SEO Services For Serious ROI. Blog Posts For Serious SEOs.

Wikia’s Clean Cloaking An Interesting Technology

I recently happened to go to Wikia’s page on the 100 worst songs to sing at a funeral, and came across the following cloaked screen that takes up most of the page – none of the content is visible by scrolling or looking closely (i.e. it’s not transparent).

Insightful Interview With Ex Googler + New Tool

James Norquay did a fascinating interview with a former member of the search quality team. There’s some FUD, of course, but much more honesty than we’re accustomed to from Google.

A sweet highlight of the interview: Formerly Google-only internal data is being made available via the new NetComber tool. It combines lots of data points to try and show networks of sites – something Google obviously uses to fight Blackhats. I had a try on the tool and while some of the results are interesting, others are underwhelming and make you wonder how accurate the results are… though there’s still self-doubt if it’s not your own incredulity that’s at fault. I.e. That the tool is right and your skepticism is wrong. Should be interesting to see how it evolves and if/when SEOmoz buy it.

Can You Tell Me If This Is A New Algo Loophole? Does Link Disavowal Enable Mafia-Style Link Laundering?

The new link disavowal tools seem to create a unique, certainly unintended opportunity for SEOs to get short term AND long term results via “link laundering.” This is a new algorithm loophole it seems, spam which resembles the mafia’s (and Russian and Iranian governments’) money laundering tactics. I’d love to hear your comments on this. (more…)

Why Does This SEO-Promoting Email Spam Beat Gmail’s Filters?

I spend an inordinate amount of time deleting spam emails from my Gmail inbox.

Update: Someone said I shouldn’t try to get these guys penalized. Here’s my response:
They’re wasting my time daily and I should stand back quietly? It’s called protecting what’s yours. You don’t think house alarms are bad, even though they might embarass thieves or get them caught, do you? I’m protecting my time from thieves.

If my email is public and scraped, Gmail should still block the spam people send me. Since they’ve been horrible at stopping this for at least a year, and probably more like three years, I’m going to start posting these emails here and hopefully Google will improve its spam filters as a result. As I get more spam emails, I’m going to keep posting them here. And maybe these people will see their own emails scraped and rendered useless by their fellow spammers… (more…)

I Got A Fake (?) “Please Remove This Link” Email

Jon Cooper writes about an interesting negative SEO tactic: fake link removal requests. I have particular interest since I think I got one of these, recently.

As I emailed Jon: (more…)

Negative SEO: How To Tear Down Competitors’ Links

Does your competitor have some sweet old links you wish they didn’t have?

Well, here are two sneaky ways – one’s even sly and nasty – to get your competition’s links dropped.

1) Run their site through your favourite backlink research tools.
2) Use something like Xenu Link Sleuth or your favourite link checker to look for 404 pages on your competitor’s site that have links.
3) Contact the webmasters linking to said 404s and use broken link building to get the link for yourself instead.

If the link is on a hub page that links to many pages in the field, you don’t even need the competitor’s page to 404.
1) Run the hub page through a broken link checker.
2) Write an email to the hub page’s webmaster with a large list of the broken links – but don’t send yet.
3) Add your competitor’s link into the list near the end.

Q: Why would the webmaster remove your competitor’s link if it’s not broken?
A: Laziness and trust – if the first dozen links were all broken, the next dozen are probably broken, too. Why keep checking all of them?

While I think it’s fine for you to do the first to competitors, the second approach isn’t ethical. It’s an approach to be aware of though, so if you have a link management software like Buzzstream , follow up with the appropriate webmaster if a link dissappears. And of course, monitor your 404 errors in Webmaster Tools and server logs.

Site Hacked? Try Vaultpress – Excellent And Affordable Security From WP’s Creators

My site was hacked for a few months now, in what was mostly a benign, but nevertheless annoying way. The hacker injected spam pages onto about debt and financial products, which you can still see in Google’s cache. Only Vaultpress was able to remove the hack…

(To be 100% clear: there was no malware. Google detected none, McAffee detected none, CodeGuard detected none and so you weren’t at risk by visiting my site.)

The backstory… (more…)

How To Fight Web Scrapers Outranking You With Your Content

This is a guest post from Everett Sizemore, who is an eCommerce SEO consultant operating off his 38 acre farm in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia. He enjoys gardening, collecting eggs and tackling tough SEO problems.

Want to fight the scrapers outranking you with your own content post-Panda?

Google is losing the war against content scrapers and we’re the ones paying the price. It has gotten even worse since Panda, despite efforts to fix the problem. I know of several dozen websites that are being outranked by scrapers.

While Google might hope we’re going to do their job for them with tags like rel canonical, and rel author, this problem isn’g going away any time soon. You know things are bad when powerhouses like are outranked by sites like this.

Fortunately, there are many ways to keep sites from scraping your content, (more…)

Check Links For Viruses & Build Links Faster!

Fellow Canadian SEO, Melanie Nathan, recently wrote an interesting guest post for Search Engine People on the reciprocity approach to link building. This method is the traditional approach of pointing out 404s, links going to malware-infected sites and so on.

Why Spam Keeps Making My Day

Do you know how spammers find your site to share their delicious comment spam with you?

The same way anybody finds anything online – they search.

Malware on SEO ROI – Aim To Be Clean Soon!

To all my friends and readers, please be aware that due to some malicious people, there appears to be malware downloading onto computers that visit SEO ROI, or at least an attempt to that effect (some browsers seem to notify users and/or be impervious, eg Google Chrome’s notifications).

I’ve notified my hosting company and asked for their help, as well as posted a job to some freelancers I work with to see what they can do. So I’m hopeful to have this resolved by the end of the week. Thanks for your patience and understanding!

Also, thanks to everyone who dropped me a note about it – your concern and looking out for me are really appreciated.

Gab Goldenberg
p.s. Another good reason to add my feed to your reader, ironically – that way you can read without visiting and exposing yourself to bugs and other junk.

P* Comment Spam?

I’ve written some posts on A/B testing and split testing that have seen spam from people purporting to be from P*able. Personally, I find it surprising that a VC backed company would bother with poor quality blackhat tactics like such obvious comment spam, so I’m wondering if it’s not someone with an axe to grind against them. They’re not even in public beta yet though, so perhaps some marketing director there just purchased a really crummy SEO package trying to save some bucks. (more…)

Affiliate Marketing Gets Sluttier In Time For 2010

It’s a weird thing that some of the smartest affiliate marketers are also the dirtiest. (more…)

What Mrs. Yona Sussnovitch, 85, Taught Me About Hacked Websites

…Hacked websites are really no big deal. Sit back, kick your feet up on the desk, grab your coffee and let me tell you a story about Mrs. Yona Sussnovitch and I. (more…)

How I Cloaked My Way To LOWER Rankings

Actually, this post should be titled: “How did I cloak my way to lower rankings?!” Because the truth is that it was completely unintentional – as evidenced by it causing my traffic to drop like a rock. (more…)

The 3-Step, 2-For-1 Link Building Technique

I’ve seen variations on this link building trick, but it’s the first time I see it producing additional links beyond the value you already have. (more…)

Pulling The Ole Switcharoo To Beat The Captcha Cracka Bots

Spam with Stinky French Garlic by jalb If you’re using captchas to protect your forms, or other forms of logic, you’re probably finding that you’re still getting spammed despite the captcha.
Well, here is a new idea for you to beat those captcha cracka bots, and some ways to implement it. (more…)

Aaron Wall & Matt Cutts Entertain Me

Aaron Wall, cuz I love reading his blog and in particular when he releases new fantastic tools like this. Even better when those tools let me gloat about my call on the trend towards  data commodification. (more…)

I’ve Been Translated Into Japanese!

I was very fortunate with my Internal Link Building plugin to have many East European folks talk about it and give me links, but this time it’s a full post I’ve got translated. Now, by the looks of it, it’s probably done by machine and spammy crap… but if it’s not this is cool. Anyone here speak Japanese?

How Navigation Peekaboo Converts SEO Traffic Better

Standard conversion advice says remove navigation from the landing page (at least for lead generation landers). Standard SEO says use links. The next best thing would be to put the navigation out of sight, in the footer, and have your calls to action above that so visitors won’t use your navigation to leave your page.

But if you put the nav in the footer, it might get less search engine trust, precisely because folks don’t use footer navigation. What’s a conversion minded SEO to do? Here are 4 options to play navigation peekaboo with search engines and humans to convert your SEO traffic better. Blackhats use some forms of this, but I think I’ve also thought of original twists too. (more…)

Spamming With Chutzpah: Michigan’s Trademark Productions’ Rob Aimclear

Trademark Productions steal other people’s content, edit it for the sake of passing through search engine duplicate content filters, and try to pass themselves off as experts you should trust? (more…)

Cited by CNet’s Stephen Shankland

Stephen Shankland blogs for CNet on Digital Media, and he’s a reporter who learns fast and understands search marketing pretty well, especially for someone who’s not immersed in it 24/7 like many of us search geeks. Yesterday, he wrote a post highlighting some of the recent controversies (more…)

Miriam Ellis’ HyperLocal Blogging Tips: A Home Run!

Noticed this through Sphinn, and I have to say, Miriam Ellis of Solas Web Design has really hit a home run with her recent (more…)

40+ Metric F***Tons Of Awesome Resources

While I’m usually not the one to swear on a professional blog, there are exceptional occasions where it’s appropriate, and this is one of them. I’m waaaaaay overdue for a links post, and there are so many quality ones here, that I had to use my affiliate friend‘s expression. (more…)

Can You Swing To the Comment Spam Two-Step?

The following has been sitting in my comment queue:

The purpose, imvho, is to find blogs with poor comment moderation practices. The goal of this comment spam isn’t linkbuilding directly – it’s finding (more…)

2.5M Executable Files in Google’s Index

There are about 2.5 million executable files in Google’s index:
“Results 1 – 10 of about 2,470,000 for filetype:exe” – (more…)

How To Get Links From Google: Scrape & Trackback Spam

See here for how to get links from Google by spamming:

In Google’s defense, looking at the source code those links appear to be generated clientside – I couldn’t find the string ‘vox’ (as in in the page’s source code. So the links don’t count for SEO (yes, yes it’s anticlimactic, I know). Still funny that 3 spammers are getting links that human visitors can follow from an official Google blog. Hmm, maybe the Gmail team are part of a bad neighbourhood and they’re trying to hide it… ;)

30+ Weird, Educational and Stupid Search Screenshots

One of my favourite things to do when browsing the web is take screenshots of interesting things I notice, particularly in the SERPs, but also on other sites. It’s an easier way of taking notes and learning from others. Featured below are some sites you know, like DoshDosh, Treatment Search, Sphinn and others.

There’s also the genuinely stupid, some much more intelligent Sphinn spammers who’ve carefully observed what tips us off to spam, and more. In the interest of load times, I’ve linked to some pictures rather than post them here. Enjoy! (more…)

Buying Sites? Use Trusts To Avoid Google Domain Demolitions

At the Domain Roundtable, Matt Cutts said that Google will cut down any sites that get sold back to zero ranking value. So after a site has built up SEO strength for a few years, the asset could be worthless on the search market because Google – which controls the overwhelming majority of North American and most Western search – makes the rules.

This is clearly unfair to webmasters. Not to mention that the Fortune 500 are again on a different playing field, because their purchases are just mergers and acquisitions, not “site purchases”… (more…)

30 Lovely Resources and Helpful Links

You’re likely to see some of these in future posts here and aroud the various lovely places that take my stories. So check out as many of them as you have time for, cuz there are some real sweet ones in here.

Diorex doesn’t blog anymore, so Smaxor republished some of his classics. (more…)

Post #88 – Scratchpad

ScratchpadFormal writing is really frustrating because it requires you to dress up simple ideas in complete sentences, edit your work for grammar and spend an unholy amount of time writing what it would take you a few minutes to express verbally. When you come up with new ideas or discover new stuff as often as I do, that can get really frustrating.

So I’m hereby inaugurating what I hope will be a regular column here: Scratchpad (scratchpad picture courtesy of one eye fish). I’ll share my latest ideas, in a raw scratchpad type format and be paying even more attention than usual to your feedback. (The Post #88 reference was the pre-naming version of this post’s title and I found it quite appropriate to an informal column.)

For this first issue, I’ve got

  1. New uses for Google’s Keyword Tool External,
  2. Mined ideas from Google’s Press Days 06 and 07,
  3. Revelations of what the PPC arbitrageurs (more…)

Cloning Expired Sites: Blackhat Tactics and Whitehat Strategies Don’t Mix, But Greyhats Eat the Cake

Eli wrote about desert scraping, which is the practice of digging around expired sites on, grabbing their content and reposting it on your own sites. Cloning expired sites is a similar idea that (more…)