This is a follow up post to my recent admonition about being careful in hiring link-building services. No sooner had I written that post than I noticed a competitor perhaps unwittingly engaging in “black-hat” link-building.

“Black-hat” refers to sneaky activities meant to fool the search engines and can include anything from hyperlink-filled spam comments on blogs to hidden text on a web page.

Some black-hat activities executed by experts can be extremely effective in improving search rankings (just like crime can pay really well - as Bernie Madoff demonstrated), but it’s a dangerous activity and can land you in a lot of trouble - like getting your website nuked by the search engines.

What this competitor was doing - and again, it may have been unwittingly black-hat - was paying a service to generate blog posts that hyperlinked to his website. Now paying someone to generate content for you isn’t black-hat in and of itself. In fact, if you can hire someone to write great articles about your business and your market, go for it.

But the service he engaged was not legitimate. It simply generated garbage articles about anything and everything from acai berries to Viagra to staffing software.

Tags: Advice, SEO, Staffing Software, Bernie Madoff, Black Hat