The Magic SEO Beans

Magic SEO

Image Credit: more magic on the web

I was checking up on my competition yesterday on Google, as I do pretty regularly, and I came across a website, ranked in the #12 position for the phrase ‘SEO’. Because I had never seen the site before it aroused my curiosity and I began doing a bit of investigating.

I checked the back-links and the site had around 20,000 going to the homepage – which is a healthy amount – but when I started checking the sites that were linking to it I could not find any links on their pages; almost as if the sites linking to it were cloaked. I continued my investigation, Googled the URL and came across this really funny thread started by a Mr David McSweeney. Now, make sure that you don’t have any drinks near your keyboard for this, the thread is basically a copy of a discussion that David had with one of the companies sales girls. It is possibly one of the funniest SEO sales pitches I have ever heard; being a former employee of Iomart, I have heard a lot.

Sales Girl – “A couple of years ago we identified the magic 4 points which google uses to rank sites. We approached google about this and they said to us”

Google – “Oh, you are right. There is nothing we can do about this for 15-20 years and we’ll let you away with it, as long as you only do it for one company for each key phrase.

“Because of this magic formula we can guarantee you a top 10 position for the keyphrase ‘straighteners’ on the main google index.”

David – I am assuming what you are offering is a link building service? Not really that impressive, considering that we are already 22nd for the keyword ‘straighteners’ and there are only 176,000 results. Surely a few good quality links would get us up there?”

Sales Girl – No, we do things that you have never even heard of. Only we can guarantee you this ranking.”

David – I targeted the keyphrase ‘hair products’, which has 2,860,000 results (276,000 with the quotes) and we are 6th in the Google index. I did not employ the use of any magic beans or potions for this ranking.”

Sales Girl – No, only ourselves and 4 other companies in the world know how to manipulate the rankings.”

David – Manipulate? So what you are doing is black hat then? Google don’t allow anyone to manipulate their rankings.”

Sales Girl – Yes, but they told us they couldn’t do anything about it and as long as we don’t saturate the market, it’s OK.”

David – But surely if you told them what you do, the first thing they would do is make sure Mr Cutts and his web spam team gets right on to it to fix the problem?”

Sales Girl – No, they won’t have the technology for 15/20 years.”

You have got to give her 10/10 for effort, but the company’s magic formula appears to be using hundreds, if not thousands, of cloaked sites for links. Now, I am not saying that there is anything wrong with this and I do not have any problem with black hat SEO, just so long as the clients know what they are getting and the risks involved; this, however, does not seem to be the case.

Around 3 hours after I started my investigation the site completely disappeared from Google for the phrase ‘SEO’ (you will have to take my word for it that is was there), however it is still rocking Yahoo! – and in position 5.

I may have some of my facts wrong about the link building techniques that this company is using, but I am pretty sure that they are well outside of the search engine guidelines, perhaps one of you blackhats could let me know if I am right.

Posted in SEO News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

24 thoughts on “The Magic SEO Beans

  1. Hi David, interesting topic here. It sounds like a complete scam to me, just a shot in the dark for them in hopes they’ll be able to get all of your money.

    There are certainly no magic beans, there is no legit way to guarantee a jump to the top of the charts, and there are a few spelling errors in this article you may want to edit.

  2. Okay … I planted the beans, and nothing is happening. Are we sure this isn’t Traffic Power’s former CEO … oh no, he got into a housing foreclosure scam didn’t he?

    This is priceless Dave!

  3. They did guarantee to get to the top, but they said nothing about staying at top. So looks like they are delivering their promise 🙂

    Many thanks for sending me the link, David!

  4. The line about them not having the technology for 15/20 years really cracked me up. If search engines are not dinosaurs by then and we are not all equipped with microchips allowing up to think and retrieve information – that’s rich.

  5. Oh wow. So stupid.
    Here’s the beauty of that kind of blackhat: When one site goes down, EVERYTHING goes down. You end up having sites with YOUR link cloaked in them, being promoted by OTHER sites with THEIR link cloaked in them. So by taking out even a small portion of these, every single site in the chain goes down.

    sheesh. If you’re going to blackhat, blackhat right.

  6. Sometimes the SEO community reminds me of a weekend watching soaps moaning groaning and unhappy with the world

    I have looked hard and long into the re-route site and to be honest I cant see this attack to be valid, (I am sure you will all shout at me for being the odd one out) the comment made by David seems valid I have run through many of the Back-Links and I also struggled to find the text that is until you check the cached pages within Google.

    It would appear that ….. places the Link text and then has the control to remove them So the myth is over. No cloaking and no other secrets, just seems like a strongly controllable process. (I like this; unusual but looks technically effective, shows control)

    Not sure about the sales call it all looks very staged, I called through to the company and was also guided through the process by a female I guess my only complaint I could make, she wouldn’t tell me what they did exactly, but she did say that there Guarantee is Payment on Placement. But at no stage did she guarantee page 1 no matter how much I pushed (I like this, stops the worry, lets face it we all know the stories of clients paying and never getting placement)

    We have all been in this industry to long to spot some ones attempt to blacken the work promoted by potential client. I don’t work in the industry directly however I can see what has upset many of the SEO companies Just read there site a little American in orientation however the message is clear.

    They don’t make any claims that they guarantee page 1 placement, however they do work on the principle that they charge once the client is placed I guess this might worry many of the SEO companies that make money upfront.

    One things for sure – Google looks at any SEO program that involves link building for the purpose of raising a web sites page rank and page position as Black Hat so come on lets all get with the program as we all do it and many of us buy links we just like to publicly humiliate others to hide our own tactics.

    Lol (My 2 pennies worth)

    Now what’s worth moaning about next?lol 🙂

  7. If you check the webmaster guidelines you will see that Google recommends that you get other relevant sites to link to yours. There are plenty of link building techniques that Google do not see as black hat such as link baiting, directory submission, article submission, link requests and many more.

  8. David i agree … what a great social we both have saturday night commenting on peoples activitiesDavid I agree…

    I just wanted to point out that re-route is basically not cloaking links, in simple they are using link text but then removing it No worse than the thousands of business’s purchasing links 😉

    Right James Blunt on the box with Al Murray comment later

    What a great social we both have Saturday night commenting on people’s activities.

    Great Blog,

  9. Removing the links could explain the links not being there, seems very strange though. Many of the pages showing up are from strange foreign sites and many are not in the Google index. It is Friday where I am, but still a very bad shout that I am sat home on my computer 🙂

  10. Thanks for letting me comment….

    Just thought some of the comments were based on Zero fact and just speculation … this industry seems to be full of people willing to attack others without gathering any facts … as in the …. case if you check the back links especially the cached versions they are there 🙂 chat soon Dave

  11. We’ve encountered a few businesses that actually state their intentions with black hat SEO, unfortunately we do no proceed to work with them. We decided to do the SEO in-house in order to be safe in the long run especially in our line of work.

  12. Pingback: Eric

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