Sup Deep From The Poisoned Chalice Of Black Hat SEO And Be Damned!

Dan Cash

Come with me now if you dare as I tell you my cautionary tale of horror, cheating, unethical practice, malware viruses and worms infesting the corpses of PCs all over the world.

Google, Bing and IE find themselves in a constant siege, locked in an eternal battle against the forces of evil whose only aim is to bend SERPs results and inundate you with advertising for ungodly drugs and dodgy loans. Every year they slaughter these Enemies of the Light by the thousand but every minute of every day sees another beast rising up and attempting, without soul or remorse, to get into your computer’s drives, taking it over and making it a slave to their bidding.

Be it war, fire, flood pestilence or multifarious holidays Black Hats will try to take advantage. Halloween is a particular favourite as we search for costume and make-up ideas, share and download recipes, designs and photos. All that up and downloading is like casting brains before zombies, their appetite is insatiable, rapacious and unequivocal.

Their diabolical schemes are well known, cheap and dirty, they come at night but they also come by day, dressed up as meretricious phantasms; rotten to the core they tempt you to click but alas, alack if you fall for their easy glamour.

The Invisible Text Man

The most obvious of all their schemes is to render their text invisible by colouring the font the same colour as the background. Keyword stuffed and set at 1 point so that acres of short and longtails can appear on the page The Invisible Text Man is a beginners’ trick. Completely lacking in finesse or style it is still popular as it is cheap, easy and replicable.

Meta Monsters

The invisible man’s constant companion is the Meta Monster. Stuffing meta keyword tags with irrelevant terms and phrases drawing innocent young victims toward its pages, this beast is sly and stealthy.

That Thing Which Comes Scraping At Your Door

The scraper, like other flesh eating ghouls, is insatiable. It spies a site and, like a foul, gangrenous  necrotizing fasciitis, scrapes the surface and then, in a scene reminiscent of the Ed Gein house, uses it to decorate itself and its domain. Stripping your links out and replacing it with their own they then uSERP (usurp, uSERP, geddit? Oh I give up!) your original content leaving you languishing, unrewarded and uncredited.

All Dread The Cloak Of Dracula

Not only will Dracula drink of your blood, he uses his dastardly power of hypnosis to control your search step toward his lair. Hiding behind his cloak he commands his spidery minions to take you to pages where the honest and true fear to tread. These web crawlers give juice and relevance to sites that simply aren’t what they first appeared to be.

Frankenstein Text

Hark! What lumbering monstrosity is that battering down the doors, screaming in barely understandable English? All fear and dread, it’s Frankenstein Text, the bodies of stripped old articles hacked apart and then sewn back together again, spun back into life and pumped into the net by black behatted SEOs who couldn’t even be bothered to write their own original content to spin. Frankenstein Text not only insults the original author by stealing their work but then injures them by rendering it virtually unreadable to human eyes.


He’s a fully automated infiltration unit with a hyper text combat chassis, micro-processor controlled, fully armoured. Very tough. Once he is activated he is unstoppable, relentless. A SERPs killing machine automatically firing thousands of links into the internetz. He never sleeps, he never stops until his mission is complete.

Keyword Werewolves

By day they look like relevant, entropic web pages which have the information you’re looking for, but then they reveal themselves. Under the light of the full moon they reveal their true nature, they’re keyword stuffed! Ugly brutes with little going for them but for the inclusion of keyterms for no other reason than the sake of including them to make the relevance seem higher than it could possibly be.

Oh The Humanity!

Their nefarious schemes and plots aren’t limited to poor business practice in terms of boosting their pages up SERPs, They revel in infecting your computer with vicious parasites by directing you to phoney addresses and phishing pages. With the offer of a free download, information from your bank or a shopping opportunity they tempt the unwitting and unwary, the net virgins not yet inured against their ways.

As Sinon of myth and legend was the first man to lie when he told the people of Troy that the horse the Greeks had left was a tribute, so these pages trick the humble surfer into opening their computers up to the perils of the Trojan Horse. You don’t know what this ‘gift’s cargo is until it’s too late. It’s never a happy surprise.

Search engines try their best to penalise the perpetrators of these hellish techniques, detecting the evil doers and their foul works and offering protection against the bane entering your machine. Over the years they have been successful, adjusting algorithms, penalising industry sectors which exist just to ‘farm’ content, adopting social and other human based metrics to guide their hand when drawing up the SERPs, rather than depending on link volume and meta data to be their single guiding light.

The environment might seem quite but we drop our guard at our own peril after all, Edmund Burke put it best when he said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Vigilance gentle reader, for our enemy is among the undead!

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