Posted 23 December 2003 - 03:15 AM
Wanna a scary story?
I realize it's not Hallowe'en, but the black hat reminded me of the following incident anyway.
I had a person (of less than ideal character it turned out) who wanted to hire me to increase their Google rankings.
That seemed fine, so I agreed to do some SEO for his site. I increased his site, on the Google searches for his main keywords, out of the high 300s into the 80s. I reported those results as a nice start. I did get a cheque upfront (important for the rest of the story).
He was enraged. He refused to pay me anything, not that it mattered. His next cheque, when I finally got it, bounced anyway.
He wanted Page One rankings. In the 80s wasn't good enough. I tried to explain that the jump was a great first step, but there needed to be more work, especially since his keywords were moderately high in competitiveness. He did not view SEO as a process, but as a one shot activity.
We had gone over all of that previously, and he disregarded it, I guess.
He was demanding doorway pages, cloaking, hidden text, the entire gamut of things I oppose using. I politely asked where he got those ideas anyway. He said he saw it on the internet, and also he knew a guy (gotta love that) who got to Page One with those techniques.
Being the kind soul that I am, I gave him an explanation of the potential problems with what he proposed.
He started to scream, and fired me. I was about to quit anyway, and left. Only later, did I find out what happened.
He found his "black hat SEO", he so badly craved. He got boosted in the SERPs into the 30s at the next Dance (if I remember correctly). He had to call me to gloat. I took that opportunity to remind him that his SERPs wouldn't last, and were as worthless as his cheques. And by the way, I told him, being in the 30s was not Number One either.
Needless to say, that didn't make him very happy. He yelled some unintelligible garbage (laced with words that should have been washed from his mouth with some strong lye soap), and slammed the phone in my ear.
At the following Google Dance (they were still called that in those bygone days), his site dropped off the map. I checked the SERPs manually, looking for his site, using 100 results on a Google page at a time. I never did find his site, and I gave up at close to 2000.
It was worth a bad cheque, just for that.
(I did get his down payment though!)
By the way, he won't take my calls.
I wonder why!