I think my hired SEO specialist uses blackhat techniques.

9 replies

This is my first message here, I'm hoping for some advice.

A few months ago I hired a SEO specialist. The reason I did this was because we just launched a new website. I have read a few books about SEO, that's all the knowledge I have. I asked the SEO specialist to build backlinks. First he did a website audit, then he started to build links.

I didn't really pay attention to the quality of the links he build, I assumed it would be fine. At first we started to increase ranking, but after the recent google update everything plummeted. Not sure if that has to do with the links he build. One day I decided to take a look on what type of links he was building so I opened Ahrefs.

Then I found that that the do-follow links where coming from medium domain authority domains. Some with some ok traffic, some with zero traffic. Some of the websites feel reality unnatural, no real reader would want to visit it. When I was looking at the articles that were written on these pages containing links to my website they were filled with unreadable, uninteresting content. No real person would even consider reading it.

I confronted the SEO guy about this, and he said it's fine. He said he has been working for years like this and booked good results. As said, I don't have much knowledge about SEO but it worries me. I feel like this content is clearly for the only purpose of PageRank. The text is unnatural on websites I'm not sure why they even exist other than selling links. I contacted one of these websites to ask if I could write an article for them. They responded with yes, but we charge $ for it.

To wrap it up, is this considered blackhat? And can I get in trouble for this tactic, like a Google penalty? It also worries me that a competitor can easily contact Google and tell them about these weird backlinks.

I hope someone can gives me a little bit of advice.

Thanks much!
#blackhat #hired #seo #specialist #techniques
  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Of course that is black hat. He is placing links on "splogs" - blogs built solely for the purpose of putting backlinks on them. Most splogs have totally unrelated, poorly written articles with keywords and links stuffed unnaturally all over the place.

    The technique works temporarily until Google discovers the splog and then all sites it links to lose their rankings, at minimum, and if too much of your backlink profile has these types of links, you stand a very real risk of a manual penalty from Google - something that is extremely difficult to ever recover from.

    Google then looks at each of the linked-to sites' link profiles and starts looking for other splogs in the profile. They typically find a lot of them and then the same thing happen to those splogs and sites that are linked to from it and so on, and so on ... it snowballs..

    Get rid of that SEO company A.S.A.P.!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamell
    Buying links goes against Google's protocols and soon enough you will Google will penalize you .

    You would be better off earning your links naturally.

    When people comment like and share your content that's natural link building.

    Also linking back to relevant content on your page is also another seo method that works.

    I would say start researching seo and doing it yourself. Right now you are hiring some one who supposedly is an expert to basically spam unbeknown to you and get your website hit with a Google penalty.
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  • Profile picture of the author SLK2020
    Thanks for the responses. I have checked in the Google console if I currently have a penalty. Lucky for me this isn't the case.

    What's best to do now? Email the websites and ask if they can remove my links? Or is it better to ask to change them in to no-follow.

    The seo guy is fired btw.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Email the websites and ask if they can remove my links? Or is it better to ask to change them in to no-follow.

    Some site managers MIGHT take the time to delete a link but they have no obligation to do what you want and in my experience, most won't bother.

    Why not get busy and start building good links yourself? Seems to me that would be better use of your time.

    I will never call myself an 'seo expert' - nor would I want to be that. I have ranked a lot of sites, though, and in my experience it's better to be doing something positive - than wasting time trying to undo or redo negatives.

    Food for thought.
    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.

    I wish offended people would react like fainting goats and quietly tip over.
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  • Profile picture of the author Val Adictorian
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    • Profile picture of the author SLK2020
      it was never my intention to walk this path But I'm busy with damage control.
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  • Profile picture of the author EvolveBest
    Easy Fix- Here it is:

    Do social media, comments, videos, blogging and get real traffic from your customers. Then you know who comes to your website. I get traffic to my wp blog naturally and if i want to send traffic to my websites from there, I can easily do so and reach out to the people who liked and followed my posts.

    As far as rankings, social and video will allow you to no longer worry about it.

    I had an issue with this before and then just started to focus on social media and building relationships and it comes naturally.

    Also, big sites get spammed all day long and they aren't affected in their rankings.

    Also get authority site links, very simple. Just reverse engineer the keywords and who is ranking and then do a url analyzer on each of the competitors and then go to their backlink sites. Sort it by the highest trusted DA sites

    The other option depending on your niche and product line, do multi channel retailing.

    It is all about original content and connecting with real people.

    Imagine if you had a 100 pots and 100 thanks from this forum alone and then created a digital product and told some of the people in here, those people who read these replies, really do read it and can read between the lines of b.s. and real people. That is how it works.

    And the real people who thanked you and you interacted with them online, and you come along with an awesome product, they will remember, "oh yeah, this guy was always providing value...hell yeah, let's check out the offer"

    Focus on video, social, replies, forums, communities and creating products (if your a retailer, then multi channel retail all your products)

    I have another video channel which is just building up and it is very advanced subtle things that are super simple. Sometimes the most advanced things are right in front of you.
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  • Profile picture of the author computerbeing
    You can also disavow spammy links in Google search console. It may take some time for Google to acknowledge this but once it does these links will no longer hurt your rankings.
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  • Profile picture of the author LilyMunday
    You sound as though you know a lot more than you think. Although this has been a frustrating journey for you I can see all the great advice (starting with sacking the SEO expert) that is helping you to clean up your backlinks.

    There are some terrific training videos and plugins that you can use that will check your backlinks for you and by using one of these you can start to understand the creation process.

    You can do this!
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  • Profile picture of the author SLK2020
    Hi All,

    First of all i appreciated all the feedback and tips. I was indeed struggling to get any seo done. I took the easy route and hired a company specialised in seo. Turns out i got burned hard. Please note, this was not some sort of fiverr guy i found. It was a seo office with services that dind't come cheap. I never expected that it would end like this. Lesson learned.

    I will take the advice given here on the forum, to do it myself from now on. All the links have been added to disavow. So i think i'm in the safe zone. Now it's time to start over.

    Thanks again!
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