After the first Interview with Letith went so well, I decided to interview someone else. This time I went with Lucas Abraham aka Styx, he’s a black hat SEO that works for a pretty big agency in London and has been pushing his blog and name for the past month or so.
I see a lot of myself in Lucas, even if he is older than me (hehe) but I’m sure he’ll be going far pretty soon! He’s also the newest addition to Godlike Marketing in our freelancer division and has been doing some really cool stuff for some of our clients.
1) How did you get into Black Hat SEO?
I used to play a lot of games, Starcraft, Warcraft most FPS games same as every kid does nowadays. After a while of getting better and better at these games (mainly Starcraft) I wanted to create my own site that would give people tips on strategies and tactics that I used in the awesome world of Starcraft.
Anyway long story short I made the site it go next to no visits from any search engines I got annoyed so went to Google. Downloaded Scrapebox and threw a shit ton of random irrelevant comment spam to one page on the site that I wanted to get visitors to, totally ignoring what keywords were and that I needed spun comments. I basically just wrote one comment with a link and spammed it with no Proxies.
This obviously killed my internet and got me next to nothing in terms of traffic, BUT it was a learning curve and got me interested. So I logged on the now utter shite resource for valuable information Blackhatworld and started to learn from the extremely rare gems of good information. Within an actually pretty short amount of time, I was making money from PPDs and Youtube, this then lead to me making my own affiliate sites to run case studies of and aid me in learning how the algo works and keep the information for myself, friends and people I trusted.
2) What are 3 Cool Black Hat Tips you can share with everyone?
One of the best tips I can give to anyone reading this and I wish I could give to everyone in the world is donâ€™t use Blackhatworld as a resource. Not only is the content on the site complete garbage but itâ€™s just filled with tactics that used to work and no longer do. When good content is posted it is either trashed by the morons that know nothing or in my case you are sent a countless amount of emails telling you to take it down and when you donâ€™t comply they take your site down. Not to mention how broken the marketplace is (*cough* click here *cough).
My second bit of advice that I learnt myself and do out of pure habit and frustration with myself, is to not give up on something that you are testing. So many times I hear of people that had a great idea tried it once and then dropped it, at no point did they decide to see what went wrong and try and improve on the tactic that they created. Your first site with a new method is mostly always a tester or a case study if it works first time GREAT but it wonâ€™t… itâ€™s all about fine tuning what you have. If you are using someone else’s idea, donâ€™t copy (duh!) it you always need to add your own twists and test out different things, just copying someone else will rarely work and if it does it only will for an extremely shot amount of time due to the method becoming saturated. I will always remember when people started using yahoo answers to promote their PPD download, they would create two accounts and one would ask â€œWhere can I download [INSTER MOVIE HERE]â€ and the other would answer with a link to the PPD. This was amazing and worked really well until someone said something on BHW and Warrior forum within a week or two Yahoo realised what was going on and the idea now no longer works… DEAD!
Talk with some people that actually know what they are doing, get advice; play around itâ€™s all about learning from experiences. The first site you make and build links to may not do well it; might not even rank at all, you may even get it penalised before it even sees the top 200. The point is, it doesnâ€™t matter, just keep tweaking the way you use these tools and learn from what works and what doesnâ€™t. After a while you will be a Blackhat legend, itâ€™s really not that hard, it just takes dedication.
3) What has been your Biggest Success in your SEO Career?
After a few attempts I ranked 3-4th for the term “Payday Loans” with the tactic I was using at that time it only ranked me for 2 days but was enough to pay off the failures and leave me with a really nice profit, this is where the tip comes in that I said earlier about refining your method and never giving up. I then went on to use that same method on other high competition terms as I realised that the term was being manually watched.
I revisited this niche again recently with the 301 method and managed to rank 6th before being manually penalised again. I mainly use the payday loans niche as a testing ground because I know that if it ranks highly there, it will more than likely rank anywhere. (These are for my churn and burn tactics only)
4) What has been your Biggest Failure in your SEO Career?
About a year into my blackhat ways I managed to set up a really nice website targeting a profitable niche, it was kind of hard to rank for but I went for it anyway. So I loaded some SEO tools up and started to build links to it. At this point I had already ordered some SAPE links and some other link packages, making a pretty heavy investment. I guess I was really tired when I set this up and for some reason didnâ€™t check up on the backlink profile for a week after I started running it. The ScrapeBox comment drips that I was building to the site throughout this process I had loaded a list of 3 names (I had loaded the wrong file these were actually names of 3 clients I had to do some work for). As on most of these sites you comment on, you use the name as the anchor text to your site I ended up with like 4% of each of the names making up my backlink anchor text ratio. I also was using GSA and managed to have the keywords doubling up, I managed to do that recently again somehow. (Need to stop working so late and doing this while tired, luckily with this I have only done on personal sites as I tend to rush my personal sites but take time on client sites).
5) What “Actionable” tips do you have for the Readers?
I could talk for hours about keyword research and how if you just put time into researching keywords you will come across some real golden gems, but thatâ€™s something that would be seriously long.
Iâ€™d prefer to stress the importance of unique content, too many people just think they can copy content from somewhere and just auto spin it and put the shite on their site. This wonâ€™t even work very well for churn and burn, if youâ€™re trying to create a longer lasting site, you have no chance. Not only could you increase conversion rates with useful and insightful content but it will aid you in rankings.
I like to do a few things when creating content for my affiliate sites or when I am consulting people on what to do. Firstly I like to have a look at the niche and go a bit in-depth have a look at any forums of people asking questions, note these down and put them into an article. This way you know that these are commonly asked questions and are completely relevant
6) What’s your Favourite SEO Tools and Software?
GSA SEARCH ENGINE RANKER! I live by this tool, along with scrapebox you have yourself two of the most powerful tools around as far as I am concerned.
7) Where do you see SEO and yourself heading in the next 5 Years?
SEO will die Blackhat will die and there will be no way to rank ever again!
Okay no seriously, people with these opinions are brain dead and clearly have no understanding of SEO or the concept of Blackhat SEO. I will still be spamming, still be creating affiliates/ecommerce sites and still working for clients. I can see Google becoming a lot more sophisticated than they already are, such as the depth in which they pick results and how they look into links that point to domains and what these patterns mean.
Blackhat is simply just the idea of manipulating the search results to an extreme; therefor it canâ€™t die unless all search engines cease to exist. There is always a way around and always a way to manipulate certain things, this is the very basic reason why â€œBlackhatâ€ or SEO will never die.
8) Where can all the guys and gals from my blog find ya?
SEOStyx is my blog it’s fairly new but you will be able to find some really neat info on there.