Unveiling the Dark Art of SEO – How Unscrupulous Tactics and Digital Deception Shape the Online Battle for Search Supremacy.
Manipulating Google Results – The Evolution of Deception
Since ancient times, humans have sought to be first in everything, to gain personal advantages, even if it meant resorting to immoral or illegal techniques. For instance, prehistoric humans secured their dominance through the use of clubs. One Og would face another Og, and they would strike each other on the head with their clubs until one yielded, either the head or the club. The victor would then claim the defeated’s mate and drag her by one leg towards a new, more comfortable cave than the one she left behind.
Even in modern times, we still encounter some more evolved Ogs, although far fewer compared to the rest of humanity.
Modern humans have come to realize that using a club is no longer effective, not because they don’t want to, as we are inherently aggressive beings, but because they understand that if they attempt such actions, the coercive force of the state will intervene, meaning someone will put them in their rightful place.
Instead of the club, modern humans have chosen cunningness—an approach where they act friendly, laugh and giggle, but behind your back, they undermine you as much as they can to secure all the advantages for themselves while leaving you with the wish that they had simply hit you on the head with a club, rather than causing you all those problems.
The same occurs on the internet. Almost everyone wants to rank higher in search results because a higher position brings more traffic and, consequently, more money.
In normal circumstances, especially when referring to blogs, achieving a higher position is the result of writing more articles, longer and better ones that cover a wider range of visitors’ needs. This, in turn, leads some of these visitors to recommend your site on their own websites as a sign of gratitude.
This is how it would work in a perfect world where all individuals are honest, pure, and sincere. However, in reality, there is a whole black market of links that can push your website to the first page on Google for the desired keyword. We specifically mention Google because it is currently the most important search engine, delivering the highest number of visitors. As mentioned before, all types of links are beneficial for achieving a better search ranking, whether they are “dofollow” or “nofollow.” When we say all links are beneficial, it is implied that we are excluding those from sites hosting malware, warez, and similar harmful content, as those are detrimental.
Today, I want to talk to you not about links, but about a Black Hat SEO method, purely for informational purposes. An informed individual is a powerful individual. This method is used by those who cheat to manipulate search results on Google.
It is well-known that with the changes Google made last year, fewer SEO (search engine optimization) methods are effective. Besides links, Google also looks for user interaction with websites to determine their rankings.
This is where the manipulation of Google’s results comes into play, unfolding as follows:
Let’s say we have a person named X who owns a website. X has managed to rank their site on the first page of Google for the most relevant keyword for their business. Let’s say X sells garden trees, so the most suitable keyword for them would be “garden trees.” Despite reaching the first page, X’s site does not appear among the top results because there are businesses older than theirs that occupy those top positions and earn the most money.
X wants to surpass their competitors, so they employ the following SEO method: they use a program that searches for “garden trees” on Google, and then fake visitors click on X’s link and enter their site from various IP addresses. They do exactly what the important search engine desires—they access an article, spend a certain amount of time on it, then move on to another article, and so on. Google sees that the website is being searched for, and thus elevates its position.
If things stopped there, it would be just another Black Hat SEO technique, one that is not particularly moral but would only indirectly affect its competitors.
Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there. It goes further by attempting to push down the rankings of competitors’ websites using the same program. Fake visitors search for “garden trees” on Google, enter the competitors’ sites, and within three seconds, they return to the search page. Google interprets this as a signal that those websites are not relevant and lowers their position in the search engine.
In this way, even though X sells garden trees, they manage to “plant” a massive baobab tree right in front of the entrance to their competitors’ visitors.
How can one protect themselves from such manipulation? The answer is simple: you can’t.
Do not attempt such methods because you may trigger certain red flags at Google. If they see sudden and simultaneous access to a specific site from the same IP addresses using the same keywords, you risk being penalized.
Manipulating search results on Google is not only unethical but also against the guidelines set by the search engine giant. Google continuously updates its algorithms to detect and penalize websites that engage in manipulative practices. The consequences of being caught can be severe, including a significant drop in rankings or even complete removal from the search results.
Instead of focusing on deceptive tactics, it is crucial to invest time and effort into legitimate SEO strategies.
Building high-quality content, optimizing website structure and performance, acquiring authoritative backlinks, and engaging with users through social media and other platforms are some of the effective approaches to improving search rankings organically.
The manipulation of search results on Google is a deceptive practice employed by some individuals or businesses to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors. While there may be short-term benefits, the long-term consequences can be detrimental. It is essential for both website owners and users to be aware of such practices and support ethical standards in the digital realm.
Questions for Discussion: What are your thoughts on the ethical implications of manipulating search results on Google? How do you believe search engines should combat such practices while maintaining fairness and integrity in their results?