The Beginner’s Guide to Blackhat SEO

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blackhat-seoWelcome folks, it’s the beginners guide to blackhat SEO, the mysterious art of spamming the SERPs. Where does one begin and where does one end? When you have hundreds of different opinions just on what exactly “blackhat SEO” even is, how can one begin to learn this dark art?

Well hopefully you’ll find after reading this guide that the definition isn’t so rigid nor is the practice. In the past I’ve written about my view on what is the right hat for SEOs, I call it “make money hat“. It’s basically my way of saying just shut your mouths and hustle, the guy pushing the most numbers at the end of the month/quarter/year is the one doing SEO the best. Not the white hat toting conference speaker who will make you take out a second mortgage on your home while barely moving the needle. Sorry, but it’s enough already guys.

History of Blackhat SEO

The Google Web spam team and Mr. Matt Cutts (while recently inactive publicly) have long been at war with search engine spam. The first thing you need to do is take a look at Google’s stock price along with current market share of search engine use. Then consider this engine is the main revenue driver for one of the biggest corporations in the world.

Yeah they probably don’t want you to fuck with that. And that is exactly what any type of aggressive SEO is doing, messing with their lifeblood which they’ve hired a damn army of geniuses to algorithmically protect. Don’t get it confused, I’m not trying to dissuade from blackhat SEO, more trying to explain where you stand in the game so you can act accordingly. Google is not your friend, Google is no SEOs friend for that matter, they abuse us and we abuse their search engine, round and round we go.

Here is a nice overview of all the spam techniques that have developed over time. Along the way we have also had many key updates which have changed the landscape of blackhat SEO. There have been different eras we’ve gone through, from a free for all, to slowly tightening things up, to a more controlled and sophisticated game that we play today.

The important thing to remember, is as long as there is a search engine with rankings are predominately based on links, then there will be a way to game it. There might be a big change which knocks everyone on their ass, but we just keep going and rank again eventually. It’s important to have a general understanding of the history of search spam but you don’t need to become a historian. The sooner you start spamming and creating your own data, the better. Your own set of historical data is what you want to be going by.

The Forums

Probably the first place you’ll get started is with forums, but many people have the question of which are legit and which aren’t? Oh man, you’re asking the wrong question. None of them are free from bullshit, but they all have some value, especially when you’re just getting started. There is a wealth of knowledge to be gained you just need to approach it right. Don’t think you’ll find some exact road map or that someone is going to spoon feed you some special secret sauce, let’s try not to forget they’re public forums. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t found plenty of gems and insights along the way. Here are the main forums:

Now you’re going to use our friend Google and some simple search modifiers to better navigate the content on these forums.

We’ll be mainly using the site: modifier and our “keyword” in quotes, you’ll also want to use the date filter sometimes.

forum-search-operators

With this simple technique you’ll be finding information much faster than if you were navigating the actual forums themselves. You’re going to cover everything on the damn Internet if you ever plan on getting good. No, you’re not the Bobby Fisher of blackhat SEO, you’re going to have to hustle your way to the top. Soak up everything you can while getting started and eventually you will develop a strong bullshit filter. Until then, you really have to just dive in head first, the forums listed above will have enough bits and pieces to get you rolling. Quite simply, the information is out there waiting for you to take it. Are you man/woman enough to take it?

The Blogs

Meh, there really isn’t much here. Most good black hats either wind up doing something else with their cash and eventually losing their edge, developing a drug problem, getting smashed by Google, or a mixture of these things. This is why you won’t find too many active blogs about black hat SEO stuff, it’s very difficult to walk that line of what to share and what not to share.

With that said, an honorable mention goes to BlueHatSEO.com the old blog of Eli Alioso, a fucking legend in the SEO world. This dude was ahead of his time, for real, there are posts years old which still apply today but people are too lazy/retarded/brainwashed to test anything.

If you’re wondering what is up with the site nowadays, Eli being the beast he is gave it away as the prize for an SEO competition on Wickedfire. Then a gentleman under the name of “Skohh” pulled out some brass balls and won the competition to be pleasantly surprised with Eli bestowing the domain upon him. Looks like he’s still in the works of getting the main site going, but you can use archive.org in the mean time.

Read every single post on there, every last one. Here are some of the top ones I pulled by putting bluehatseo.com into ahrefs.com the preferred backlink checker, going to top pages, and sorting by referring domains. This is a quick and dirty way to see some of the most popular content on a domain, we’re assuming the best work has more links.

ahrefs-bluehatseo

Yup, Eli you’re the man.

The Tools

blackhat-seo-toolsSo what are the people using today? Here are the two big pieces of the game:

GSA Search Engine Ranker (similar to Xrumer, Ultimate Demon, SENuke, etc, but GSA is the best tool for the job) – This is for spamming links of all kinds. There are a lot of pieces that go with like proxies, captcha solving, and content creation but this is the main software to master.

PBNs – Private blog networks and all that goes with.

While we’re on the subject some people seem to be a bit confused about the definition of “private” and “public”, so let’s clarify.

Private: belonging to or for the use of one particular person or group of people only.

Public: accessible to or shared by all members of the community.

Take those definitions in, seems SEOs have had some serious trouble differentiating private blog networks from your neighborhood BST selling the magic Google rank sauce that will help you rank for anything (see that’s public, go re-read the definitions if it still doesn’t make sense). Now this isn’t to say there hasn’t been and aren’t any powerful public link networks currently, just classify and use them accordingly.

Sure there are many other moving parts but these are the two big link sources for spamming ranks. There are others of course; hacked links, CMS exploits, etc., but GSA and PBNs are the meat and potatoes of common Blackhat spam. This is a more comprehensive list of tools that I personally use, the whole lineup.

SERP Analysis

Often times you’ll read something about SEO and think to yourself, do you even watch SERPs bro? The data is right there for anyone to analyze but most people have their heads too far up their asses to see it. Go take a look at some heavily spammed SERPs; payday, phrama, gambling, designer, replica, the bigs.

Oh yeah, good times. If that stuff excites you then you’re in the right place. Recently there has been a tool released by a respected marketer in the SEO community, “CCarter”. The tool is called SERPWoo and it tracks the top 20 search results over time and plots them for you. This allows you to easily spot new competitors entering the top 20 that are making big jumps, big drops, etc. A bird’s eye view of the SERPs so you can attempt to reverse engineer them and gain strategic insights.

Here is screenshot of one keyword I watch that has some cool activity:

serp-watching-1

A little hectic yes, but let me clear it up for you.

serp-watching-2

Boom, now what did those little tricksters do to get up on that page 1 pony? Sorry bros, gonna have to find these gems on your own.

Testing

If you haven’t started to see it yet, even for blackhats, data is one of our most important resources. This is what guides our actions and makes us stronger over time. Here is a amazing quote that really sums it up:

“Only trust the data that you see yourself, that you caused yourself, otherwise it’s hear-say.” -Bofu2u

That is some of the most badass shit I’ve ever read in SEO, take it in folks. I found the quote here in a post by CCarter which he says was originally from Bofu2u, a respected blackhat and automation expert.

Now it should go without saying but since this is a beginners guide we’ll have to be brutally noob, don’t use Google products bros, just don’t.

Analytics, Gmail, Google docs, and Google Drive are all out.

Nope, nope, and nope.

Nah, I’m not wearing a tinfoil hat. Don’t worry, it’s just best practice to avoid their services, no need to give it another thought.

Here are the alternatives that I use:

Clicky, Outlook, Evernote, Excel, and Dropbox.

See, we can accomplish the same thing without using the enemies tools.

For rank tracking ProRankTracker is my preferred tracker, of course you’re going to need to track rankings so let’s not forget about that.

seos-dont-test

Take Action

So what are you waiting for? That is the big question, if you don’t finish reading this guide itching to throw up a new site and test something than this probably isn’t for you. But if you’re on the journey then this should help you get going, start soaking up everything you can and take action, today.

Comments

  1. RomesFall says

    “people are too lazy/retarded/brainwashed to test anything”

    Made me chuckle, thanks for another pleasant read as always Jacob :)

    • says

      Ah man you’re the second person to bring that up about WarriorForum, agreed it’s not perfect but figured there is still *some information to be found, meh removing it, fuck them.

  2. MyNameIsNoBody says

    What do I replace You Tube with, since you mention not to use the enemies products, which I agree with after the wiped out my channels. I love ranking my videos ahead of theirs.

    • says

      Well if you’re careful you can make multiple accounts and run your hustle but be careful cuz they will surely smash you down and close ALL your accounts. I wouldn’t write of YT because of that just watch your ass.

  3. says

    I remember when I first got started in Seo and Eli told me everything I needed to know was on BlueHatSeo. Talk about some confusing stuff for a newbie whew! Diving in and re reading that site is what got me jump started. Sadly there are very few Seo’s like Eli, now a days everyone wants to be a fucking guru and pitch pure crap to the flock of sheep that continue to follow them. lol

  4. couponking says

    Not much talk about neg SEO, do you consider that part of blackhat seo? I’ve been grinding in the coupon world for a while and it’s downright dirty out here.

  5. says

    Eli is by far the most recognizable in the seo industry. I would say he is underground and recognized by a few seo’ers. His post are like 2-3 years old yet they fucking work! But it is like he said in one of his post, “We will give a damn about google’s business when they start giving a damn about ours.”

  6. sachu says

    I thought blackhat SEO is outdated as google is rolling out updates one after another, do you think blackhat SEO still have market?

  7. Charlie says

    Is it OK if we use Google Chrome? That’s my favorite browser. I don’t use Chrome when I make my PBN. For that, its Firefox.

  8. says

    I didn’t know GSA and PBN’s were considered Black Hat. Also why is using Google products bad? Are their results skewed or something?

  9. Average Joe says

    Hey Jacob,
    I find great reads on your blog. two questions;

    do you still recommend buying scrapebox in 2015?
    of cource gsa is a must, but besides that I mean. It has many features still useful I believe

    and, how does gsa handle tiered backlinks? does it get repetitive backlinks for all layers of the tiers or it only gets one link for one site? I mean if its getting the same links all over the place, it would be a huge footprint for big g. to identify the tiers

    thanks

    • says

      I do still use Scrapebox but if I could only buy one scraper it would be gscraper. GSA is the most efficient software around for tiering, do it right and G can’t find shit.

  10. God of Seo says

    I dont want to sound rude but I hate people writing guides and confusing newbie’s. You write and say pbn’s but dont even talk about expired domains for example this infomation is not good aimed at newbie’s. Jacob your ultimate guide to scrapebox is great however this article is poor by YOUR standards.

  11. fart simpson says

    God of seo or whatever u call yourself,there’s a reason u were banned from bhu.Anywho Jacob you are the KING,thanks for your feedback.

  12. says

    “don’t use Google products bros, just don’t.”

    Hey Jacob – assuming you ditched Chrome and Firefox (funded by Google) in favour of IE (dry heaves)??

    • says

      Well within reason I mean, no need to be dropping your entire PBN in a Google spreadsheet. Using chrome or firefox? Meh, I’d have no rankings if that mattered lol.

  13. Nichejacker says

    I like your post. I always know when I’m reading something from a veteran from the WW west days of the internet. I for one have been embraced Blackhat techniques years ago when it was mandatory if you actually wanted to make money with affiliate marketing. Today it is a little trickier but I just build a fortress of highly trusted sites around my money site and spam those pages and launder my link juice while I grow my PA on those High DA sites. I guess we all can be considered Link Launderers in 2015.

  14. says

    Dude – nice article. Years back I was #1 on Google for “funny blog” and humor blog” and “best blog” simply by buying links. Was awesome. Panda wiped that out, of course, but it was a great ride! I love how 99% of SEOs have no actual technique but a lot of high level ideas which is basically “write great content and distribute it on all channels” – which is true, of course, but I love exploring the black hat tips. Sometimes they work! Great job!

  15. sameer says

    the title is misleading,how is this even a guide,there’s not even 5% of blackhat tips? all you did is promoted bunch of products for money

  16. Richard says

    Hey Jacob, Nice post man. I had a great read.

    Is the gambling niche considered a spam niche?

    If i want to rank for any keyword in the gambling niche what tool or tools you recommend?

    • says

      I’d say in the high middle of the spectrum, definitely not at the hacking level of pharma but people are using shit loads of network links, a bit more advanced GSA spam, just going pretty hard tho cuz there is lots of money there.

      I’d recommend finding the country that works best with your methods (by testing of course) and focus there building PBN and improving your GSA game. Scale is key, definitely going to need to get dirty, where there is money like gambling people are going to really get after it.

  17. fart simpson says

    u aint a member of buso?anyway,Ive noticed a lot of guys from wf follow you and affiliatearmy plus patrick combees blog do interlink to you are they member of black hat stacks?

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