Unhacking a Website Used for Black Hat SEO

I’ve just unhacked a website which was hacked for black hat SEO purposes. By black hat, I mean search engine optimization which uses less than savory tactics. Dishonest and illegal tactics. How exciting is that!

The hackers hacked into my client’s website to write very badly written blog posts on my unsuspecting client’s blog.

My client noticed the posts and called me, probably too late at night, probably while I was on vacation. “There are essay writing posts on my site,” he said. He owns a Calgary security company. “Did you put them there?” “Huh?” I said.

(By the way, his security company ranks in the top three on Google search results because of Ducktoes’s expert and legitimate SEO.)

These posts link back to their (the hackers) own client’s site, which in this case is an essay writing site. Oh, the irony, the irony! Badly written essays (posts) linking to essay writing site.

Did the hackers think we would not notice all these weird blog posts?  It doesn’t seem worth all the effort to break into a website, then write several posts, however badly written, only to have them immediately taken down. It must have taken hours to do all that work.  Wouldn’t their time be better served to do legitimate SEO, given the short shelf life of their bad SEO?

Here’s one of the wonderful posts. Click it to see it better.

Screenshot of hackers blog post

Why might you ask, do hackers do black hat SEO? They do it as a supposed shortcut to real SEO, part of which is getting links to their clients’ sites.  Links can raise a site in Google search results.  For instance, if you were a student looking for an essay to hand in, you might search “essay company.”  An essay company that ranked high on Google would show up in your top search results.

So the hacker makes links in the blog posts, just for the links’ sake, so their client will get better search results. They break in and vandalize someone else’s site for this instead of writing real posts that people actually want to read.

By the way, these particular hackers injected code into the site to make a back door to gain entrance, so they could write the posts.

If your site gets hacked, by the way, for whatever nefarious purposes, we can unhack it for you. We’ll clean up the hacker’s code and content, close any backdoors they’ve opened, and  make it more secure.

We can also do legitimate SEO for you to get your higher on Google and other search engines.

Here’s the link to our SEO page. We are a Calgary SEO agency.

Ciao for now.

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Great Meetup on SEO for Beginners Last Night

We had a great meetup on SEO for Beginners last night at the Rose and Crown on 4th St. 40 people turned out and we had a waiting list.

I presented on Google Search Console as the first step in learning SEO.  Here’s a blog post about it if you’d like to learn too. If you read it please join in the discussion and post a comment.

If you’d like to join the Meetup go here.

Visit our SEO services page if you need more information on our online marketing offerings.

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Hey Pinch Me: Ducktoes Makes Dmoz!!

Dmoz Directory is the most sought after directory in the history of the internet and it can be extremely difficult to get into. Just this last week my listing for my company Ducktoes Computer Services was accepted by them. It may have been earlier but I just noticed last week. So I’m swooning over the discovery…and now listing my clients too, to see if I can get them into it.

Read more about this here in my SEO blog.

After this month, I’m not taking more SEO clients for awhile, but you can read about my SEO services here.

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SEO Training with Bruce Clay

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In July, I finished SEO Training with Bruce Clay, and am now using new techniques and strategies in line with Google’s most recent best practices and web master guidelines. It was really eye-opening since many of these practices are overlooked by most internet marketing professionals so using them can help you rise about your competitors in ranking. I highly recommend the class.

If you would like more information about what our SEO packages can do for you please visit our Calgary SEO page.

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How to Attract People to your Website

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Attractive web design is symbolized by  tattoo arm offering a pinkish purple flower to a pretty young woman.

To attract people to your website you need one or more of the following:

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Advertising
  • Referrals (Word of Mouth)
  • A Great Website

Search Engine Optimization

You need search engine optimization to increase your rankings in search results.  Otherwise no one can find you.  The most important ingredient of SEO is having great content and information on your site that people genuinely need.  If you fulfill that need, the search engines will be more likely to include you in their results.

Sometimes good content is not enough, however.  You can have a beautiful site, oozing tons of good content, but still stay on the back pages of search results.  That’s when citations or links to your site from important and highly-ranked websites are vital.  Search engines prefer naturally occurring citations, so if you build links they must be white hat and within Google’s or the other search engines’ accepted practices.  Equally important is onsite optimization, making sure descriptive words about your services and products are part of your text and meta-description and alt tags.

A competent search engine optimization company will help you do all this to get higher rankings or you can learn how to do it yourself.



An immediate way to get more traffic to your website is Pay Per Click ads.  These are ads that appear when people search for keywords specific for your website.  They appear above or alongside organic search results.  You bid against your competitors for how high your ads appear on the page.  Google, Yahoo, and Bing all have these types of ads.  An internet marketing company can help you do pay per click if you don’t know how yourself.   Ducktoes does this all the time. You can also get Google AdWords staff to help create and post your ads when you sign up.



Print ads, billboard ads, Yellow Pages, snail mail postcards and flyers, bus bench ads, radio and television ads, and local grocery store receipt ads are all ways of getting your website known if you display your domain name prominently within the ad .  I have found these ads less effective at bringing visitors than Pay-per-Click but they do help get more people to your website.

You can also pay for likes on your business Facebook page or Facebook boosts.  These likes are usually people genuinely interested in your products or services. They are a receptive audience for your promotional posts because they already like and “like” you.  You can also now get Twitter ads.


Word-of-mouth referrals and reviews after experiencing your great service are also and excellent ways of getting more traffic to your website.  Google plus, Facebook, and Yelp all have reviews of your business online.  The downside is that competitors, cranks, and even people who haven’t been to your business will from time-to-time write false bad reviews. Dealing with bad reviews can be disheartening and time-consuming.  It is important to stay upbeat in your responses and use your reply as an opportunity to show how professional you are and to use the reply to advertise your customer service skills and goals.

A good reply to a bad review should be as follows:  “I’m sorry to hear of your bad experience. Please contact us at the shop at your earliest convenience and let us make it right for you.  We are known for our excellent customer service, friendliness, and expertise and are constantly looking for ways to improve it.”

Social media and emails of people suggesting places they like to their friends are also word-of-mouth referrals.  Being the best business you can be and genuinely caring about your customers is the optimal way to get this ball rolling.

SEO, a great website design, and great customer service all promote a business.

Your Own Website is your Best Advertisement

After you attract people to your website, your site must be able to persuade them to become clients and to buy your products and services or buy into your message or information if you are a non-profit or service organization.  This is called conversion.
Young attractive woman doing a self-portrait with her digital ta

To make conversion happen you need to ask yourself what needs your clients have and then emotionally engage and address those needs with great photos, graphics and text.  They need to identify themselves and see the solutions to their needs and problems represented in your website.  You must provide a call-to-action on every page.  An example of a call-to-action is “Call now (or click here) for more information.”  If you have successfully engaged your clients emotionally, then they will be much more apt to call or click on the call-to-action button.Buy Now Orange

Great, attractive web design is a key element here.  Easy navigation, catchy phrases, good content, striking photos and graphics all serve to foster conversion and more business.  Photos are needed because text alone can look unappealing, dry, and is too easy to skip over without making any impact.  A great photo strategically placed with a catchy phrase can immediately attract and win over the potential client.

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