Black Hat SEO – Álvaro Sáez

We speak with Álvaro Sáez, @chuisochuisez on twitter, about Black Hat SEO. This expert in black techniques is the founder of Team Platino, where he shares his knowledge with all those who want to know more about the dark side of SEO. As Álvaro points out, they are mainly entrepreneurs or small agencies that find in these techniques the only realistic way to compete against the giants of the sector.

Álvaro is frank with us in pointing out that if we are purists, all agencies use black techniques, even those that claim to be White Hat. In the same way, he also tells us very interesting things about who are more interested in negative SEO.

We asked Álvaro about the hottest points around Black Hat SEO. Starting with what we can consider black to finish reflecting on the moral limits of this techniques. Passed by how he would explain to his son what his work consists of or how he decided to create Team Platino.

When did you start in the SEO world? The blackhater techniques were present from the beginning?

I started more than a decade ago. Since I was a teen I was interested in generating an income through the Internet and I soon came to the conclusion that one of the few “no scam” forms that there was was Adsense.

I started creating blogs and simultaneously I started selling products online using a Blogger and getting leads from buying and selling pages like Segundamano. Soon I realized that I had to position myself, so that’s where everything started.

This process of clairvoyance took me time. It could be said that for several years I was “White hat” and tried to do everything right, as they recommended in most sites I read, which were based on literally translating English posts.

Starting to skip the Google recommendations meant my ascent and that’s when I really started making money with the Internet.

 

Why did you decided to create Team Platino?

Create a private community and earn money. For me, money is something completely secondary because I earn much more than what my family and me need to live. When you’re not greedy, you’re not interested in living like a rich man and you already have money, you start thinking about other things.

In my case it is to live as happily as possible doing what I like and also to help people as much as possible. And, if I can monetize all this problem and create a healthy and supportive community, which is what we have achieved, 10 out of 10 achieved objectives.

 

We all know that in the SEO world there are different profiles. Which of them is the one that uses the most black hat techniques? Why?

Usually those who are entrepreneurs or freelances with not much budget. Sometimes they are one or two people with a small company that have to compete with companies or franchises with hundreds of employees.

Their margin of maneuver is less, they have to be original and position themselves with hardly any money for reviews, advertising, SEM, links … Small SEO agencies also apply many Black Hat SEO techniques and, if we are honest, all the agencies do it, as they all buy links. That you buy more expensive links does not make you “White” and, if you deny it or defend otherwise, you are a hypocrite. Things have to be called by their name.

 

What is the basic tool kit necessary for those who want to learn about SEO and do not have much money to invest?

Of payment, I’d say Screaming Frog SEO Spider and Ahrefs. With that and simple tools like Excel, an SEO can do pretty decent things.

“If we are honest, all the agencies do it, as they all buy links. That you buy more expensive links does not make you “White” and, if you deny it or defend otherwise, you are a hypocrite. Things have to be called by their name”. Álvaro Sáez

Agencies generally refuse to use the techniques you teach / teach in Team Platinum because they consider them “dangerous”. Are they right or do they simply ignore how to use them correctly?

Automation techniques or Black Hat SEO are sometimes not designed for agencies that carry large projects, but sometimes yes. They must be responsible when analyzing one or another technique and ask themselves, mainly, 2 questions:

  1. Can this technique damage my client’s domain in Google? What is the level of risk if I apply it? Does the client assume that risk?
  2. Can this technique give my client a bad social reputation? Would it be detectable or morally reportable?

Nowadays, I see large Spanish companies applying automation techniques on their websites and social networks without any qualms. Companies that, for example, have monthly Premium plans to “stand out” and feed the client with “false budgets”, “false contacts” and “apparent interests” so that the client believes that the Premium plan really works. The hypocrisy is at levels never seen before.

 

Can you recommend blogs or platforms that talk about black hat and be a reference for you telling us why?

The blog of Charles Floate, although usually pull to monetize, but has interesting content; the BlackhatWorld forum, where there is a lot of trash but from time to time you get good ideas; ForoBlackHat from esteemed Nico, the already dead (like mine) Jacob King’s blog or Matthew Woodward’s blog, which was converted to marketing.

 

Automation is unquestionable when it comes to implementing many of the techniques shown in Team Platinum classes. Are we going to an internet where all the information will end up being automatic?

Google is automating virtually everything with machine learning. At the moment it responds automatically, “analyzing and understanding the content”, thousands of basic questions in Google about climates, changes, definitions, height, movies, timetables, weight, years, calculations … But there is still much ahead to understand us and Satisfy us beyond simple questions, at the moment it is only reducing traffic to Wikipedia and to niches layer 0 and layer 1.

We apply relatively simple automations to try to emulate the manual work of a person, and we try that anyone, without advanced programming knowledge, can do it. It is “marketing” automation and can give very good results.

 

From your point of view, what is the importance of artificial intelligence and machine learning in SEO?

Now we are in a field and, sooner or later, this play field will change substantially. I do not know when or how, since in 2010 they said a lot of what was going to happen in 2020, that SEO had already died, etc … So, really, I do not know. Technological progress is exponential but you never finish knowing when you are going to hit the ball.

 

Is there such thing as negative SEO or is it something that we have invented?

It exists. Before it was easier to do it and fuck a website, now it’s more complicated, but you can keep doing it. I do not like at all.

I think it has nothing to do to take advantage of Google’s algorithm to fuck a competitor, is being a jerk. The most curious thing is that as a relatively well-known SEO I have received many proposals to do negative SEO jobs, which I have never done, and they have always been by people who publicly present themselves as “White Hat” or who have agencies. However, within my Black Hat SEO course, in almost 4 years I have hardly read people asking about the subject. It’s funny, is not it?

 

How would you explain to your son what do you do for a living? Did he ask you?

The truth is that he has not asked me directly, and now that I think about it, I do not even want to imagine what he will say at school when they ask him, because I remember quite well that in my school they asked us often, hehehe.

But he more or less knows that I work with the computer and that I use the keyboard a lot. And, of course, I’m an unusual father because I have a lot of free time and I’m practically with him all the time he’s not at school.

I hope that when he is older, he wants to be an entrepeneur, no matter what, and that he has the same luck that I have had with my decisions, and especially that he is a good person.