Online casino caught boosting Google rank with black hat cheats
There are countless ways to legitimately boost your standings in Google search results, but one online casino site affiliate has turned its back on hard work, choosing to employ sneaky ‘black hat’ techniques to boost up the rankings.
Google’s complex algorithm is generally able to pick the good sites from the bad, determining the “value” of a site by how many other sites are linking back to it. The more trusted the linking site is, the more the linked site benefits.
Some sites use ‘black hat’ techniques to cheat the system: the term refers to malicious efforts to exploit loopholes in Google’s search results. A high Google ranking is extremely lucrative, and can be the difference between success and failure for most websites. As such, some people try to cheat their way to the top.
One such site has been found out by Web marketing agency eTraffic, which published a report detailing an online casino affiliate’s sudden rise from the third and fourth pages of search results to the first, namely for high search volume keywords such as “real slots” and “play real money online slots”.
The site did this by hacking into websites for some of the world’s most renowned education institutions, including New York University, Dartmouth College, Duke University and Stanford University. Google values backlinks from .gov and .edu websites very highly, and so having your site linked at any of those domains can lead to an immediate boost in traffic, and, as affiliate site, probably some extra revenue.
The agency found 76 backlinks spread out across those domains, with the keywords stuffed into articles that had nothing to do with online casinos and slots. The words then linked back to the online casino affiliate, which helped it boost up Google rankings.
eTraffic didn’t identity the website, but it did reveal that it is an affiliate of mobileslotcash.com – for every sale made on MobileSlotCash that came via the affiliate site, the affiliate site receives a percentage of the sale.
Our take: Google has come under fire in the past from online marketers for failing the address black hat techniques such as malicious back-linking. Websites with backlinks on high-authority domains tend to get a boost in rankings and traffic, even if the link has no relevance to the website.
Now that the report’s out there, however, the online casino affiliate is sure to feel Google’s wrath, with a permanent ban from search results the likely outcome.
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