Extreme Black Hat SEO: Hacking Your Competitors

Using black hat SEO is a way to get rankings in an unethical manner. It’s frowned upon by the search engines and can result in getting some big penalties. Black hat SEO tactics include meta tag and content keyword stuffing, cloaking (the search engines see the text, the visitors don’t), and paying for links. While those are the most common techniques, here’s one that might not be discussed as often: hacking the competition.

Unfortunately, we’ve recently been the victim of a hacking on one of our older blogs that we no longer write for or promote. Luckily it’s not a mission critical website, but it still exists to serve as a resource. A hack job could have been done by anyone, right? Yes, but we’re led to believe that it was a competitor due to the nature of the hacking. It is isolated to just what is seen by the search engines.

Here are some screenshots of what we recently discovered:

The SERP listing:

The missing code:

The cache is filled with content about Viagra. The goal is primarily to derail the ranking of the site. As mentioned before, that website is not mission critical, but it does link to the Brick Marketing site, so the hopes are to pass the penalty on to this site.

Here’s a message to the responsible party- SERIOUSLY? How low can you go? How bad is your business that you have to stoop this low to target a competitor’s site like this? While it is possible that it could just be a hacker looking to spam lots of WordPress sites that rank well, we somehow doubt that that’s the case.

Let this serve as a reminder of how important it is to monitor your websites, keep things secure, and spend the money that’s necessary to do so.

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