Are you a BH expert?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Kosher1, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. Kosher1

    Kosher1 Power Member

    Oct 22, 2009
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    client taking me to mediation claiming I used BH tactics on their SEO contract. 50% of kW were for Google local and other Google organic. They claim to have experts prove that I USED BH methods. Fact is I didn't.

    Anyone here they feel they can prove otherwise and is an expert ? Help me be ready to drill the "experts" to prove them wrong ?

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  2. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

    Aug 31, 2013
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    Southern California
    Home Page:
    I wouldn't call myself an "expert" on black hat SEO, but I can try to help you out.

    I'm not sure about what you did exactly as I would require more information about the situation, but I'm just going to assume that it was related to link building. If you built any links that could influence a site's rankings (do-follow links) on any website, this could be considered a link scheme, which is against Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Because of this, if you did build these do-follow links, they could say you were using black hat methods.

    If they're accusing you of using black hat tactics on their pages, they could say you were keyword stuffing if the keyword density is too high, although I would need to know more about their claims to help you out any further.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  3. shikind11

    shikind11 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Aug 28, 2012
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    CTO (Chief Thinking Officer)
    Heaven on Earth!
    tell them that as per Google, any link that was built intentionally is blackhat... so, all are doing BH only..

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  4. tony_d

    tony_d Elite Member

    Jun 22, 2013
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    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View CA
    I've been waiting for this to happen...

    Here's where they'll run into problems;
    a) 'blackhat' is not defined, and anything they suggest as being blackhat will be entirely their contention and cannot be demonstrated to have a basis in fact

    b) you do not have any obligation to them other than that which is expressly set out in your contract - so unless it says words to the effect of 'service provider will do all things required to ensure long term rankings' or words to that effect, you're good.

    c) SEO, whether labelled black or white, is SUCH a muddy area. You'll never get any 'experts' agree with each other - which is awesome from the perspective of defending a claim such as that which you've mentioned

    d) It's entirely impossible to prove that any of your actions caused a change in ranking, whether positive or negative

    e) It's also entirely impossible to prove that you built the crappy links (assuming that's what they're referring to as 'blackhat tactics')

    If a client is getting litigious, it's not a client you want to keep anyway.

    Unless your contract has a schedule attached detailing exactly what you can't do, and unless you can be conclusively demonstrated to have in fact done one or more of those things, there's not a claim in the world that could succeed along these lines.

    If I were in your situation, I would just issue a blanket denial, and disclaim any responsibility, and advise them that you do not intend to communicate further on the matter.
    If and when a real court case happens (mediation is a waste of time), deal with their specific claim when it's made.

    Out of interest, what is the value of the contract you had with your client?
    Are we talking large client, with litigation money, or a small business?

    EDIT: FYI, I had a client file a claim against my company when it was providing SEO services to them. Their claim wasn't that we'd used BH, rather, a loosely worded claim that we'd 'damaged their rankings'. They withdrew their claim when we gave notice requiring further and better particulars as to the evidence supporting their claim. Their original claim was based on 4 key items that they suggested were fact, and we drafted a response requiring some 200+ items of further and better particulars, all generally around the issue of them lacking any evidence to support their claims. I guess in attempting to answer those 200+ items, they realized it was entirely futile :)
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    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014