I’ve always wondered why black hatters choose to sell link services on open forums, whether it be on a blog network or web 2.0 properties – the people doing so must be extremely stupid, naive or both.

They’re always claiming that their super duper invincible service leaves behind no footprint and is therefore Google-proof, which is obviously rubbish. I bet Google have a team dedicated to these types of forums and marketplaces – they’re probably joining, posing as ordinary members, signing up to services and continuously collecting lists of these networks to destroy in their upcoming updates.

Link Network Exposed

Yesterday, Matt Cutts took to Twitter in order to mock and expose a black hat link network in style – something I wish he and his team would do more as I can imagine the service owner hiding under a desk right now.

Here’s his tweet:

Anglo Rank – Black Hat World

I hadn’t heard of the service before, even though I do occasionally visit the forum hosting the service, so I did a quick Google Search for Anglo Rank and found this thread on blackhatworld.com – for those who don’t know, Black Hat World is a forum for SEO criminals. It’s full of snakes and shady services.

Anglo Rank don’t provide reports – but why? A footprint is pretty easy to find.

If Google want to find out which sites are in their network, they’ll simply join the service themselves with a number of different domains and then let their bots discover all of the links pointing to each site before heading to each of them and seeing what their posts look like, which sites they’re linking to, how often, topic relevance and change, and many other things which are common in networks. It’s so easy!

Here’s an interesting reply from Matt, too:

Google Are Watching You

Something I have always suspected.

I just don’t understand how people haven’t suspected the same thing, and if they have, why they thought Google were stupid. They’re not, and although their algorithm is far from perfect, it’ll still get you in the end, as will the humans working alongside it. It’s about time people realised this and did things properly.

Trust me, I know more than most just how easy it can be to rank and bank by utilising black hat methods and services, but it never lasts and soon becomes boring. It’s much better to put your effort into growing something meaningful – find a problem and provide a solution, whatever that may be, it’ll be much more meaningful than ranking a site and making a couple hundred or thousand pounds would have been.

Here’s a tip from him afterwards:

He’s right – please steer clear, or you will regret it.