John Mueller just called SEMRush a "Blackhat Scraper"

by Marcus W K Wong Administrator 19 replies
Article here: https://goo.gl/KTL5sC

Provoking the thought here: Considering that most, if not all SEO and Content writers consider SEMRush, Moz, RankRanger and other various scraping and SEO tools to be whitehat by definition, it's controversial to hear John Mueller call these tools "Blackhat Scrapers".



Tweet thread (and response) here: https://twitter.com/JohnMu/status/898150521827209220
#search engine optimization #blackhat scraper #called #john #mueller #semrush
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Pettit
    Wow....I've been using SEMRush for years! I'm heading over to the article now! Can't wait to read what he has to say! Thanks for the heads up!
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    • Profile picture of the author Marcus W K Wong
      Administrator
      Yeah! We use SEMRush as well as a couple of other tools (Moz, AHrefs, Serpworx, Majestic etc..). My concern about a statement like this coming from an employee of Google is, "is that what Google thinks of these companies?" I've reached out to him for a WAMA and will see if we can get some more insights from John.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Pettit
    I'd love to know if you hear back and what he says! Diffently not good for these companies!
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  • Profile picture of the author dsimms
    I think everyone knows why people use such sites, they do not spend big money for these spy services just to spy on their own sites, and why would I want competitors spying, scraping, stealing my data? so they can use my own data against me for their own gain?
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  • Profile picture of the author Marcus W K Wong
    Administrator
    It's a good point dsimms, but the majority of SEO that I'm aware of are using keyword research tools... which are scraping / crawling a high density of websites. So I'd say it's a case of "you have to be in it, to win it" when it comes to optimising content, otherwise it's just white noise. In a perfect world, Google (or search engines for that matter) would not have ever given any indication of what is perceived as a high ranking website based on keywords, we would have never known or practiced good content otherwise and in that world, you'd have to pay to be at the top of all rankings (Adwords).
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    Are you guys forgetting that the entire point of SEO is to essential "game" the search algos??? I'm kind of surprised none of you realizes this and are surprised by the comment.

    Google never wanted people doing SEO, since all it really is is essentially writing for bots. They have said for years that you should be focusing on writing for users.

    It should be no surprise to anyone that Google views these tools all in the same light.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tanya Lee
    Does google provide a site like SEMrush? I understand why they dislike the automated tools, do they provide an alternative?
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    • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
      why would they?? they don't want you gaming the algo. they already offer the search console that gives you insights.
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
        Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

        why would they?? they don't want you gaming the algo. they already offer the search console that gives you insights.

        Lmao, insights?

        Google collects way more data than they share.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Originally Posted by Marcus W K Wong View Post

    Article here: https://goo.gl/KTL5sC

    Provoking the thought here: Considering that most, if not all SEO and Content writers consider SEMRush, Moz, RankRanger and other various scraping and SEO tools to be whitehat by definition, it's controversial to hear John Mueller call these tools "Blackhat Scrapers".

    SEOs do not consider tools like that "whitehat". Nor do they consider them "blackhat".

    Whitehat and blackhat refer to actual SEO techniques, not reporting tools.

    John's comment is a non-issue. It changes nothing.

    If anything, John was probably just frustrated by the amount of questions he gets relating to 3rd party tools that have nothing to do with Google.

    This forum is a great example of why people have so many misguided ideas about SEO. Just look at the conversations about Moz's metrics that pop up here daily and how far 99% of the members are from understanding what the metrics are actually telling them (which is almost nothing).

    I bet John gets asked tons and tons of incredibly stupid questions like, "Why is my competitor outranking me when my DA is higher than theirs?" It probably makes him want to throw his laptop out a window some days.
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  • Profile picture of the author oadvantage
    Yup.

    This is nowhere near black hat
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Originally Posted by oadvantage View Post

      Yup.

      This is nowhere near black hat

      ...or relevant to SEO.

      More like off topic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    John's comment is a non-issue. It changes nothing.
    I don't know - got a lot of attention maybe? Sounded like an off the cuff remark to me rather than a planned 'statement' but I'm no SEO guru.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I don't know - got a lot of attention maybe? Sounded like an off the cuff remark to me rather than a planned 'statement' but I'm no SEO guru.

      I called it a non-issue because even if Google doesn't like it, there is nothing they can enforce to punish anyone for using it. Same for any other rank tracker or SERP monitor out there.

      But yes, as I said in my post, I think it was more just John being tired of being asked stupid questions about 3rd party services.
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  • Profile picture of the author ABoots5042
    I just want to say that nothing there says that John thinks that SEMRush is blackhat. He's saying that the shake up is due to blackhats having a hard time after the Google update. Reading comprehension. His response is to what the other person said....like a conversation.

    Edit - I could be wrong though.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Mueller has always been a joke.

    I have no idea why anyone considers the guy to be involved with SEO. He does a lot of talking and says nothing (useful).

    I'm not clicking the OP links because I know Mueller is rambling.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marcus W K Wong
      Administrator
      I'm not surprised to hear this.. it's not the first time someone has called Mueller a joke.. I'm yet to pay more attention to the guy, but from what I've gathered here, sounds like he's just a bunch of hot air.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Originally Posted by Marcus W K Wong View Post

    it's controversial to hear John Mueller call these tools "Blackhat Scrapers".
    Not really that surprising. Google has a long track record of acting superior and "pure" in areas where they are the are major offenders.

    They don't want anyone buying links because it pollutes the organic rankings but they have no problem with someone paying them for the top positions in the organic ranking column.

    They don't want their search results manipulated for commercial intent yet they routinely put their shopping results at the top of many commercial intent keywords.

    Now Mueller is claiming that companies that scrape their results to find out where sites rank is black hat which is just more cheek - no one scrapes more sites without the webmasters express permission than Google. Their whole business is based on scraping sites.

    its basically saying - how dare you scrape the position of content on our site after we scraped it without the owners permission.
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  • Profile picture of the author andyf99
    The fact is that Google are the biggest scrapers of them all.
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