Black Hat SEO techniques are your Golden Ticket to that infamous Google blacklist. And once you’re on the blacklist it’s incredibly difficult to bounce back. Many unprofessional SEO’s will tell you not to worry about the techniques they’re using as long as it works. If only it were that easy.

Debt Settlement Case Study

My very first SEO job was as an SEO Assistant in a beatdown Phoenix office building for a shady debt settlement company. The money was decent, we had just bought a home, so I took the 9-5 excited about the opportunity to do SEO full time. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the keywords ‘debt settlement company’ were already on Google’s list of flagged words. I don’t think my SEO manager realized it either because she began to lay out a marketing plan that took these flagged keywords and combined them with some Black Hat SEO techniques. In the end, every website owned by my former employer ended up on Google’s blacklist.

So, how did this happen? The SEO manager at this debt settlement company failed to understand the power of Google. She set up multiple websites, Mirror Sites, targeted specific regions of the U.S. and launched them all at the same time. Each of these Mirror sites linked back to the main company website. She also proceeded to buy and exchange links with websites that had no Page Authority and no Page Trust, to attempt some link building.

When Google blacklisted my employers websites the first time, the SEO manager didn’t have a clue why. So she proceeded to transfer the company webaite to a new credit card with a new name. Unfortunately everything remained the same, and the site continued to stay on the blacklist.

Thinking, as most inexperienced web owners do, that she could outsmart Google, the SEO manager transfered the host again and even went so far as to use a different computer with a different IP address. Nothing worked, and by the time I left that company all of the sites were still on Google’s blacklist.

The point of this story is not to bring down a former employer, that was many years in the past, but to point out how detrimental it can be to get ahead of yourself with SEO and want too much too fast. Black Hat SEO techniques will worm, as Rand from SEOMoz has said, but won’t work for long.