Website extortion has been going on since the start of the internet. Popular websites for a long time have been threatened with DDOS attacks if they don't pay up. So they often build up a more robust network to better defend against DDOS attacks.
Recently smaller websites have been extorted with the threat of bad links. In the cases I have dealt with, most of them are empty threats. The cases that turn out to be real, are easy for a trained SEO to handle. Regularly monitor the backlinks (which should already be happening) and disavow the trouble links. Also keep developing a strong backlink profile. If you have hundreds or thousands of quality links, then a few bad links won't significantly impact you. By building up the good and disavowing the bad you can handle these situations.
Unfortunately, there will always be bad people looking to do bad things. If it isn't extortion over bad links, it would be social reputation poisoning or duplicate content issues - oh wait both of those have already been happening :(. Dealing with troublemakers and coming up with new countermeasures is unfortunately part of running a business. Good luck.
goodroi, only problem is the guys site is just a little local trademan who pays me only slightly more than that to host/design/on site SEO and support the site!
Without putting his budget up (which no one wants to pay because of outsourcing to India is cheaper) I don't have the time to monitor his backlink profile or build new backlinks. If he was a client that paid more than £25 per month then maybe I could find the time! Getting natural links to a local trader is not possible without a bigger budget, who wants to link to a local cleaning lady as example?
This is not so much for the OP but a comment about the consumer, the site owner described.
How much does two six-packs of beer cost where you are at and is this about the amount of money he's willing to pay to keep his site online?
And is this his livelihood?
Zig Ziglar wrote an interesting insight about convincing people. He said something like, you can convince a person of the facts of a matter and still not make the sale. Convincing is not the same as persuading. Sometimes it is best to put things in perspective for someone in order to persuade them to agree.
[edited by: martinibuster at 12:39 pm (utc) on Jan 16, 2014]
He pays £15, Iíll just suggest that Iíll have to put up his payment plan if he comes under attack I guess to deal with the bad links, assuming the threat turns out to be true, I do undercharge but had to because all I got at the start was "I can find cheaper in India" and had to match the price (my job prospects were very bad due to health I could only work from home at the time so it was work for peanuts on claim dole), oh well a perfect excuse to charge more in a way! This is a reason I have no stopped taking on clients and work on my own projects which I can afford to put the time into to defend!
Is there a definitive answer on the disavow tool working?
[edited by: CaptainSalad2 at 12:53 pm (utc) on Jan 16, 2014]
If you are rich enough to own a mansion, you are rich enough to pay a cleaning lady :).
If you are poor and live in a small apartment, you don't need a cleaning lady :(.
If your client can't afford more than £25 per month, then I would suspect he isn't making any real money from his website. It doesn't matter what happens to his website if it isn't generating significant revenue. If the website is generating significant revenue, then he should invest more than £25 per month.
Getting natural links is possible if you are creative enough. Who wants to link to a local cleaning lady? How about the cleaning lady that lives 2 hours away? She isn't going to want to service a customer 2 hours away so they are not competition. How about the local taxi service or food delivery company? They all provide different services to the same local audience. It is possible. It is just not easy to always be creative.
Disavow tool works. I personally know it can help a site. I would not have an untrained person with zero SEO training use it.
>>>Who wants to link to a local cleaning lady? How about the cleaning lady that lives 2 hours away?<<<
Funny because I have the cleaning lady a couple of hours away but I don't link them up because im worried that would be classed as a link scheme?
If I was the cleaning lady sure I could come up with a way to be creative and get links, but as the poorly paid local seo, hell no I don't get paid enough lol
goodroi are you suggesting reciprocal link exchange for local services?
|Disavow tool works. I personally know it can help a site. I would not have an untrained person with zero SEO training use it. |
I would modify that to, the Disavow tool might work.
Consider this example,
site with #1 serp placement
56 words on keyword page
15 image links on page with no alt tags on images
Citation Flow 16 (page) - 31 - 29 (domain
Trust Flow 8 (page) - 31 - 28 (domain)
External Backlinks 1 (page) - 443 - 1,379 (domain)
Referring Domains 1 - 18 -83
me (nowhere to be found)
500 words on keyword page
4 original videos
Citation Flow 39 (page) - 26 - 37 (domain)
Trust Flow 50 (page) - 28 - 55 (domain)
External Backlinks 104 (page) - 347 - 6,902 (domain)
Referring Domains 5 - 102 - 2,063
That's only one example. I could put literally a hundred, using the same, solid comparative methadology.
if you're going to pick on the domain/link ratio, consider the #2 serp placement for the keyword
Citation Flow 25 (page)-58 -46 (domain)
Trust Flow 21 (page)-51 -45 (domain)
External Backlinks 40 (page)-317,097- 322,814 (domain)
Referring Domains 9 (page) -10,448 - 10,960 (domain)
their total link/domain ratio is a whopping 30-1, and further examination shows they get those 300,000 total backlinks off of blogrolls. (I thought that was penalty territory)
comparing me to the #2
it appears as if I made the blogroll of an expert in the category that you can trust (my trust flow is 50) and
#2 made got multiple links from less trusting sources (trust flow 21)
|he will destroy his website rankings if he doesn't pay him £10 per month to NOT do this |
That's not quite as bad as the patent enforcers that tried to bilk some of our customers out of $10K each but settled for half or less just to rake in as much as they could before a group started a class action and fought back and got their patent tossed.
re: your situation, I know I'd probably play along for a while and get all the details and then post it publicly on my blog. I might even consider paying them once by check just to get their physical bank details on a cancelled check.
Next, I would turn the whole thing over to Google. They might have AdSense and AdWords accounts at those same addresses and life could be made very uncomfortable for them.
Karma can be wicked.
Plus, as the others have said, all the garbage they throw at you can easily be disavowed but that's only in Google. I'm not sure what you would do for Bing or others.
I feel better about negative SEO if the disavow works like the mods suggest it does! I also like the idea of documenting it and submitting it to google or on a public seo forum/blog like this, where could I go to report something like this directly to google if it happened?
Unfortunately I wrote to the client and explained I would need to charge him more to monitor his backlinks each month and disavow any negative ones.
Sadly his reply was that he receives 50 emails from SEO companies every day that are a lot cheaper than me... Anyone NOT get these spam SEO emails because I know I do to, also some guy in Nigeria inherited a couple of million and wants my bank details to transfer it over apparently.... oh and some other guy wants to sell me magic beans lol
I now think this has done me a favour because he was a pain, page one was never enough he wanted number 1 on page one and every time it slipped I would get a call. Silver lining? Working on my own project the past six months, LOVE working on, I think that's the key to find a project you LOVE working on? Hopefully that will work one day and I can quit working for these little fish and just my own projects! Thanks guys!
Back on topic...
|he had a call from a guy with an Indian accent who told him that he will destroy his website rankings if he doesn't pay him £10 per month to NOT do this |
Did the guy with an Indian accent explain how the site owner is to pay him without divulging any physical contact information?
Just forget it, some other stupid people will pay !
|Sadly his reply was that he receives 50 emails from SEO companies every day that are a lot cheaper than me |
Some people know the price of everything but the value of nothing.
I wonder if this will become more common as link techniques continue to fail. Either way I would just ignore this type of threat
They have to find something to do with the 1000's if not 10's of thousands that was employed to link build. Why not use this tactic to make money. Only seems a logical approach due to the clients that have cancelled their accounts with these companies.
You will see more of this when the money begins to roll in.
Yeah I saw a mock up picture with thousands of Indians protesting against the Google Webspam Team. Anyone link building still now?
3zero me I am still hard at it, but I never used a link service in 15 years never will either.
Good for you bwnbwn I hope it works out for you.
I had two clients that didn't take my advice and hired a supposedly honest SEO to find backlinks for them - which turned out to be 100% spammy. Now they hired me to get rid of those bad links. Very costly!
I started using disavow a month ago and my placement is starting to improve.
I'm getting 1000's of links from several hundred .info domains. When I follow the link back I see no link to my domain--which suggests the sites are feeding Google one page and showing the public another. This seems blatantly evil to me.
Would it help to contact the host and give them some examples, and request they take down these domains? Or are the hosts somehow protected?
|Or are the hosts somehow protected? |
It's a judgement call on the host's part. Or, if you prefer, a voluntary aspect of business practice. Some hosts like to stay clean; others don't care as long as you pay your fees and don't break the server.
|I started using disavow a month ago and my placement is starting to improve. |
...not because you use the disavow tool though, unless of course it doubles as a natural link procurement tool as well.
Genuine unnatural links are "unnatural by way of abusing link juice"... that means you rank better "unnaturally". Whether PENGUIN devalued such links and then you disavow the links after-the-fact making a zero sum gain for ranks or you simply disavow the links without PENGUIN being involved - you prevent the link juice from impacting on your page(s) (so your ranks decline based on that lost value)... are generally the only two outcomes you can have.
You need to acquire natural links to gain placement. Although, if some of your competitors are getting nailed by PENGUIN, or disavowing like you that can have the appearance that your actions did something positive. But they actually did not.
How will the payment be made?
What services will they provide you?
Dispute the charge, "services not received".
Then watch the idiot attempt to describe the agreement they had with the customer, to PayPal.
Paypal will ban their account. Problem solved.
@fathom... Google says they can get "most" bad links. In my case someone is creating new 6-10 letter words and turning them into .info domains. They seem to create a dozen new names/domains each week. My gut tells me I'm somehow being penalized for these links. The plan now is to update my disavow list every few weeks...
For the record, the links lead back to a cheap looking page selling jewelry. If I click on a piece of jewelry to "learn more," I'm taken to a retail jewelry site that offers an affiliate program. The "learn more" link is an affiliate link...
|@fathom... Google says they can get "most" bad links. In my case someone is creating new 6-10 letter words and turning them into .info domains. They seem to create a dozen new names/domains each week. My gut tells me I'm somehow being penalized for these links. The plan now is to update my disavow list every few weeks... |
I cannot comment on the intent of what you are seeing or how it impacts your domain... I can only tell you good links don't get penalized because of bad (that would be a manual review not an automated algorithm) and the disavow tool will not enhance your ranks whatsoever it merely drops the link from the link graph so it bears no positive impact on the destination page thus PENGUIN will nor it.
It would take me hours to run through a site hit by 1000ís of backlinks each month, even working at minimum wage in a western country like the UK it would be significantly cheaper for someone to pay a guy in India not to attack them or outsource the entire web maintenance contract to India (because of our higher cost of living in the UK, highest in the western world?).
I have tried to put myself in the mind-set of someone who might do this and I suppose there are a lot of desperately poor people in India out of work since penguin and they still have children to care for. Putting ethics and morals aside because..... letís be honest ethics and morals become a mute subject when your kids are going hungry.
Because of the time it would take to check through new links each month for western businesses that donít outsource to India £10 is nothing and a lot of people would consider paying that if they own a say a small local trade site that gets them work each month.
Even with the disavow tool works 100%, because of the increased costs it shoves onto a small sites each month its a problem for sites that don't manage their own site like the people on this forum, small local traders donít want to be working on their sites day in day out like bloggers/national sites. I have a hard enough time convincing them to sign up for facebook/G + and keep everyone updates about what they had for breakfast yet alone write in depth blog Articles about the amazing new way they found to "clean an oven" in the hopes someone might find it and link to them editorially with a dofollow link.
So maybe G could?
1) Streamline the disavow tool, list of links with a check box next to each other, faster than using current tool. quicker/cheaper to manage?
2) Invert the disavow so all links are automatically disavowed and you submit a list of ones to allow. As small local trade sites barely ever get any natural links anyway this would help?
3) Ignore spam links rather than issue penalty.
4) Just ignore spam links from THIS date since anyone buying cheap spam links at this point is probably directing them at another site?
Just my thoughts
Setting a precedence can be a costly adventure. Today it's £10 per month, next year it's £10000 per month because it isn't the high cost of living, it's the cost of living high.
Ignoring idiotic threats seems to be a better direction. The more gifted a person is with specialized expertise the more they charge. £10 per month sounds like a guy attempting to make a living on hype because they can't get anything to rank... thus switches their model & now they can make a buck.
Get references... if they have none they are just another snake oil provider scamming you.
BTW there is more than one East Indian trying to get ahead out there. What will you do when you get 1,000 emails a month all saying "£10 per month or I'll destroy your domain!"
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