I've Just became a victim of Black Hat Seo by semalt.com

Discussion in 'SEO' started by Tony Brown, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Tony Brown

    Tony Brown FatCat Noob

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    Well i feel thoroughly stupid for using an SEO service called semalt.com. I have a couple of old sites that I have neglected over the years so I decided to try and revive their rankings.

    Well where do I start!

    After being bombarded with 200+ emails from Semalt since January, I decided to take a look, and on the surface their website and services looked first class. So I decided to sign up to a 1 month trial for £0.99 and start a campaign. After two weeks passed I realised their was some strange data coming from another SEO tool I use to track links. All of a sudden there was 1500 links from websites that are not related or have anything to do with Carpet Cleaning, in-fact most of the links were from foreign websites that look years old and have been forgotten about. This rang alarm bells, so I started investigating semalt and was shocked to find a myriad of articles and complaints from website owners, SEO and security experts about their illicit activity - you can read one of the articles here: www.infosecurity-magazine com/news/semalt-hijacks-hundreds-of

    Due diligence always pays off.:oops:

    I immediately contacted semalt and asked them to stop the campaign and cancel my subscription. They replied with "no problem".

    Guess what! two weeks later they took £93.77 from my PayPal account for another months subscription. Little did I know, when I signed up for the trial subscription that a recurring payment had also been setup.

    I asked semalt for a refund as they have a 7 day refund policy and they denied ever receiving my request to cancel and blamed my ignorance. "Yes they called me ignorant" I complained to PayPal and they said that I had agreed to the recurring payments and that they can't help, So I now have lost all trust with PayPal because their propping up scammers.

    Damage Limitation.
    1. I Have had no choice but to use Googles Disavow tool to tell Google that I don’t want these links associated with my websites, all 3000 of them. :mad:
    2. I have had to setup a block referrer script in htaccess files to stop semalt from crawling my sites.
    3. I have had to setup a filter on Google analytics to stop counting the hits from the semalt crawlers.
    4. I have had to block the Ukraine & Russia on my server to also stop the crawlers.

    So the moral of the story is: If you don't want to get ripped off, spend hours undoing the damage, get your rankings penalised from Google and many hours of swearing, then stay well clear of these so called SEO experts or you will regret it.
     
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