Black Hat SEO Tactic Uncovered

Recently, I was referred to a client whom could not understand why his website traffic was getting better, yet his conversions were dropping. He once felt, his site was ranking for the keywords he targeted and business was good and now, he cannot figure out what is going on. So what happened?

A bit of trickery I must say and I’m sure it happens all of the time. His newly hired SEO company basically promised him the world and had to deliver. Unfortunately, their tactics were less than stellar and I really felt bad telling this client he may have to abandon his domain. First, I used the typical tools to investigate, I ran both a SpyFu and WooRank report. The WooRank report came back pretty clear with no major site issues. I then took a peek at the SpyFu report and immediately thought, “wow” this guy’s SEO is just taking off. The graph mimics what we call a hockey stick, up and to the right.

Determined to see why this client was complaining about losing business with such excellent traffic, I decidedd to take a peek at their keywords and this is where I found the issue. To my complete amazement, the keywords they were ranking, had nothing to do with their industry. For instance a dead URL on their site, was ranking third for this long-tailed keyword set and it was driving some serious traffic. In the end, their SEO company was riding the traffic increase of a hacked website.

Now, unfortunately, upon discovery, I didn’t have access to the client’s analytics to view things like bounce rate, etc. but I can only imagine. I looked up the SEO company and they were based in Dallas, TX. Surprisingly, they had no bad reviews or any type of negative publicity. The point of the blog post is, to be careful about who you hire to do your SEO.

Always ask for a plan regarding their strategy and tactics, which should help uncover how they are going to help your business climb the ranks. If content generation (blog posts, press releases, etc.) is not part of the plan, then question the plan. If structure data and directories are not part of the plan, then question the plan. Last of all ask, if they are following Google’s recommended approach and if they are using any black hat SEO strategies.

If they say they’re only using white hat and you get black hat, that’s a lawsuit. I hope this helps and as usual, reach out with any questions you might have. Our team will audit your website at no cost.

Actuate Media is a digital advertising agency in Seattle, WA. Our team has run hundreds of digital advertising campaigns nationwide including PPC Search Marketing, SEO, Display Advertising, Video Advertising, and more. We are proud to have completed the Google Partner’s Specialist Challenge and we are Google Adwords & Analytics, certified specialists. Our agency implements a data-driven approach connecting advertising results and analytics, aggregating the data for future analysis allowing our partners to make smart advertising decisions in the future to gain a competitive advantage.

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