Ok, I am a normal person, never really thought too much about Black Hat SEO techniques since by definition is a nearly sure way to get banned from various services, but lately I’ve seen plenty of articles related to this area, so it’s hard not to wonder why this is happening. Google hacked and slashed through blogs everywhere (I didn’t really get any major hit so far, but it is still a concern).
And so I read about lots and lots of ideas, including this one on
Anthology of Ideas, which pretty much found a way to create a 3-way linking scheme using popular websites such as Technorati to raise your own PageRank.
I’m not sure PR is really the issue here, but more your general number of links. What this technique does (which I don’t find illegal or destructive in any way), is to link to people that link to you. It might sound complicated, but it’s quite normal: by linking to people who consider your website interesting, you raise their PR, their credibility in the end, and since they link to your website as well, you benefit from this as well. Generically speaking, you tight the bonds between your website and related links.
For all folks that use WidgetBucks (and especially those who defend it), here’s a story I thought it would be nice to share. I added WB ads on Fun house about 3 weeks ago and like many others I got very excited about the revenues. Of course I was very disappointed when I saw the real profit was sometimes half of the red figures, but still it was decent.
That is until 2 days ago when I got an email from them:
This e-mail is to notify you that your WidgetBucks account has violated our terms of service and has been suspended.
Your site has violated the following provision of the WidgetBucks Terms and Conditions (http://www.widgetbucks.com/terms.page): Pornographic Content. Our policies state that you may not place widgets on pages that contain pornographic content. Placing WidgetBucks widgets on a page with pornographic content is a violation of this policy.
Since you have violated these terms, your account has been suspended. Earned commissions, bonuses, and fees shall be forfeited as a result of your violation of our terms.
If you have a question or believe there has been an error, please feel free to contact us at http://support.mpire.com.
WidgetBucks Compliance Team
So what they’re saying is that my website is pornographic in nature and they’ll just suspend my account, get all my money and give me a kick in the shin.
I mailed them back to ask for a proof or an explanation, maybe it was an error, maybe there was a page with content they didn’t like or something, but guess what, they didn’t answer (I’m still waiting for their answer actually, although I doubt they will).
What shocked me most was that I didn’t get any warning, they simply suspended my account without mercy and I have doubts they even took a look at the website (if you find anything “pornographic in nature” there, please let me know, maybe I just think differently.
And how much did this cost me?
$500 and 7 referrals lost.
Of course the money was not lost to WidgetBucks, they just took them. Isn’t that called stealing in some countries? When you get some money for someone without a proof and without an explanation?
So, what can prevent this from happening to anyone else? Absolutely nothing! Can you do anything about it? Well, I’m actually still thinking about that one.
So, if you’re using WB … good luck with it, if you plan on using it … think twice before you do.