Are The Recent Google Algorithms Killing Black-Hat SEO Agencies?

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June 12, 2019
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June 12, 2019

Are The Recent Google Algorithms Killing Black-Hat SEO Agencies?

If you’ve never heard of Google and you’re currently reading this blog, then how did you even end up here? Although my egotistical brain would prefer to believe that my blog holds more power and influence thanGoogle’s search engine, it’s highly likely that you found us through the search giant. It might interest the 99 per cent of you reading who found us through Google, that the search engine has become more active in recent years in eradicating SPAM from their indexes by successive algorithmic updates aimed at the low-quality (black hat) websites and SEO’s of the world. About time.

Some of the major changes in the past twelve months are:


Update Name Description


Google Panda/ Farmer Update This was a major algorithm update that affected up to 12% of all search queries. The update was implemented to crackdown on low-quality content and specifically looked at content farms.


Google Panda 2.0 This was the second major update by Google realted to the Google Panda. The main difference from the one in February was that the algorithm rolled out to all UK-speaking countries.


Google Penguin The Google Penguin update was rolled out to eradicate spam factors such as keyword stuffing, and unnatural external linking.


Page Layout This update is aimed at devaluing websites with too much ad-space, which is not user-friendly. This follows on from the Google Panda in that it looks at factors associated with user-behaviour.


History of SEO Agencies

Historically, there has always been a stigma attached to SEO agencies; people seem to think that it’s some kind of dark art or voodoo science. Unfortunately, I’ve had too many discussions with potential clients over the last year or so that still believe that “all SEO’s are dodgy and corrupt”. I find that theirs concerns and reservations are usually due to one of three things:

1. Previous SEO Failure: the prospective client has previously paid for SEO services (the majority outsourced offshore), and received such poor service they are reluctant to return to an SEO agency. Upon further research, these clients paid $150 for the promise of over 5,000 external links from article directories, social bookmarking websites, blog comments, and online directories. No wonder their campaigns didn’t work.

Off-Page Work
Directory Submissions


Local Directory Submissions


SEO Article Writing (400 – 500 words)


Article Submissions


Press Release Writing


Press Release Submissions


Forum Posting Links


Blog Commenting Links


Social Bookmarking Links


Profile Links




2. Cost Comparisons: many new clients, quite rightly, are looking for the most effective solutions for the cheapest cost. This is hardly a ground-breaking change to the way in which business is done in any industry, SEO included. However, when the new clients hear “1,000 links for $500” compared to “25 links for $1,500” there is only one winner. Trying to convince a client that quality is better than quantity sometimes is like banging your head against the wall.

3. Unrealistic Expectations: the final reason and most frustrating reason that potential clients give me for their reservations is that many SEO agencies out there will be happy to offer unrealistic expectations to draw in prospective clients. For example, other SEO agencies state that they can rank for a keyword (monthly searches 1million plus) in less than two months in a highly competitive industry for $1,000. I am half-way through my realistic approach to their requirements when I suddenly realise they have already signed the other contract.

What I’m attempting to highlight with the three examples above is that there are three types of SEO agencies out there. The first type of agency is the high-quality white-hat agency. These agencies provide you with a realistic quote, will offer you value for money, outline realistic expectations and targets and will generally offer your business long-term strategies; they aim to work with clients on a long-term basis and build good business relationships through mutual trust and cooperation.

The next category is the black hat low-quality agencies who are only interested in the acquisition of new clients. Their strategy is to acquire new clients with unrealistic targets and promise a large volume of external links for a low budget. These companies are more than happy to not fulfil their duties, take the money and then start the process of under-cutting everyone else all over again. The final type of agency will offer you their own cocktail of white-hat and black-hat techniques; let’s call them the middle players.

What Does This Mean For SEO Agencies?

The good news is that the new algorithm brought out by Google recently is looking to bring an end to these black-hat agencies that only offer links from article directories, social bookmarking websites, blog comments, and online directories. I still see these agencies (majority you can find on Elance), but I’m hoping in the next few months that some of these corrupt companies that do little other than scam hardworking business owners will either go bankrupt (in the nicest possible sense, of course) or reform their methods and turn their attention to white-hat tactics. If either of these scenarios happen, then maybe the SEO industry might start regaining some of the creditability that it has lost in the last few years.