Is Rand Fishkin really this uninformed about SEO?

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Is Rand Fishkin really this uninformed about SEO?

In a turn towards the bizarre Rand Fishkin has revealed that he is not the credible source of SEO information that people often view him as. One of his latest tweets raises the question, how much does Rand Fishkin really know about SEO? After spending some time looking through BHU Forum he tweeted:

 

Now most of you already know that what he is talking about is the BST selling expired domains with links from the BBC. Simply put, domains that have no spam whatsoever and great authoritative and trusted links. But Rand has strangely deemed this as Blackhat tactics, does Rand now believe that buying an expired domain with no spam in their backlink profile is a Blackhat tactic? Surely not?

Alarmingly, Rand Fishkin also states he does not know what would happen if he bought a dropped domain.

If you thought that was bizarre, it only gets worse. In a reply to one of of his followers, Rand Fishkin predicts that Google’s webspam team will be on the job.

 

Rand Fishkin SEO

 

Go get those expired domains boys! Captain Cutts and his webspam entourage are on the job!

Seriously now, how can someone with such a high stature in the SEO industry make such ridiculous statements? He has admitted he doesn’t know what would happen if he bought a non-spammy dropped domain and predicts the webspam team would buy them up? Are they going to buy up every dropped domain available in the world? This is a turn for the strange indeed, or maybe even a insight into the heavily pressured and hypocritical world that people claiming to be Whitehat are often in.

All this really begs the question, and I ask to Rand with all sincerity and no malicious intent;

Are you really this uninformed about SEO?

Or do you only say what people want to hear?

 

What Charles Floate – GodOfSEO.Co Says

“I woke up from a rather long sleep… and came back to the SEO world with my Skype pings on FIRE with people trying to get my opinion/chime in on the convo – Especially as I’ve been a member of BHU since when it started.

Rand show’s his clear lack of knowledge of “the underbelly” (aka Black Hat SEO) here, confusions between expired domains and black hat activity is just odd in my opinion and saying the webspam team are going to come after a domain seller… So what? GoDaddy going to get penalized and stalked by Cutts?”

 

Intrigued? Enter The Blackhat Underground Forum

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Agent Blackhat
Written by Agent Blackhat

I am an individual, I run this blog and these are my thoughts, experiences and experiments with search engines and online marketing.

24 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    February 01, 2014

    I really couldn’t believe it when Rand tweeted this… Because it’s on a Black Hat Forums BST, does NOT mean it’s black hat haha..

    Reply

  2. Avatar
    February 01, 2014

    This is a joke… When the hell are expired/dropped domains going to be devalued by the web spam team. Rand should actually rank a site before he makes another dumbass comment like that.

    Reply

  3. Avatar
    February 01, 2014

    Hey guys. I would not be surprised if Google devalues dropped/expired domains one day. No, really, think pragmatically, If you were Google, what would stop you from doing it?

    Reply

  4. Avatar
    February 01, 2014

    Rand has lost his mind. So now google going to go after expired domains lol

    Reply

  5. Avatar
    February 01, 2014

    I left this comment on the reddit thread as well:

    How did you get “this person has never heard of buying expired domains with established links” from that tweet?

    I think you just really, desperately want to believe that I’m an ignorant fool who somehow stumbled into founding Moz. I get the appeal of that storyline, but the connections between these dots you’re finding are so, so thin.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      February 01, 2014

      In the same way you believe Blackhats are ignorant fools?

      Because you said something so ridiculous that it was hard to believe, you said you don’t know what would happen if you used an expired domain. Surely, to fully understand Google’s SERPs you should know these things, as they impact the people you teach.

      I don’t know if you’re a fool, but I do believe you are ignorant about many parts of SEO which you do not experiment with and you’ve sold your soul to Google for so long that you simply say what people want to hear these days. As do most Whitehats, they create a circlejerk and scare clients into pay enormous amounts of money for services they do not need and to make matters worse, most of these “SEO and CRO specialists” do not know what it is to manage a site’s user engagement in extremely competitive industries.

      I chose a better path, to be Blackhat(unafraid of Google and to work smart), and I couldn’t be prouder of my integrity and decency with my clients. I don’t bend over and accept the destruction of many small businesses at the hands of Google the way people like you seem to. And if you’ve read my other blog posts you’ll know that I know the full extent of the lengths Google will go to.

      Reply

    • Avatar
      February 01, 2014

      Well, not really. You did reply to the tweet of users in an attempt to make fun of it, until you realize you just inferred that dropped domains are blackhat and the webspam team should be looking into it – see here: “@rikki_lear Yeah, but probably at least 2 to members of search engine webspam teams” Source: https://twitter.com/randfish/status/429446589346619395

      I can appreciate a blunder every now and then, but then going on to insulting another person because of their age, well, that’s just un-sportsman like, see here:

      @Charles_SEO Kid, you need to take it easy.
      Source: https://twitter.com/randfish/status/429666070341758977

      Then

      @JoelKlettke Kid’s like 19. I remember that feeling like I knew more than everyone else :-) @Charles_SEO
      Source: https://twitter.com/randfish/status/429669691460550656

      Reply

    • Avatar
      February 01, 2014

      Diggy, diggy, diggy…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR7EAdPUqvQ

      Reply

    • Avatar
      February 02, 2014

      Rand, I think you are a genius at marketing. Im 100% certain you or your team have or do own the better chunk of all black hat tools and have or do use them still. Im also certain you know and have tested dropped domains probably as much or more then the person selling them.

      But you do play white hat very well and you play Politically Correct or Googly Correct quite well, while still maintaining full knowledge of both fronts. Anyway, both you and Agent Blackhat are doing a good job with titles and statements to garner more eyeballs. Props to you both.

      Reply

  6. Avatar
    February 01, 2014

    cough. from a half-decade ago, a post advocating this very same strategy
    http://moz.com/blog/buying-expired-domains-whats-the-best-strategy

    did he consider the very same strategy seedy back then? or is only seedy when it is promoted on someone else’s domain name?

    Reply

    • Avatar
      February 01, 2014

      Gotheeeeeem

      Reply

    • Avatar
      February 01, 2014

      Exactly, this dude doesn’t do SEO, he’s just has weak talking points about content all day, and doesn’t realize people on his own site are talking about this strategy.

      Reply

  7. Avatar
    February 01, 2014

    Rand, the first comment about buying expired domains I can understand where you’re coming from, but how do explain the comment about Google’s webspam team buying those domains? To me it sounds like something a person with 0 clue in SEO would say. Clearly you’re not, but it’s a bit of a dumb thing to say don’t you think? ;)

    Reply

  8. Avatar
    Liberty
    Twitter:
    February 01, 2014

    Wow – I’m amazed at the response my offer has created.

    I didn’t think it was that big a deal, it is based on the premise, as we all know to be true, that with Google links = rankings, the better quality the links you have the higher you rank.

    It is my assertion that it is trust, reputation, and authority that are important with Google, not page rank. Ironically all high trust, etc sites will have high PR, but the reverse is not true.

    This method is to obtain these kinds of links to give Google exactly what it is looking for, it works because it is in tune with what Google want to see, it is not trying to fight them, it is aiming to flow along with what they see as strengths.

    I do not see how the web spam team can stop it. If they were to devalue outbound links from the BBC, then what about CNN, or the thousands of .gov sites, or thousands of .edu sites, or newspapers, etc, etc, etc around the world.

    If they devalue links from them all then the whole house of cards will come crashing down, and if they need to devalue expired domains instead – well, what does that say about the true effectiveness of the algorithm?

    Is it Black Hat? I don’t think so. Someone registers an expired domain and builds a site on it – so what?

    You cannot (or maybe Google can) adopt a broad brush approach to deal with that and aim to crack a walnut with a sledgehammer, this approach doesn’t make the results better, it makes them worse, and it doesn’t discourage web spam, it encourages it.

    Anyway, no disrespect from me to Rand, he is obviously a highly intelligent and successful man, but I do think he’s off the mark on this one a little.

    As an addendum, and something everyone can test for themselves, I have also worked out how to beat Google’s Penguin and regain rankings – no joke, I’ve done it numerous times and got the rankings back each time – as you’ll see when I tell everyone else how to do it next week.

    And it’s so easy you’ll kick yourselves for not working it out – takes about an hour to an hour and a half to set it all up.

    Reply

  9. Avatar
    February 01, 2014

    That’s crazy!

    I’d rather focus on what works and leverage everything that comes into my power to dominate Google with my niche sites instead of listen to Matt or Rand.

    At the end of the day, real SEOers test , test and test some more, right? :)

    Reply

    • Avatar
      Liberty
      Twitter:
      February 01, 2014

      That’s the thing – all well and good having theories, but unless you test you don’t know, and often the common sense theories are wrong, and the theories that look like idiocy are right.

      Testing is the only way to know for sure.

      Reply

  10. Avatar
    February 01, 2014

    More an exercise is spreading paranoia. Rand’s business model relies on paranoia in the first place.
    The assertion being that effective methods that have worked since link based SEO began (with a twist here and there) are dangerous.
    It must take the nerves of steel and a sense of self belief that can only be described as truly staggering as his vainglorious rant’s against effective SEO deny every measured fact there is.
    “BH methods are short term ” he says – and while some of the most egregious methods may be, the sort here (buying aged domains with good link history) has worked for ten years or more.
    How many times have Google’s web-spam team encountered this in the last 10-12 years? How is it “spam”? Does RF actually know what spam is? How is a method that has worked since links were first introduced as a positive SEO metric be described as short term? What planet is he on?

    But by spreasding his nonsense he feeds in to the paranoia of his target market. Those that would buy his overpriced snake oil. Basic SEO tools that workl just the same as anyone elses – just cost 10x more
    Methods of promotion he deems safe that are either

    a) Just the same as effective SEO – and information that is public domain and simple to find anywhere – for free or..
    b) Don’t work unless you ALREADY ARE an established brand. A BIG one at that

    BY charging a kings ransom for the most basic of tools – by re-packaging low level (often completely un-effective) marketing techniques – and then selling the lot in a nicely presented package for 10-20x more than could be found elsewhere RF NEEDS he target audience to be scared of some sort of bogeyman somewhere.
    The bogeymen are us… effective marketers. We must be portrayed as liars and cheats. Our methods (against all evidence) dismissed as poorly thought out or short lived. He then sets this against his “homeopathic SEO”* methods which work because they are so weak that most of the time Google don’t notice them for good or bad. Just give RF a ton of money a month and you can feel that your website will not get banned – the fact that your website will not get any visitors, reputation or sales either is a secondary consideration to “Rand the snake oil seller”

    *homeopathic SEO?

    Take an effective method that works in a manageable time frame under controllable costs and has been proven to work for over a decade (i.e what we do… EFFECTIVE SEO)
    Claim that in the doses we use it that it is dangerous
    Water it down. Then take the dilution – put it into a big bowl and water it down again… and then again, so that barely the essence of “effectiveness” is left. Change the name from “link building” to “relationship building” or some other marketing prestidigitation. Package it nicely and get yourself and your acolytes to sell it for 20x more than the ingredients would ever cost elsewhere.

    Waffling now… :)

    Scritty

    Reply

  11. Avatar
    February 02, 2014

    I wish there had to be an intelligence test to blog about SEO tactics. Either that or I wish you would just shut the fuck up about methods that work. Consider the facts:

    1) The google algorithm sucks. Doesn’t handle links well. Never has, probably never will. The nature of PR is that it’s dependent on the interlinking of sites. PR is the baseline of the original algorithm and the bedrock that it’s all built on. Interlinking = loopholes.

    2) Since the algo sucks, the best way to attack manipulators is publicly via propaganda. Take down public or notorious “law breakers” and you dissuade the masses from following suit. You can see it constantly, from big brands who got snitched on for breaking the rules to “seo” bloggers who make themselves targets by being stupid (me included, yes I realize the irony of this comment).

    3) Everything that gets talked about in front of the “white hat” community is struck down with impunity. Keep the minions in line with quick and decisive action is the preferred action, over and over again. Tweeting @ Cutts and Rand is the perfect example of such stupidity in action.

    4) Google already took action against expired domains by stripping them of pagerank on the last PR update. The logical next step is to devalue existing links into expired domains.

    If you were actually a good SEO instead of a regurgitator of bullshit, you’d realize this. But you’re not. You’re a 9 to 5 SEO peon who stupidly got his boss’s website penalized by blogging about “his” blackhat SEO tactics. Tactics that you don’t actually put into practice, just shit people tell you on skype that you regurgitate for the masses with hope of selling more $97 subscriptions to your BHU bullshit. You’re the worst type of outer, it’s not like you’re disseminating hard earned information learned through experience, you’re just ruining methods that make other people vast amounts of money. I wish there was a better way to tell you to fuck off than just fuck off, but for the sake of real “greyhat” (you’re so dumb you don’t even realize that the tactics you pretend you be an expert on don’t even sniff blackhat) SEOs who continually discover and implement new loopholes, fuck off. And delete your blog via PHPmyadmin while you’re doing it. Thanks in advance.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      February 20, 2014

      I’m going to approve this, considering several points you make are grossly non-factual and the comment itself lends credit to what I do.

      Reply

    • Avatar
      March 06, 2014

      That’s a serious level of mis-guided thought and baseless conclusion going on here.
      With an imagination like that you should take up blogging on conspiracy theories or write children’s fiction maybe.
      Guess you really believe what you’ve written, I can almost sense the passion in the prose – but what’s it based one, and where do you get your tin foil from?

      Reply

  12. Avatar
    Chande
    Twitter:
    February 02, 2014

    Lol. To all of this. Of course links=rankings. Of course Rand is advocating “google guideliness”. And of course, 301 the whole domain (http://ultimateseopage.com) with some 30-40 backlinking domains or so from a while back to (http://blog.seocrawler.co) results in this: http://twitpic.com/du8nuw (in one week – and this is ranking of root domain).

    So is it white hat / black hat – don’t really give a f*** if it works – I’ve got topical domain with topical backlinks, I redirected it and +50% in traffic. Not much. Not a “black hat” or “white hat” expert. But it works.

    Just experiment and see what works. Of course, don’t be stupid or naive. Guys – your money is all that matters. And Google is trying so hard to get it all.

    Cheers!

    Reply

  13. Avatar
    February 09, 2014

    I just thought about this idea now about Rand whitehat. If Rand is so whitehat why did he make make an anchor text tool for people?

    If somebody goes about making great content to get natural links, then I don’t see the way a person with a website getting the links can go control the *anchor text* of the links coming back over to their site? I think it means maybe the Rand Fishkin Anchor Text tool is a blackhat tool then?

    Reply

  14. Avatar
    March 19, 2014

    Time will come Google will devalue links coming from dropped/expired domains as well.

    Reply

  15. Avatar
    April 04, 2014

    I’d shoot myself in the face if my mother named me Rand Fishkin.

    Reply

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