Beware of buying "hacked links", rising trend

EyesExist

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Just a heads up.

A loophole was found in Wordpress (i believe this CMS) that's allowing people to make posts on sites and/or do 'niche edits' on sites. I'm not sure of the full extent but this is why there's a spike in foreign SEO building services lately.

People are placing links in sites unexpectedly and when the sites figure it out, they will remove your links. Your investment gone, no questions asked.

I recently was discussing buying a blog post directly from a site and their price was double the price it was being offered elsewhere. And not only that, the anchor text offered by the owner was generic only. From there, red flags were all over!

news story:
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/hackers-website-links-backlinks-seo-spam

And to be clear & forward here, Charles was cleared from having knowledge of what was going on here. He's actually warning people about this new trend, to help prevent others from being effected.
 
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I think that article was well-done. Better than most SEO articles by major publications.

One of the more interesting niche edits I ever received was placed inside someone's obituary. Needless to say that got replaced real quick.

“There were [links] for, you know, anal bleaching, which is apparently a thing. I mean, just truly, incredibly inappropriate things. And there was even some links to Russian pornography sites. I mean, we're talking about horrible, horrible things. And it was written into my content.”

She’s still haunted by the idea that people came to her site expecting family-friendly, positive content only to encounter links to porn and other unrelated sites.

“I've spent the better part of 13 years building trust with people. And if they came across my site, and then all of a sudden discover links to Russian porn and anal bleaching — I feel like that can jeopardize that,” she said.
While I feel bad for her, I found this quote to be hilarious.

A major source of injected links is Sape.ru, an online marketplace once partly owned by Mail.ru, a leading Russian technology company. On Sape, black hat marketers and webmasters post search-ranking data for websites they control or have access to. Over 8,000 English-language websites are listed on Sape, covering everything from American political organizations to international children's charities. BuzzFeed News confirmed multiple instances where sites advertised on Sape contained injected links.

“We do not welcome the addition of hacked sites, nor the hackers themselves. If such cases are identified, we stop working with the webmaster,” a Sape spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

The company said it blocks the accounts of any confirmed hackers or anyone who is not able to verify their ownership of a site listed in the marketplace when requested. In a statement to BuzzFeed News after this article was published, Sape CEO Sergey Pankov emphasized that the company works to prevent bad actors from using its system.

"Sape is continuously vigilant and expends a considerable amount of effort and expense on monitoring and addressing the problem of injected links and constantly working on improving anti-hacking algorithms. Each time a hack is identified, Sape has no choice but to immediately assign a team to remedy the situation, providing support to hacked websites and refunding significant amounts to customers, who purchased links on sites, which turn out to be compromised by hackers," he said.
Well that's a load of bullshit.

Has anyone heard of Sape referenced in a way other than injected/hacked links? Sape is synonymous with injected/hacked links in the same way that Kleenex is synonymous with facial tissue.
 

Potatoe

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I'm kind of at a loss as to how somebody could be selling links but not have any idea what type of links they're selling, how do you imagine that could happen @EyesExist (tagging you based on the last line in your message, curious what your thoughts are)? I'm not trying to be accusatory or pile-on, I'm genuinely wondering about how that could happen.

I guess if someone is re-selling the links and not really looking into it much (intentionally or otherwise...) would be how that happens? I can't imagine selling something, promoting it, marketing it, taking people's money for it... and not knowing what I'm selling tho?
 

EyesExist

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Charles acquired multiple brands and let people retain control of their business.

I can't tell you what he knew/didn't know for sure. I can only tell you what I saw. I don't even dwell in what i 'think' . I stick to the facts.

With me, Charles actually initialized a deal to acquire my GnewsBacklinks biz, so i can testify. He acquired brand owners if you had something good going and gave you freeway to continue whatever you were doing that was working. He just focused on bringing the clientele.

I could have done anything, without him knowing. However, we split ties before the acquirement deal was fulfilled. It didn't work out well at the time, though it helped me. I was working out of library computers & living out my car when he acquired me (BuSo members right remember the story). So I was using all the money earned to book hotels to keep up and shit... took too much time from my eComm business that was really growing.. plus there as some internal issue going on (not related to me) that caused a bump in heads. We made an amicable split.

Charles is a really smart guy. i'll attest to that. But he was more about his money at that time than focused on what I was doing as 1 person in the wheel
 
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Charles acquired multiple brands and let people retain control of their business.

I can't tell you what he knew/didn't know for sure. I can only tell you what I saw. I don't even dwell in what i 'think' . I stick to the facts.

With me, Charles actually initialized a deal to acquire my GnewsBacklinks biz, so i can testify. He acquired brand owners if you had something good going and gave you freeway to continue whatever you were doing that was working. He just focused on bringing the clientele.

I could have done anything, without him knowing. However, we split ties before the acquirement deal was fulfilled. It didn't work out well at the time, though it helped me. I was working out of library computers & living out my car when he acquired me (BuSo members right remember the story). So I was using all the money earned to book hotels to keep up and shit... took too much time from my eComm business that was really growing.. plus there as some internal issue going on (not related to me) that caused a bump in heads. We made an amicable split.

Charles is a really smart guy. i'll attest to that. But he was more about his money at that time than focused on what I was doing as 1 person in the wheel
The thing is, Charles was the one talking to the clients, handling their payments and reviewing their projects. Wether he was outsourcing some (or most) of the links doesn't really matter, what matters is the end result. So, either:

  • Charles 'dropshipped' links, simply transmitting URL & anchor info, and didn't even look at the end result.
  • Charles DID look at the outsourced links and saw they were hacked. Like, c'mon, it's not like SAPE links have ever been discreet. They really stand out. In which case, he knew about the hacked links, but because the community didn't give a crap as long as their SEO was done, he let it slide.
Either way it's not the greatest of ways to run a business. Just my 2 cents

P.D: Massive respect to Charles since his GodOfSEO days, was one of the guys who inspired me to see through Google BS and actually experiment and extract my own conclusions. Hope he can come back stronger
 

Stones

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I think one or two of the parody Twitter accounts are still active.