1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Google Products and the Black Hat SEO

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by lightningblitz, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. lightningblitz

    lightningblitz Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    3,665
    Location:
    Domain Land
    This is another share brought to you by the wisdom of local and white hat expert Zwielicht. I suggest you check his threads out if you have not. He has a few coverings topics such as ranking long tail KWs without links which will help the vast majority of people out.

    Anyways, this share is about Google Products and there place in the black hats arsenal. I see a lot of fear mongering about Google products and I think it is time for experience to clear things up.


    Scary Hat Mentality


    First thing first, Google is not some all seeing eye. Time for perspective. Google is a vast company. Just like Viacom is a vast company with a lot of holding. For this example to make sense, Viacom owns several media outlets ranging from news stations to Mixed Martial Art promotions.

    Think about this for a moment. Do you think the same dude is running both a news station and a MMA promotion? Or that the two people who run these divisions share information? Not a chance. Sure, both are on TV and both work with the same demographic or user base, but it is apples and oranges. If Viacom knows 18 - 24 year old men like blood on TV, do you think the news station will begin showing more murder pictures to get more viewers? Again, NO.

    Now lets go to Google. Or Alphabet now. Sure, the algo is the flagship product. But Google has expanded into a lot of different areas in respect to the internet and technology. Scary hat followers would have you believe if you one day drive a Google car and use its Wifi to do black hat Google will find out and ban your websites.

    Take your tin foil hat off and think logically. I know we like to think Google is an all seeing entity, but it is impossible to have individual entities work so well together to hammer a very small demographic of the Search Engine landscape. It is a needle in a haystack and any company trying to run a profit can not delegate so many resources to find your link farm.

    Now that we have that out of the way, let us move on to some more practical examples.


    Google Search - Chrome Browser



    Chrome Browser is great and a lot of people like it. For me personally I prefer Firefox, but I still like me some Chrome.

    What some will say is that you should not use Chrome for black hat tactics. Let us shed some light on this topic. How many of you have ever had a penalty from using chrome?

    No one? That is what I thought. Now, let us say you used Chrome to go onto Sape.ru to buy sape links and used Google Translate which is built into Chrome. Ever get a penalty from that? NO.

    What normally happens is someone does black hat on Chrome but leaves a footprint. Again, completely different branches of the company run Chrome and the algo. This is a classic case of causation vs correlation. The cause of the penalty is not Chrome.

    Do I suggest Chrome? No. I find it painful to use at times but for some things like translate and proxy rotation it is easier and I have never had an issue. Nor has ANY SEO I know and have spoken to.


    Google WMT and Analytics



    This one may be the ONLY topic which the Scary Hats have right. Can you get a penalty from using WMT on your site? Yes you can. If one site gets a penalty by a reviewer (Which happens if you site is reported, flagged by an algo or you are in a high comp or highly spammed niche) they will check all of your other sites in the same account. So penalties will rain down like Christmas morning.

    With WMT and Analytics being able to be used together under the same account, also using Analytics can be a problem. If Google is looking for free data from a Website you are using black hat tactics for such as cloaking, why give them a key to the back door of your website. Where you get your traffic from and user action, for example. With Analytics you are ASKING Google to track what your users do and what they click.

    That is beyond stupid to do.

    Have your sites in individual WMT accounts if you need to use WMT. Avoid Analytics if possible. Other options exist which does the same thing. You should not get a penalty from using just Analytics and a penalty in WMT is caused by another issue with your sites, but these products in combination with any black hat penalty you may get can spread like wild fire to your other sites.

    Do not make Googles job easier than it already is to find your spam sites.


    Google Documents - Excel / Word / Etc



    This one is interesting. Remember our Viacom example? The people who work on Google Doc do not work on the Algo. Completely unique functions and operations.

    I have NEVER heard of a penalty which comes from using Google Docs. In fact, I know of several people who us it to:

    1. Share details with clients
    2. Share information with VAs
    3. Share information with a JV Partner
    4. Store passwords
    5. Store PBN details

    I can keep going, you can get a LOT of benefit out of Google Docs and the 'cloud based' sharing option to add other people to your projects.

    Again, no penalty has ever come from Google Docs. Causation vs Correlation. Put your thinking caps on and take off the tin foil hat with this one.


    Google Mail - Gmail


    This one is funny to me. We have already covered this. Gmail will not get you a penalty. They are not run together (Algo and Gmail) and this is Scary Hat at its finest.

    Now, do I advocate using Gmail? Personally no. Not out of fear, but Google has a habit of filtering things as spam that are not and it causes headaches for me.

    I have never known a SEO get a penalty from using Gmail.

    In fact, I know SEOs who:

    1. Use Gmail to register PBN domains
    2. Use Gmail for Web 2.0 Registration
    3. Use Gmail to send clients SEO emails
    4. Use Gmail to send spam mails

    I can keep going. I have seen some very black hat members of this very forum use Gmail to send emails.


    The Big Bad Wolf



    I have spoken about this before. Causation vs correlation. Just because something appears in two situations does not mean it is the cause of the outcome for both.

    This is what Google wants you to think. They are the big bad wolf. Huff and puff... but can you really get a penalty for using Google products?

    My experience tells me know. The only exceptions are WMT and Analytics. But those are not the CAUSE of the penalty, but they do make things worse.

    Take off your tin foil hats. Google is not some all seeing entity. It is a company with many different projects going at any different time. The belief Google can do what no other company can and to share any and all data seamlessly between different departments is more than paranoid, it is crazy.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 17
  2. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    6,386
    Likes Received:
    2,332
    Here is the thing about using Gmail and/or Google Docs. You DON'T know if Google if Google does or doesn't use these as tools to search for networks. In fact you CAN'T know this. Google would never tell you.

    And frankly, even if Google did NOT use Gmail or Google Docs to snoop right now (and we don't know), that is not a guarantee that they couldn't or wouldn't use them as tools in the future.

    So in my mind, given all the options out there that aren't Google owner, it is plainly ignorant to run SEO business on Google property. If I were Google I know I'd use them to hunt for link networks. Just because lots of "little fish" use Google prodycts and don't get caught does not mean Google isn't using their tools to look for BIG FISH.

    Using Gmail to conduct SEO business is essentially like opening a whore house across the street from a police station.

    Frankly I'd rather host my PBN with Google then send SEO link reports via Gmail like many sellers here do.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 12
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  3. lightningblitz

    lightningblitz Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    3,665
    Location:
    Domain Land
    I can't disagree with you. We do not know the future and Google can eventually use these same products to hit sites later on.

    I personally use paid and encrypted email accounts for business as that is the most safe method.

    At the same time, you do in part prove my point. We do not know. Telling everyone to avoid all Google products because it may be a problem is not spreading fact but projecting on something we do not yet know.

    I would like to add, I will NEVER understand sellers who use Gmail to send emails or reports. Even if Google will never track Gmail (No one knows what Google will eventually do, you are absolutely right) if even one client fears this you should not do it.

    Hushmail costs me $20 a year or it is free if you sign in often. So for any bsuiness sending emails at least weekly, it is FREE.

    Why on each not use a paid email then when it should cost you nothing?

    Some of the argument for Google being an all seeing eye is that people lack common sense. I can't ever fix that but I do appreciate when you posts Thophayt and trying to instill common sense into people.
     
  4. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    6,386
    Likes Received:
    2,332
    Smart man. I like it!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. Sherbert Hoover

    Sherbert Hoover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    Messages:
    999
    Likes Received:
    8,105
    Occupation:
    ORM - Branding - Content
    Location:
    United States
    Home Page:
    For those of you Jr. VIP's keeping track, this is lightnightblitz's I think eleventh extremely high quality thread in under two weeks.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 6
  6. lightningblitz

    lightningblitz Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    3,665
    Location:
    Domain Land
    Birds of a feather...

    Common sense ain't so common. From your posts and how you use sellers link networks I know your precaution is out of being smart and not fear, so I can't say anything negative.

    Thank you for the discourse. It is people like you questioning what I post which pulls out actual helpful information for members.


    I appreciate the kind words.

    But for the number, on JR VIP section counts. This public section stuff is just me being helpful.

    Either way, I want people to catch up and teach me something I do not know. It is hard only learning stuff from t0mmy now on BHW. It has been a while since BTB shared. I want the other JR VIPs to step up and make me look like an amateur with some epic threads.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  7. misteryou.

    misteryou. Power Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    111
    Any SEO guy sending me emails using Gmail, i don't even reply xD

    Anyway when you run a multi millions $ company like Google, you have to protect it with all assets you have in hand. It would be stupid from them to not use all theirs ressources to protect any division they own
     
  8. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    6,386
    Likes Received:
    2,332
    I'd also like to throw in that a lot of Blackhatters also use Microsoft (Bing) owned Live, and Hotmail email accounts. Personally, I think Microsoft is less likely to have the *ability* to use these to detect link networks... but who knows what the future holds. I am a strong believer that Bing has a strong future ahead as a close second to Google. Many here overlook Bing, but I've learned in PPC how powerful their traffic can be. So something to consider for Hotmail/Live users as well.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. asap1

    asap1 BANNED BANNED Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    Messages:
    4,961
    Likes Received:
    3,179
    I use almost every google product on a daily bases for all my internet task including using sape. I also use their public DNS.

    Still no penalty.

    I've been trying to tell people stop being so scared but they believe what they believe.
     
  10. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    1,850
    Likes Received:
    5,313
    Gender:
    Female
    I agree with you LB, but someone is going to come in with a story trying to prove you wrong. You know how these posts work.

    "My aunt's cousin's babysitter's boyfriend had an SEO business that was destroyed by Google bc he used Chrome and Gmail to deliver reports and used stripped-hat methods. Explain that!"
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. misteryou.

    misteryou. Power Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    111
    We are here to cheat Google, NOT TO HELP BY USING ANY PRODUCT THEY PUT IN THE MARKET !!
     
  12. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Messages:
    6,646
    Likes Received:
    11,790
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Private Investigator
    Location:
    Riverside, California
    Home Page:
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  13. lightningblitz

    lightningblitz Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    3,665
    Location:
    Domain Land
    For some reason I can't give thanks now, must have given too many out.

    Any who...

    @ Thophyat: Bing is a different animal and I do agree. Bing has been in the email game a lot longer and although they may not use the information to stop blackhat, but Microsoft has a history of tracking more and more user data, to the point you have no privacy using there products. I would not call that a leap at all.

    @ Asap and alwaysinvisible:

    Absolutely spot on to how I feel. But everyone does have a story. I can be wrong, which is why this is my opinion. But calling the mentality of the 'never use google' people fact as they do blows my mind.

    As Thophyat pointed out, not only is Bing number two, it is a known fact they track a lot of user data. I would be more concerned over using any Microsoft product over Google right now.

    But the big bad wolf is Google...


    @Z:

    Thank you my friend!

    I do get the precaution with Gmail. I think it is a stupid mistake to use Gmail. I do not recall seeing any link sellers use Gmail but if I found that I would love to put them on blast. That is crazy to me.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. t0mmy

    t0mmy Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,572
    Likes Received:
    13,928
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Spain
    Home Page:
    I love your content lightningblitz. I'd have to disagree with most of this one though. Google is a huge corporation and an evil one at that, they're all about profits.. regardless of what their motto says. I honestly wouldn't put anything past them. I think all SEOs should think like this, it doesn't take much to avoid using Google Products with your clients.. besides that it looks unprofessional anyway.

    Years of messing around in the darker side of SEO might of made me a little paranoid, or careful.. depends on how you look at it. You never can be too careful.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  15. lightningblitz

    lightningblitz Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    3,665
    Location:
    Domain Land
    Thank you for chiming in t0mmy! I can't give thanks, I ran out!

    I agree that anyone with a client should avoid Google products as it is easy to do and on top of looking professional is safer.

    I think there is a line between being paranoid and being cautious. I do not think an agency being cautious by avoiding google products is the same as the scary hat mentality. I hope I explained that point well!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  16. t0mmy

    t0mmy Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,572
    Likes Received:
    13,928
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Spain
    Home Page:
    Yeah totally. The Google docs one was always a huge one for me.. I could never understand some sellers here on the forum giving their clients report on Google docs. Client checks his PM here on BHW - Google docs link.. client bounces over to there. Not only is the huge list of links a giveaway but all these dudes keep bouncing over from BHW. Instances like that isn't being paranoid.. it's being realistic.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  17. lightningblitz

    lightningblitz Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    3,665
    Location:
    Domain Land
    I absolutely agree.

    A big difference between using Google docs to write a report and sing Google as a public or open folder and adding hundreds from BHW to view it. Google has the IP and details and everyone who is in on this in an instant.
     
  18. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Messages:
    6,646
    Likes Received:
    11,790
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Private Investigator
    Location:
    Riverside, California
    Home Page:
    Yeah, there's a limit on how many "Thanks" you can give each day. I think it's around 20 or so.

    Anyway, when it comes to billing and general chat messages, I primarily use Gmail for most of my correspondences between my clients and I. At the beginning, I used my private email, but my clients always sent emails to my Gmail account over my private email for some reason. Although, if there's "sensitive" information that I need to send to someone, I always either use my private email address or call them directly (as one of my clients put it, he prefers being able to call me to ask how everything is going and receive a quick answer rather than a long report full of data he doesn't have time to look at).

    I've been trying to get my current clients to send emails to my private email for a while now, but none of them see the point. Also, as Tommy mentioned, using a Gmail looks unprofessional in general.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  19. InnovativeSEO

    InnovativeSEO Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    860
    Likes Received:
    3,797
    Occupation:
    Business development
    Location:
    New York City
    Great thread and exchange 4star
     
  20. conrulez

    conrulez Power Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    426
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Interesting observations...I will add two things:

    1. WMT is NOT a threat at all UNLESS you add more than one website per account. Then it becomes easy for them to mass ban you if one manual review finds some BS. There is literally NOTHING you lose by accessing WMT for one single domain. Google has that info REGARDLESS of whether one accesses it or not. Analytics is of course a major threat. That's just common sense.

    2. The one other thing that I think people COMPLETELY OVERESTIMATE google on is the ability to recognize "good content" from "bad content". They CAN NOT do it with the algo. Period. They are not even CLOSE to being able to. Those who understand the "math" around it know that it's a complete joke to say that they can or that they're close. They're not. They just want everyone to BELIEVE they can. Good content is for visitor eyeballs, period. If all you need is for someone to click a link (or to take it one step further, to cloak and completely bypass the content), the content itself doesn't mean squat. You can pretty much rank almost anything with shitty content. Content "structure" is of course, a very different story. And so on...But I tell you if I had a $.25 for every time I've heard somebody on this site cower in fear of using "bad content", I'd be sitting on the beach living the good life. I have MANY sites ranking with absolute shitty content. And so do a lot of other people.

    Once again...Some great writing and insights here. You are a wealth of information, especially for newbies. I wish someone like you had posted stuff like this when I was starting out! I'm sure I would have twice as much success (at least!). Keep up the good work and best of luck to you on all your projects.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1