MarketWatch investigated why those with a criminal background would use black-hat reputation and SEO strategies to try to cover things up. Just like any marketing practice, there are always those that offer black-hat tactics to help their clients. However, these toxic activities tend to attract toxic clients.
I shared a lot of information with MarketWatch, including:
Another black-hat tactic is to create positive fictitious personas with the same name as the person trying to bury their negative results, said Andy Beal, an author and reputation-management consultant who says he does not condone such tactics, to fool Google into elevating that content instead.
Some black-hat companies will also send criminal background-check sites bogus, “heavy-handed, legal-type notices” or even payment in an effort to get their client’s information removed, including made-up court orders, Beal said. “These companies will fall for it and take them down because they don’t have the resources to fight it,” he said.
“Eventually, black-hat anything gets called out and you end up with a worse problem than you were trying to fix,” said Beal. “Usually someone uses a black-hat firm because they have not changed who they are — they just want what was discovered to go away.”
Black-hat online reputation management is indeed something that I would never condone. I’ll keep helping the media if it means being one of the guardians of the ethical reputation galaxy!