Don’t worry, this isn’t another massive Snowden revelation – You can just say it’s a Godlike one instead 😉
Agent Blackhat did a post a couple of weeks ago about him baiting Matt CuttsÂ – The result? a ton of his sites getting penalized and him being actively threatened by Cutts on a personal twitter in no way linked to his AB twitter. Scary stuff, I know.
I also looked into the Anglo Rank penalty, this articleÂ talked about a lot of reports being delivered via Gmail and that’s a possibility in itself that it had been penalized due to them putting out an APB on terms used by the Anglo Rank email notification system.
So, this promoted me to do my own study. I did a fake correspondence with myself and apparently another client, in which we did a black hat site – Bear in mind, this site is a legit site I’ve owned for about a year now, with 30 backlinks – All legit. I’ve checked the links, I’ve checked the WMT, I monitored downtime, I double checked the Onpage etc… All to make sure it wasn’t something to do with me.
I said I’d been doing things like buying links and other monitoring based keywords I thought the NSA.. I mean Google Webspam team would be monitoring.
Today (almost a week later after my email with myself), I logged into SERPBook to double check my rankings and what did I see on a non-black hat site that I SAID was black hat, one time in an email conversation?
Bear in mind this is actually a site that’s been in the SERPs for these keywords for over a year now. I used SEMRush live update to double check they were still there when I started this honeypot and, SEMRush did confirm:
Please bear in mind I checked for Onpage, Downtime, WMT, analytics, backlink profile etc.. and spent over an hour checking and making sure nothing was out of order.
I’m having a meeting with a cyber specialist solicitor tomorrow to see if this is a potential case of abuse/mis-trust of my privacy. I’ve also been trawling through emails for spoofed headers etc… To look for more evidence.
Agent Blackhat Comment –
I decided to get Skype Agent Blackhat and get him to comment on this whole Fiasco, so here it is:
The fact that Google is using underhanded tactics to begin targeting individual people and not just websites is a testament to how the company has changed from the “Do no evil” stance they once had. I don’t believe we can trust Google with our privacy, our security or even to have good morals and do the right thing. There has to be a point where they are limited by a governing body or held accountable for the damage they cause to businesses in their own quest for self preservation and profit.
Michael Booker Comment –
If this is in fact happening should we really be surprised? Â I’m going to hold my tongue until we have more information but this is definitely troubling me. Â If false correspondence can lead to something like this, could an unethical-yet-savvy marketer launch a negative SEO campaign using these methods? All it would take is to do exactly as Charles did but mention a competitors site rather than your own.
Updates Will Come Soon
I’m sure as more people comment on it and after I tweeted Cutts himself (so far no reply) I’ll be updating this one a bit for you guys. Also, I told a Skype group of other SEOs today before I shared this post, so I know a number of them will be running a test of this today.