. First off, you can 301 redirect the domain to your website; this will pass on a lot of link juice and show Google that you have authority in the niche. Or you can build up the expired domain into a blog or website of its own and link back to your site.

By 301 redirecting, you are transferring a lot of the linking juice that the domain already has, back to your website. Some people will even go as far as to spam the 301 redirected site, and hope that it doesn’t receive a penalty and just passes on the link juice. This is a technique that I’ve seen ranking many different websites in Google lately. If you have a competitor who is beating you without many backlinks, check for a redirect, this could be what they are doing.

The other option is to turn the expired domain into a blog and link back to your website. The idea is to keep putting more content on it to build up its authority; this creates another powerful backlink to your website. Certain SEO experts will build up hundreds of websites like this; it is also known as a “private blog network” so that they can link back to their websites. This is an extremely powerful technique, but one that requires a lot of money and hard work.

If you want to get a good idea of how well this technique works take a look at all of the recent announcements by Google of them shutting down these networks. This is because their algorithm still has trouble finding these types of links and so Google has to manually shut them down. This is a technique that people have been using for years, and it doesn’t look like it is going anywhere anytime soon.

Guest Blogging

Is this a sneaky technique? Not really, but I’m putting it on here because there is so much controversy around the subject. Guest blogging works; it really does; it brings in traffic and a lot of link juice. Thanks to Matt Cutts recent announcement many people feel like Guest Blogging is completely dead. Is this true? I would argue that it isn’t dead at all, and that thanks to Matt Cutts it’s actually more powerful. Ever since his announcement a lot of companies are steering clear of Guest Blogging, which leaves it wide open for us to go in and take all of the good links.

So, how can you become a guest blogger? Well, first off you should avoid any service that promises you powerful guest blogging opportunities. Why is that? Because these big services are the ones that were targeted by Google in their latest update. They can’t go through and manually mark down every website that accepts guest posts; so instead, they have hit the services that hook you up with these posts. The best thing to do is to contact each website in your niche and offer to post a relevant and helpful article on their website. You’ll be surprised at how many responses you will get, and how many great links you can gain. Guest blogging will definitely be here for a while longer, and as you will notice, it is a perfect way to help your blog or website go viral.

 Parasite

 This is a technique that has been around for a long time. Back in 2007, I used to do this with a website called Ezine Articles back when it was a big authority. The idea of a parasite website is to build up some content, and rank it using slightly more spammy SEO techniques. You use the authority on the original website to help you avoid penalties, and you don’t mind so much if your page gets penalized since it isn’t technically yours to begin with.

So let’s say, for instance, that you want to rank a web page. You can build out a few parasite sites on Facebook, Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, and build content pointing to your site. Then you spam links to these sites so that you can rank them for the keyword that you want. They are less likely to get penalized because they already have a lot of authority in Google.

A really good technique is to build guest blog posts pointing to these parasite websites. This way you gain some really good authority and in the end it all passes back up to your website. We have dominated whole pages of search engine results using this strategy. In fact, this is a strategy that a lot of reputation management companies will use to keep bad reviews off of the front page of Google.

You may have noticed that this technique has a lot in common with private blog networks. That’s mainly because it is pretty similar. Some people will even build out their own blog networks only using these parasite websites. Then they’ll link back to their own websites to pass along link juice. The only drawback to this technique is you don’t actually own the websites in the network, so they can easily be shut down which will destroy a lot of your link juice.

We already have an extremely comprehensive guide on how to build broken links back to your website. I figured I would include it here since it’s just as powerful of a technique as all of the other ones you have seen out there.

This is a strategy that has a lot to do with the other strategies that you have already read on here. Basically, you take the links that are pointing to your website, whether they are from blog networks, parasite websites or wherever you have them from. You then point more links to those links to build their authority.

Some people will build spam links to these websites using tools such as: Xrummer, NohandsSEO, GSA Link Builder, Scrapebox, SENUKE, Ultimate Demon, and a few other tools. The hope is that the link juice will be passed, but the penalty won’t be passed on to your website.

Does it work? There are a lot of arguments on how well this strategy works these days. We have seen many sites ranking using this method, but we must warn that you need to be careful when it comes to penalties.

Don’t assume that just because you follow some strategy you have found in a forum that it will automatically work. A lot of people have strategies that they won’t share with anyone else because they work, and they don’t want the techniques to be saturated or to be penalized by Google.

Conclusion

Knowing these strategies and why they work is an important part of SEO. We ourselves like to stick with safer ranking strategies, but we think it’s always important to have your finger on the pulse of Google.

If you would like to learn more about these techniques, we recommend creating some test websites of your own. It’s always a good idea to be constantly running tests to see what is really working in Google and what theories are panning out or not.

What we do not advise is using any of these strategies for clients’ websites. Never risk getting a penalty for your clients, it will give you a bad reputation and lose you a lot of money in the long run. Always play it safe, but you should always know what the latest and greatest strategies are. If you have any other techniques or comments, you would like to add feel free to do so below.

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About Author

Keyur Lalani gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. Who blogs frequently on RankJane. He’s also a technical SEO fanatic and a WordPress enthusiast. Connect with Keyur on Google+ and Twitter to learn more!

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