Spam Wars and the Dark Side of SEO

With all the search penalties and recent Spam Wars I would imagine most website owners are growing rather tired of being told off by SEO’s due to their dark marketing techniques. So, rather than chip in with more finger waggling berating people for the errors of their search marketing ways, the following article will show you how to use the Force in your Internet Marketing.

We will look at the quicker, easier and more seductive ways to do SEO which ultimately leads you down a dark path to pain and suffering. We will see how most businesses are like Luke, impatient, desperate for results, but require patience to really develop their SEO force skills.

Read on Padawan learner!


SEO & The Force


SEO, when you break it down is actually pretty simple. You need to find the keywords that you think will be of use to you and add them to your webpage. You may also have to add more content to represent all the keywords you are interested in. When you are happy you have covered all the areas you are interested in you will also then want to build links to your site to further promote the site and let the universe know just how important your little site is. Obviously, there are nuances to the whole process but the SEO aspect of it can and should be pretty easy to understand.

This is where things get interesting and do you go the slow and steady route of building and promoting great content or do you go for the quicker, easier and more seductive route of building weak or near duplicate content and dodgy links?

Or to put it another way, are you Luke or are you, Vader?


Quicker, easier, more seductive.


Darth Vader

In the black corner we have Darth Vader representing the Dark Side of SEO. Darth is not willing to wait for his rankings and will do absolutely anything to get what he wants when he wants it.

Strategies Darth likes to use include:

  • Doorway pages
  • Near duplicate content
  • Keyword stuff
  • Blog comment spam
  • paid links
  • sitewide links from partner sites
  • Squidoo lenses and article marketing with hundreds of spun articles
  • automated link building
  • excessive social bookmarking
  • directory spam


In a nutshell, there is nothing Darth won’t do to rule his keyword universe and now he has set off on this dark path, forever will it dominate the destiny of his website. Recently, Darth has been struggling with the rebel uprising and despite being very proud of the technical SEO terror he has constructed he is no longer seeing the results he once commanded with his reign of terror.


Vader: You don’t know the power of the dark side!
BowlerHat: how did that end up working out for you Vader?


A Jedi must have the deepest commitment


luke skywalker

In the White corner, we have Luke. He is a good guy, but wants results and wants them now but a good working knowledge of the force and great search engine rankings don’t tend to work like that.

If you are going to do Internet Marketing and SEO it really needs to be built on top of some kind of content strategy. Some blogging, some triple A pieces of content, guest posting for exposure and generally trying to make your site a useful place that people would like to visit, share and link to.

You will also want to expect that you are not going to see miracles overnight and that slow and steady wins the race when it comes to building the kind of links that will move the dial and stand the test of time.


Luke: I don’t, I don’t believe it.
Yoda: That is why you fail.


For most businesses a good, honest, slow building, content driven SEO strategy will allow you to chase your competition out of town. Not overnight, but knuckle down for a year, two even, put a small budget aside to create content, run your blog and earn links and before long, with some good planning, SEO smarts, great content and commitment to the cause, your SEO will pretty much do itself. You will see some benefit along the way, probably even after 3 months, and then 6 but it is the long term game that will win the day for the rebellion.


Luke: Is the dark side stronger?
Yoda: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.
Luke: But how am I to know the good side from the bad?
Yoda: You will know… when you are calm, at peace, passive. A spam link is NEVER going to help.


Most businesses will complain – we can’t blog, we don’t write, our subject matter is boring but there is always a way and there is always an angle. Check out forums in your niche, maybe you can find people who write about your subject matter passionately for fun, recruit these people to write for you and you are half way there (paid, for writing about things I love, never).

The rebellion never believed they could take down the Death Star but with commitment, they found and played an angle – be the rebellion, find your angle and use the SEO Force!


Of course, you could just be Han Solo


Alternatively, you could just be Han Solo. If Han Solo was a website, he would rank well. Why? Well, he has the sweetest ship in the universe and is a loveable scoundrel. Men want to be him and women want to be with him. Oh, and he has a man dog, which is kind of cool. Is your website a Han Solo? Doing its own thing and doing it well? One of a kind? A loveable scoundrel of a site?

The point here? Be unique, do your own thing, be cool, make people want to have something to do with your website and your brand, make them want to be your website and your brand. If you can be a thought leader, you can win, big and you can do it all your own way (like Han).


Leia: I love you
Han: I know


You’re all clear, kid! Now let’s blow this thing and go home!


Ultimately, the point I am trying to make here is stop going after quick and easy wins as firstly, they don’t really work any longer and secondly they can be toxic and cripple the long term goals for your site (and business). Vader did not redeem himself till he threw out all of his wrong doing and chucked the emperor down an exhaust shaft and he died in the process – this is a pretty solid metaphor for the fate of your website and if you neatly tag it for Google with lots of nasty spammy content and link building – the dark side of SEO will forever taint your destiny.

Every small business owner I know is like Luke – they are impatient, they don’t want to hang around and play the long game. They rush into things, and it gets them into trouble. Find yourself an SEO Yoda and start learning what you can do to promote your site in a safe way. You may have to start out in the swamps of Dagobah but before long, as your reputation grows so will your SEO Force powers and you will find yourself with bigger and better opportunities and more traffic.



If you are willing to learn the ways of the force and fight the Empire then give me a shout – I love a challenge! 🙂

May the SEO Force by with you all!




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