Black Hat SEO with Craig Campbell
Craig Campbell stopped by this week to chat about Black Hat SEO. It’s an interesting part of the SEO world that we haven’t spent too much time on (and not one we recommend unless you know what you’re doing and are not TOO black hat about it).
Craig helped define what the term actually means then we chatted about various tactics he has used over the years.
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Hi guys, Michael here before we get into the show, if you’re a Twitter user head to at service scaling, I’m tweeting a bunch of stuff. I’ve learned scaling our digital marketing agency, and I think you’ll find it pretty interesting. All right, let’s get into the show.
Unknown Speaker 0:15
It’s time for the SEO show where a couple of nerds talk search engine optimization, so you can learn to compete in Google and grow your business online. Now, here’s your hosts, Michael and Arthur.
Hello, and welcome to the SEO show. I’m Michael Causton. And this week, we’re talking about the dark and mysterious world of blackhat seo. Now, blackhat seo is not something that I recommend people get into. In fact, most of the time you want to stay away from it. But it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, and that it’s not an interesting part of SEO. So I thought it would be great to have someone come on the show today and talk about their experiences with Blackhat. Seo. And even just to define what blackhat seo is because you could ask 10 SEOs what their definition of blackhat seo is, and you’re gonna get 10 different answers. So today, I’ve had Craig Campbell, come on the show to talk about, well, his take on that. And he’s experienced in the world of Blackhat. Seo. As a great chat. We went all over the place. We spoke about different tactics, different strategies, old tools, new tools, and we went all over the place. But the general premise was blackhat seo. So without further ado, let’s jump into this week’s chat with Craig Campbell. Hi, Craig, welcome to the SEO show. For people who may not have heard of you, if you could just let us know a little bit about yourself and what you do. That’d be great.
Unknown Speaker 1:47
Thanks, Miko, ahem, so my name is Keith Campbell. And based in Glasgow, Scotland, I’ve been in the industry for 20 plus years, I’ve been everything from the Freelancer working in the bedroom having no clue what I was doing. I have went on to build build up a successful digital marketing agency. Don’t ask me why I chose to go down that route. You know, I had 17 staff at one point, dealing with loads of clients. I’ve done that for probably about nine years. And tell her to say the enough was enough, you know, it was really hard to skill that any further than than I did, and for probably the last six or seven years. In fact, it’s seven 2015. A gave up the agency and started to focus more than affiliate marketing, building a personal brands, buying and selling digital assets. I feel it, the 2015 team, added moplay ship done all the hard work and decided to take the money that had been what from me rather than me, you’re begging and begging for money from clients. So that’s a brief background of where what I’ve done. And the yeah, there’s lots of stories in between.
Yeah, well, that’s interesting. I’ve brought you on, because we wanted to chat about blackhat seo, but the fact that you’ve built an agency there and grew it to seven people and then sold it, I found that interesting, you mentioned scaling problems was that because you were just sort of in the trenches doing SEO, and you’ve found it tough to remove yourself from that, or what what sort of went on there that you sort of hit a hit a ceiling?
Unknown Speaker 3:42
That, you know, that was certainly part of the problem trying to remove myself. You know, I built myself into the business rather than working on the business. And you know, I think that’s problematic from any SEO should enter this game. You know, I started out, you know, early 2000s. And it wasn’t as prominent as it is now, SEO, the learning curve was a lot harder. There was no YouTube, there was no Facebook people. None of these things were alive. So my learning curve was a forum and it was called the SEO chat forum which is still there. It’s owned by an Elite Marketing ninjas now but you know, when you’re sitting at home, and you’re this kind of shady Freelancer who’s making up as he’s going along, you’re not thinking of, you know, being a businessman or anything so, you know, as it goes in, you’re making a few quid and you’re getting a bit stressed you know, you hire a sales guy or whatever, you know, my first hire was a sales don’t just because I hated talking to clients, and that whole rigmarole are talking crap all the time to try and get them money. And I wasn’t very good at it. You know, I was under charging myself at all about stuff. So I thought sales guy, then it was a content radar, then it was a weird person, because we were doing everything you know, it was a full agency giving them a website. Admin needed me SEO. And before I knew it, that’s when you know, the eight, got an office hire the sales guy, he started getting these people before I knew it. I had all these people doing bits of stuff, but I wasn’t, you know, the guy in the middle. And that’s when I really struggled. I struggled to delegate. I wasn’t a businessman. You know, I wasn’t thinking like a businessman. And even things like not trusting people to do the job I was doing you I thought I was the only guy in the world that could do this. And you have all these kind of weird thoughts and stuff. You’re a young guy in money. You know, this bit of ego and need as well, you’re hiring people for the sheer heel height and people you know, I’ll never know for the life of me how, or why I had 17 staff. It was just insanity. You know, say, I think I’ve been through this stage of thinking I’m going to have the biggest agency in the world and all this kind of stuff. And no, a lot of it was Quebec ego and madness. And yeah, I really don’t know what was comfortable about it. Until it came to a point where you’re like, geez, you know, I’m in the middle of all this and I’m not getting taken to to do infinite fields of I couldn’t believe and stuff like that. So yeah, built myself into a really stressful situation.
Okay, well, yeah, I can certainly empathise with a lot of what you’ve said there from running our own agency here in Australia. But um, I find it really cool that you took a step back from that and have focused more on I guess your passion, SEO and building your brand in the space and sort of getting your name out there more as I guess, an educator and a rough guess a freelance consultant affiliate person where I think I came across you originally is a little What do you want to call it a prank that you might have played on Nigel Farage, who for for Australian listeners, you may or may not have heard of me as a UK politician, I guess a political figure. But maybe you could tell us a bit more about what you did there because it’s pretty interesting and cheeky.
Unknown Speaker 7:26
So back then, when I’ve done this, Nigel Farage was the guy that was leading their, the Brexit campaign. So for anyone who doesn’t know what that is, in Australia, the UK have since left the European Union. So we’re no longer part of Europe. And Europe collectively, there’s all these countries tonnes of them all together, you can fly in and out without visas. The, your there’s a whole bunch of reasons why you’d be in the European Union. But also part of that, as the countries have to pay an X amount of money into European Union and it gets spent across Europe rather than on your own country. So Britain, for one reason or another, decided to leave and he was the kind of main day behind all of that sort of fake news, you know, leaving the European Union was massive. And he was one of the ringleaders and all of that so he was very, a very, very prominent figure in the political world. And and you know, I like to talk about blackhat seo and you know, expired the means and all this kind of stuff. And people often ask me do real good domains really expire? And yes, they do. You know, people take the eye off the ball people are not smart and the nitrile frogs somehow took his eye off the bowl him and these is the Bean was expired and and for you guys in the studio, there’s a certain process I don’t know what it’s like in the studio, but in the UK, when the domain expires, it goes into suspended status which gives it a roundabout 60 odd days before it’s been released to the public market. So Nigel could have grabbed that domain name and that 60 day your your want your domains expired, you will renew you constantly want and you know, for me looking at it was a prank but the amount of backlinks that Nigel farage.co.uk had from websites that I could never get the BBC and all these killer national international newspapers. The coverage that that guy’s got would literally cost you millions and millions of pounds in PR. And this domain was expired and so bomb got it when it expired. And it was difficult to do anything with it, you know, from an affiliate perspective because the politicians branded domain name. And so what I’ve done was just put up his website from the Wayback Machine just recreated all the old URLs. Were all the link just kicked back in and, and it still worked that to this day. But I used to tell people about it at conferences and all that kind of stuff. And people like how are you going to monetize that? And I like, I only done it for a can a joke. And but I thought, how else can I leverage it? So I started to release it to the newspapers, so that I could get my own PR from having the Nigel Farage demeaning. But I wanted to basically just show the world that high profile companies, high profile individuals do late that the means expire, you know, people die, people go bust. But you know, there’s a number of reasons why the meaning may expire. And you know, in terms of blackout as your what can you do with that power is entirely up to yourself. Now, obviously, with a brand, the personal brand. And the high profile that is a had to be very, very careful legally, in terms of what I was able to do with that domain name, but I think it made for a great story. But it also got me a lot of place. Also had Nigel, you’re trying to get his domain name back, which he’s still never got back. It’s, it’s more beneficial for me to tell the story and have the domain name than they can give it back. But yeah, it stupidly took his eye off the ball, he lost out on millions and millions of pounds worth of place. link juice, if you want to call it that. And I do have some other high profile individuals, there’s a couple of others that have. And there came a time, maybe four or five years ago when the dot music domain came out. And two high profile individuals one called Craig David’s. And another band called The Kalos. Basically just dropped them in in the.co.uk domain names and went straight over to dot music. So also on key baby.co.uk and the kilos.co.uk, both of which will be the official websites for 10 plus years, again, where you place coverage. And so high profile domain names expired all the time. And that was the message I was trying to get across and also to educate
Unknown Speaker 12:51
the public be Be careful with your domain names as well, because they’ll always be some shock when a bank loan waiting to pounce upon the work that you’ve done.
Yeah, once they’re gone, they’re gone. Or they’re very difficult and expensive to get back. Exactly. I really love the approach you’ve taken there of leveraging the fact that you have those domains to get more links and PR for your own website. I think that’s really clever. On a much smaller scale, then Craig David in the killer, they actually owned the domain name killing heidi.com that a year at one point, which was an Australian band back in the day that broke up and it had a whole bunch of links, but I never did anything with it. And now I’d probably be a PBN, you know, site. But, yeah, definitely a lot of domains dropping every day. And I think it’d be cool to talk about that in a minute. But, um, I guess it would be good to introduce why you’ve come on the show today, which is to talk about blackhat seo, which sort of ties in with this world, you know, there’s, there’s all sorts of things you can do in Blackhat. Seo, but um, maybe to kick things off, let’s define, you know, what is blackhat seo, what is white hat SEO, and then we’ll go into maybe some of the other things like expired domains that you’ve gotten involved in over the years.
Unknown Speaker 14:09
So that is obviously as you see the term blackhat seo, white hat SEO, that’s thrown around, and then you’ve got something in the middle where people call it grey hat SEO or whatever. As far as I’m concerned. I don’t really like to nominate one or the other No, a 100% gets someone like yourself as an agency. You can’t talk about PB ins, buying links doing this, that or the next thing to your clients. You’re working in the corporate world, those certain language in a certain way to conduct yourself, which I believe is white hat SEO. Now, when you talk to clients, if you’re under that agency, white hat SEO or whatever your job is not to scale the client you know Your job is not to, to use that kind of language. And you will there’s a certain element of things that I would do that maybe you wouldn’t do from a client perspective. You know, we are, you know, I will do I’ll use link building automation to power up a guest post. I will, I will buy initiate it. So I’ll do this that and the next thing, though, as far as I’m concerned, the FCO is an art of manipulation, you’re manipulating the search engines. And the whether you met to that or not a him or the language that you use would determine whether you’re white hot or whatever. You know, the job, though, is to write Quill and make money online. And because I do certain things, people tell me that as black cat, no, of course I don’t go out. And the US link building automation and pointed direct to my my website is making me a tonne of money. Why would I ever set out to get slapped by Google? That’s not the job. My job is to be here for as long as you are to make money online and compete at the upper in the search engines. And yes, I will talk about I will buy a guest post I will use initiate it to power that up. I will use a PBN, I will use expired domain names, I will do this, that and the next thing. And for me, that’s all about making money and doing the job properly. You can’t have that conversation with a client. And I think that’s the you know, without a client because they don’t know it and will scare the shit out of them first and foremost. And secondly, they don’t really want to be seen. You’ve got Google seen or dog by links and all that stuff. You know, people are like sheep, you know, when when Google see something people follow it, you know, 80% of people follow that to the exact what? Google as a company do not want us manipulating what they do. They can’t cope with it. But for me, the 20% of people who don’t follow Google, like little sheep are the ones that make the most money online. And as I say, I’m not suggesting you go and hack websites and do all this kind of bad, bad stuff. And you can do what I give the term blackcat thrown at me all the time. You know, when I’m writing a website, yes, I do digital PR. And yes, I will go to the place and do traditional PR, yes, I will do everything I can a as clean as I possibly can, before I would do any of the funny stuff. You know, because I think you’ve got to build a good solid foundation. So I’m not doing SEO any differently from anyone else, you know, you still do on page, you still to technical, you’re still doing all your killer, good stuff, you would just push yourself up to the fly or laying in terms of a boundary, I would push that probably higher than maybe someone in an agency. But that’s what the agency seeing whether the agency is actually playing that game is often very different. So I think we’ll find it SEO is SEO wouldn’t there’s no real hats, your it would come down to sheer stupidity. If you were going to start, you know, doing spam on your own website or whatever, I think that’d be called the stupid hat or whatever, you know, no one’s doing that. So that’s a kind of brief way of how I see it. And as I see filled up filled with respect people in agencies, because I’ve done it myself, worked with corporate clients, and there’s just a different type of language and a different way that you have to can kind of seal it and suggest what you’re doing and offer more deliverables and all that kind of bollocks is what goes on.
Yeah, look, and I completely agree. Like if you’re doing SEO for yourself on your own website, like, in my opinion, Blackhat is really illegal, like, you know, hacking someone doing something totally shady, is Blackhat. Whereas everything else is just varying degrees of testing and optimising and seeing what works and trying to get results, right. Yeah. So um, look, I just tried to put on this black hat, grey hat, lens or hat. Just so that people listening can get an idea for what’s possible. Do you have any, you know, major wins or traffic or revenue results or something that you can share from black hat tactics, like maybe an old site that you no longer have where you really were able to do well on the back of what would be considered, you know, Blackhat in inverted commas.
Unknown Speaker 19:52
Yeah. I mean, there’s certain things that I’ve done back in the day, that you probably see key you know that is a bit suspect. So, back in the day, one of my biggest revenue makers was a website that ranked well for customer service numbers. No, when I see that, I mean like Vodafone customer service. All the local banks and customer service number, Sky TV customer service number, literally hundreds of them, anyone who would fall up and complain or have a problem, or right for the brand name plus customer service. Now, what I used to do there was all I was competing was with was people’s contact pages. So there wasn’t anything that was outrageously difficult. So what I’d done was ranked for all these customer service numbers, and then I would have a premium number, which I got through a company called torque numbers.co.uk. Eu in the UK. And basically, I was getting paid seven p a minute, for ranking well for the bank and customer service numbers. So people would fill up the bank, talk to them, they would still get through to the bank, they would still get the sales resolved. But I have positioned myself in the middle as a middleman through a premium number. And I’ve done that with 1000s and 1000s of different companies and made a lot of money, a lot of money but a roundabout 2018 off comm caught on to this. And the it is now illegal to do that. And so that type of business model you know, has has fields you know, it no longer makes the money that dead. And you had to put on the website underneath the you know the number that says actually a premium number your call and so it kind of killed the conversions. But you know, other things that I potentially done to get quick traffic and quick money would be around the Google My Business Listings. And even to this day, you can still hijack an unverified GMB less than if you even hijack a verified one. So it’s very easy to do. And they do bring in a lot of traffic. So normally, if you look out there, you’ll see a lot of people who maybe have 1020 30 listings all in one city. How did he do that? What’s going on the bill lately to be hijacking old GM B’s that are no longer properly managed. And this is it’s beggars belief baby. Absolute beggars belief how Google have such a flaw in the system. But if I was to claim your GMB right now, if you don’t respond, to see that that’s your GMB within seven days, that GMB becomes me. And then it’s beggars belief, it is insane. There’s such a flaw and that flaw still exists to this day. So people are still hijacking GNPs at a massive scale, and doing lead gen saw for example, you could be in Sydney, and you could be a plumber. And you could basically go and grab all the kind of old plumbers who are dumb as shit. And don’t don’t look after the GNPs an auditor mo Gwen claim them, edit them put your phone number on there. These These guys have been none the wiser. I mean, it’s honestly beggars belief, you know, there was also a flaw within Google My Business. This has been fixed. We’re Fu N N and suggested an edit on a Google My Business less than and put the opening date to date in the future. So Aquaman two years and I suggest that you have not opened until October 2023. It would make your GMB disappear. And so you could also go around shutting people’s GMB. I don’t know that of course as Blackhat
Unknown Speaker 24:26
have a plate haven’t done that stuff have educated on all that stuff. Yes, more sought to tell people to bloody Be careful. And that that’s not happening. And but a lot of people out there are still making a lot of money and simply not through traditional SEO but just Google My Business lessons and and doing that stuff at such a massive scale and selling the leads on so didn’t do a lot of paper leads, lead generation whatever you call it over there. And you know be These are things that I have done in the past year, I’m not going to lie. So you will, you can make money from it, but you’re taking food from another man’s or women’s table. It’s not for me. So I try and educate people to kind of avoid doing that, but also to protect yourself.
Yeah, yeah. Well, it’s, uh, I guess it is a way to make a living. But it’s, I guess, at the end of the day, you’ve got to look at yourself in the mirror. And if you’re just ripping off people’s GM B’s, and businesses, while they’re none the wiser. There’s other ways of SEO that you can use that would sit better with most people you would hope. But, um, look, that’s all very interesting. I think I heard you talk there about sort of, you know, just taking over. Like someone’s listing, I’ve seen you talk about in the past, doing a bit of an outbound campaign demanding credit for images that are used in posts, which I find interesting, because I have like to build links in the past, I would go and get images created around themes, and then put them up on, you know, free image websites, where journalists would find them and just ask that I’d be credited with a link in it, and maybe 50% of the time, they would give you the credit, the other 50%, they don’t, what your approach is, is sort of taking this to the next level, it’s sort of removing a big chunk of work from it, which I thought was really cool. Could you tell us a bit more about what you’ve done in that space.
Unknown Speaker 26:35
You’ve cut off the umbilical halfway through that.
So I’m saying I’m with that approach, where I would go and create images and then have journalists give me credit, there’s quite a bit of front end work that actually creating the images. But your approach, which is really interesting, gets rid of the need to do that work. So if you could tell us a bit more about that, I thought it was a pretty interesting angle that you had that.
Unknown Speaker 26:56
So again, preying on the dumb people of the internet. So for example, I always use the Liverpool Echo in this example. So if you Google, something like the Liverpool Echo, which is a UK newspaper, and being copyright unknown, you will literally see a million emojis on that particular newspaper with the I don’t know who that picture belongs to. Now, as far as I’m concerned that the you know, that’s an opportunity. And, you know, when you see this, you know, these news people aren’t because in a lot of the the national place, the old, they show you the journalist details, it gives you the email, it gives you the Twitter, it gives you, the Facebook, the whole works. So, you know, reach out to that person and saying, hey, you know, you’ve published this article on such and such a bit. That’s my energy used. And, you know, eight out of 10 times that will work, or has worked for me in the past, because you know, that just the journalists, they don’t know what SEO is they don’t want a link as or the value of anything, they’re obviously sensitive stopped talking about these things, things become a lot more difficult. Because when you release something that everyone then starts trying that trick in, so it does become a little bit more difficult. What I have also done is set up a fake lawyer website, a copyright lawyer website, and a do the reach out to the journalist from that same lesson, you’ve used my clients image, they don’t want any trouble. They’re just looking for a link to be credited for the image that you’ve used. If you can place the link to here. You know, everyone will be happy. Normally, no, you have to step up the game. And because it’s though, I’ve been speaking about that trick for for the last four or five years. So in the last four or five years, journalists would normally come round though and see, piss off, because everyone’s trying that trick. But if they see it from a copyright lawyer, again, it scares them, the people want trouble. So how that trick could work in 2022, I think you’d have to be slightly more aggressive with it, because no one wants any kind of copulate problems or potentially be taken to court. And for me, that’s how long I’ve had to strip for that trick to still work in 2022. But back then, just merely suggesting it. You know, it was probably nine out of 10 would go for it. No problem at all. As long as you weren’t being a douchebag you know, it was all about the way that you reached out to them. If you’ve got a wallow agonist of you, you’ve got to get someone’s back up. So always just come in and softly, gently, you know, use my image, you know, Please, could I get it, you know, just just that dumb. And, and yeah, that that image trick worked really, really well. And late, you see, you could go and do all this front end work. Which is a lot more money time. Expense. Why do all of that when you can just reach out to gaze in? You know, that’s my image is the way the way that I think you know, because SEO was a lazy, and they weren’t the quickest, easiest way of getting that link. So why go to the cost of getting that that means speed up and all that kind of stuff before you do it that that’s the way I was thinking. However, when I’ve spoken about that tech at conferences and stuff, I will never forget a very small, maybe 50 person conference, it was like a local meetup, call it that. And a journalist came up to me and she went Klieg. I want to shake your hand. She says, but I also want to punch you right in the face. And I’m like what she went, that is genius. The track that you’ve done, she says, But I’m a journalist. And she says and infuriated that someone that you would come along and try and hijack all of my good writing and all my good work and suggest that an image is yours. So I can get it from that point of view as well. It’s you can rub people up the wrong way. But there won’t be that they will wooden’s only half joking when she said, You know, I want to punch in the face. But you need to be careful. Because it can be a fuel leak. If you are hijacking other people’s stuff, as we all saw.
Yeah, yeah, I get it. Well, speaking of hijacking and newspaper sites, do have much experience with parasite SEO and, you know, ranking, let’s say an article on a strong news domain with maybe a sponsored post that you’ve purchased and then using that to make affiliate commission or any other forms of parasite SEO there.
Unknown Speaker 32:19
Yes, I have done that in Yes, I have done it to make affiliate commission. But and a lot of cases, I would do that for what is called reputation management. So I do a lot of work for people who would approach me saying Did you know if you Google man in those the stuff here that I don’t want to be seen, you know, whether the, you know, the head someone or assaulted someone, you know, there’s a number of different things that, you know, people want to shove further down the Google rankings. And, you know, one of the quickest and easiest ways for me to dominate, say the top five results would be to go and get articles placed on your higher authority, PR placements and or, you know, even using things like CrunchBase, medium, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all of these kind of ones you would want to be using, and you’re leveraging the power of the domain name. Now, obviously, and I mainly do that for reputation management, but of course, you can do that from an affiliate perspective. And normally, the reason that I have to go for the kind of higher profile stuff is because these people have already been in like in a local newspaper. And it’s been reported on but it’s just not being well optimised. So I’ve got to basically manipulate the whole of the top 10 search results, to shut that stuff down onto page two, sometimes even on to page three people want to put it and yeah, you just got to use a combination of different sites to do that. And obviously social media is one of the ones that that are quite prominent. So if you Google you’ll name your you probably find that your LinkedIn is up there. You’ll be able to see when you do a person’s name, what what kind of works and what doesn’t, and these are the ones that you would want to leverage and medium not so much now. But certainly the top social medias CrunchBase and various other bits and bobs are great for that. And then from the you know, getting getting a guest post on one of these kind of bigger, higher profile news websites, what’s a treat?
And then do you go as far as building links to these profiles as well that perhaps using AI back in the day safe or other types of you know, high volume, high authority cheap links to try and you’ve got,
Unknown Speaker 35:13
you’ve got to, and whether this is for reputation management, or whether this is simply building a guest post to an affiliate website. Everyone in the industry still uses sip. Everyone is no concept Zilla is the new branded name because sick, just sounds bad. If you ask me. But yeah, you know, negotiate, it’s worked very, very well. The same is automated link building, you know, building web two point wars and a whole bunch of garbage like that. Do people do that to the guest posts? Yes. Because you can get from me, you can build the guest post, which of course powers up a website, but you can’t build a guest post tag guest post to power up a website because the cost becomes ridiculous. So that is where people will utilise Blackhat ways, such as sip, where you can get a link for you know, 20, pins, whatever. You know, it’s really that cheap, you know, to get a Dr. 54. It’s outrageously cheap. So, again, yes, these are hyperlinks, essentially. But who cares? You know, it’s cheap. And it’s parallel on APA website. And, Tim, you know, that that’s where this stuff fits into the industry. You know, I think it’s where you utilise these tactics is is how it works, basically, because if you’re competing with someone in that use, and see open them using this, that and the next thing, you just have to either accept defeat or join them, you know, it’s, as far as I’m concerned, in competitive markets, where there’s potentially millions, if not hundreds of millions on the table, then you’re going to have to resort to fate and fire with fire if you want to compete at the top end of the table. So, yes, permanent up. guest post is very much something that I would do, regardless of whether it was for reputation management, or whether it was for any other form of link building activity.
Yeah, awesome. Yep, totally hear what you’re saying there, you know, if you were to believe Google, you could go into like a space like VPNs or something and just publish good content and expect to get some traffic in time if you did everything right. But in the real world, that’s not happening. You know, you need to like everything in SEO, you have to look at what the state of the SERPs are and what people are up to and give Google what it’s already telling us it wants to see by the sites that are ranking well. So yep, that all makes a lot of sense. And on that note, I guess at the moment, you know, the big thing is not really from what I’ve seen very big, but for a little brief moment, they’re in over the last couple of weeks, they helpful content update, and this crackdown on AI was going to be the big thing that Google was up to and, you know, there’s all these people building, you know, people also asked generated AI spun sites and making huge amounts of money off them. Do you have anything that you can sort of turn the mix in that world when it comes to you know, using AI or spinning up? Mass generated content on sites? Do you think Google’s even capable of detecting this stuff properly?
Unknown Speaker 38:28
I think we are capable of detecting it however, you will, when they release things like the helpful content update. And people are all kicking off, you know, the Google’s done another update, they have always been looking for helpful content, your content is supposed to be helpful for the user. So you know, it’s again, beggars belief, the SEOs kickoff that Google know looking for helpful content, it’s not changed. You know, for years, they’ve been looking for helpful content. Now, when it comes to EA content, I have tried time and time again, I’d love to push a button. And for something to read my content and throw it out there and it ranks and the sticks and all that. As far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t stick. I know, some people will argue Oh, yes. You know, look, at means means works. It’s these guys that are getting slapped to every other upbeat, you know, I’ve seen people doing it aggressively and then getting slapped into oblivion. Now. That doesn’t mean I’m saying that AI assisted content doesn’t work. So just straight out the box. Ai content does not work, as far as I’m concerned through my own taste. And yes, some of it will index. Some of it will get slapped. It’s just not good enough. And Google can can detect that. You can use it have a website like hugging face to check for EA content, there’s tools out there that can tell you whether it’s EA content. So Can Google tell if a tool can tell 100% We can. However, that doesn’t mean that AI content doesn’t have to be completely ignored. As I see it can be used. It can be paraphrased. It can be spun whatever you want to do with it, it can be edited, so that you’re getting chunks of content using AI. But there’s there’s other parts of the process, and where it can even become completely unique. But I still think one you need a bit of human editing. And to you know, the best tool in the world that I have ever ever bought, is a tool called quill bot.com. And it’s not a spinner. It’s a part of fleas. So if you use AI, so I’ve got here’s here’s my process. I’ve got to cold Reiter Are ya TR that I got from App Sumo, which basically scrapes the top 10 search results for your keywords and gives you hate us to use headers and sub headers. So I will use that I will then grab one of the headers or sub headers, and I will run Jack run it through Jasper to pull a paragraph. So I’m putting all of this onto a document. I will then go to quill bot and paraphrase the whole fucking lot of it. And then I will go into Grammarly obviously sorted out the grammar, and then check the plagiarism and chances of that after going through that whole process of being plagiarised in any way, or try getting any of the EA content writers are slim to none. So it’s a kind of four step process. For me that can work. But you would still need a human being to edit and tweak and do parts on it and, you know, add the little spin on it as well. It just does know that you can get scalability, in terms of speed, and stuff like that on content. The problem I think we’ve gotten the world just now is you could go and hire the content writer from anywhere in the world, you don’t know what you’re getting thrown at you, as AI assisted as all the AI. It’s bloody difficult. So and these writers are clever enough to be able to make it pass these kind of plagiarism checkers or AI detectors and getting away with charging for ship content. That’s why I still believe you need a human being to oversee it and tweak it and all that kind of stuff.
Yeah, you see these people on Twitter and YouTube, teaching people how to make money selling content on Fiverr just using AI tools. So people think they’re getting one thing and they’re getting something totally different altogether. So again, it’s like everything quality control, and you got to be on top of what’s actually ending up on your site. At the end of the day. Yeah, exactly. Well, look at this, this has been awesome. I could talk to you all day about this stuff. But you know, I’m conscious of time and keeping this sort of short and sweet. So I think I’ll wrap things up. But I like to finish by asking the same three questions of everyone that comes on the show, just to see how they think about things. So I’ll jump into them. They’re pretty simple. The first one is, what do you think is the biggest myth in SEO?
Unknown Speaker 43:53
Thank you I guess myth. You know, the biggest myth you’ve already said that actually, you know, the, you know, writing good content will be rewarded by these Kingdom natural backlinks. The you that would work for someone that maybe Coca Cola in or something similar, where people may link to something naturally because it’s funny wetty you know, whatever. The chances of that happening for a window tinting company in Sydney, or a plumber or are any other, you know, 99% of the niches that are out there are slim to none. So Google rewarding good content with you know, natural backlinks is the you know, by far the worst thing is, you know what, I know that it’s not that COVID is not going to surprise you, but it has to be the biggest load of crap that I’ve ever heard. You know, from from an SEO perspective,
totally agree with you on that one. Well, on that alternative end of the spectrum, what would you say is, I guess the most underrated thing in SEO? Or like most effective thing that people aren’t doing?
Unknown Speaker 45:13
People are not doing. I can’t see any one thing as such, because it would be an unfair answer. But I’ll be honest, our audit a lot of websites, I speak to a lot of people who are struggling in the SEO industry, people come to me Craig, can you have a look at this? Can you have a look at that, you know, the audit my website, whatever, people are just not doing the basics properly. And, you know, again, I’m not going to give you some magical technique is that there’s no magic bullet here. And I think, for me, what people are looking for is some kind of magic trick to work that, you know, se was a combination of doing the basics properly, and putting in a bit of hard work and effort. That is it, that there’s no magical tech, the annual or special shop that are shopping to get better content, or better links or whatever it may be, you know, I think, and many people just not doing the basics, right. And they don’t understand the basics of SEO, you know, whether that be keyword research is also done 99% of the time, very badly, topical clustering page structure. Until the Lincoln even, you know, doing basic Link building is done so badly. It’s unreal. And the you know, people don’t build and citation after citation after citation to to the website and the it’s just not helpful. As citations, of course, will help your GMB and other bits and bobs. But I think just the basics of SEO are just still, you know, 20 years into the game. I still pinch myself at how basic, you know, this, this industry still is at this point. I’m not seeing industry leaders or people that are doing it, I’m just talking about purely from a customer perspective, customers still have no clue. Your businesses are still not doing great SEO, they’re not spending enough money on it, and just not doing the basics properly. So that is something that I feel is is not been done enough.
Cool. Awesome. Okay. Well, the last question relates to tools because, as you’ve already mentioned, on the show a few different tools there in the SEO world, we love our tools. We love finding new tools. We love shiny new things in that sense. But if you have to pick three, three tools to get the job done, what is it what is your go to Arsenal
Unknown Speaker 47:51
quell? bot.com is by far the fastest and best tool you will ever use in your life. That’s the paraphrasing tool that I mentioned the earlier second would have to be sem rush, purely because I just think it’s a multi functional tool. You can do audits, tea will be sales compared to to analysis so I have to have same brush no matter what. font to that I would have to use. I’m only allowed to do eight, no more. No more. Thought two would probably probably have to be one day use the most. I’m not gonna lie. I’m still gonna stick with an old school too, and GAC. As the thuds if that’s all I’m allowed, because what GAC you again, you’ve got link building automation. Is that something I still use on a regular basis? Yes. Why to pick up links, why GAC because you can scrape your own lists, you do not have to use inventory that has been used time and time again. So GAC would have to be the third tool, not because I think it’s it moves the needle that much. I just think it’s one of the most frequently used in terms of permanent uplinks. You know, of course, I can go and buy guest posts. And but I think, you know, just in terms of parenting stuff up, I still think GAC gives me the freedom to do what I like, where there’s maybe other tools tie into their own crappy inventory that every Tom Dick and Harry is placing links on. So that would probably GAC is probably the fifth one. It’s not the best one. But I think the combination of those three, if that’s all I had, and you were gonna stick me in an island and had to make some money, I think I could do some damage with three of them. Of course, there’s a million other tools out there that that I love. But those the other ones if my back’s pushed against the wall, and taken those three with me,
awesome. Okay, well, two there have not been mentioned before. So that’s good. I think that will be interesting for people to check out, Jeff sees something I haven’t looked at, since like, four and said, 2012 or so 2013, as playing around with that, you know, like, X rumour and GSE. And that sort of stuff back in the day. So, very interesting that you’re using it. We didn’t get to talk about it today. But maybe we’ll have to have you back in the future to talk about that whole world of automated link building? Because
Unknown Speaker 50:54
definitely, I’m always up for it. So, um, yeah, well, as I see, but let’s tonnes of other tools out there that aren’t used, but some wasn’t. I was going to throw Scrapebox and his wheel. Because you use that to scrape your lists and stuff. So some of the old school tools, the point I’m trying to make, still work fairly, really well, and their specific role. But what I would like to highlight is, please do not use GSE. direct to your money saving people. And do not get excited because we all do. We love tools and all that stuff. But do not send this stuff to your to your own website.
Absolutely. I go through a lot of the stuff we’ve spoken about today, a big sort of red alert warning sign on it, were talking about it, but we’re not recommending you go do it. Unless you’re doing it on your own site, not in anything that is super important, or a client or anything like that. But um, yeah, look, it’s been awesome chatting to you, Craig, I’m sure people are gonna want to go check you out after this show. So where can people go to connect with you.
Unknown Speaker 52:01
And you can go to my website, see Campbell seo.com You can add me pretty much on any social media platform out there. Whether that be Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, I’m even on Tik Tok if you want to see some bad dancing, and I do have a YouTube channel, which has 800 Plus video tutorials, on all things that as you’re right down to CTR manipulation, you know, the videos are pretty much microscopic, in terms of all the different tricks, tools and everything that you need to do. So they’re all segmented into different playlists. So if you’re looking for more educational content, the YouTube is the place to go. And also do to live weekly q&a sessions where you can hit me with any questions that you like. And although they’re normally on random bit 5pm UK time which is probably like two or three years in your team, but you can watch the replays that all on nearly any week. That’s it and
the YouTube channel I can vouch has a lot of great content on it. So definitely check it out. And Craig, it’s been great chatting. Thanks for coming on the show.
Unknown Speaker 53:18
Thank you, Michael been a pleasure.
Unknown Speaker 53:22
Thanks for listening to the SEO show. If you like what you heard, don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. It will really help the show. We’ll see you in the next episode.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai