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Monday, January 30, 2023

Spamming for ransom: The dubious business of black hat SEO marketing - Rappler

Last updated Friday, September 9, 2022 08:09 ET , Source: NewsService

Second of 2 parts

MANILA, Philippines – In Part 1, we explained how we tracked down the identity of a black hat SEO marketer whose network of websites has been spamming the websites of Rappler, ABS-CBN News, and Philstar.

Working with Swedish digital forensic group Qurium Media, we traced the identity of the black hat through the historical domain registration records of one of the websites that was rated by an SEO monitoring tool as highly toxic, or likely part of link-building schemes.

Dubious sites spamming PH news groups traced to Swedish black hat SEO operator

The website, whose domain name was registered by a Swedish individual, Richard Genmar, shared the same hosting server (IP address 78.69.18.135) with over 500 other websites. Most of these sites shared this same title: “The Globe – The world’s most visited web pages.” Hundreds of sites from this same IP address were found in the data on backlinks to the Philippine news groups mentioned.

While websites hosted by this IP address are uncomplicated in terms of functionality and appear to be all dated in look, there is no doubt that it took some effort and resources to put the entire infrastructure up, much less maintain it.

The potential payoffs, however, are significant. Assuming that targets pay, the windfall could range from the tens of thousands to millions of dollars.

The Philippine news sites were not the only ones that The Globe had targeted. In one submission to Google’s Search Console Help website, one...



Read Full Story: https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/investigative/backlink-spam-business-black-hat-seo-marketing-part-2/

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