Don’t be fooled by Pass4Sure

Published 08 May 2013 in Marketing, Security, SEO by ZigPress

Today I received an enquiry sent via my contact page, offering me US$175 if I place some advertising on my site in a certain way. Here’s the full text of the enquiry:

Name: Fred Jackson

Email: [email protected]

Website: http://pass4sure.com

Interested in Purchasing Advertising: https://www.zigpress.com/

Hi,

i need this type of placement could you do this?

1. We will provide php file with plugin source code
2. Webmaster will need to FTP to root folder of blog, then open folder wp-content/plugins
3. Webmaster will need to create folder ‘footerlinks’, then enter that folder and upload php file that we provided
4. Webmaster will need to log into blog admin area, click ‘Plugins’ in left menu, click ‘Installed’ in submenu, find plugin named ‘Footer Links’ and click ‘activate’ link
5. After that links will appear at the bottom of the blog like here http://www.momecentric.com/2006/walker-is-an-extrovert see our links in footer.Very simple work just 1,2 minut only,Our links show on your old ABOUT PAGE.

i can give you $175 for uploading our php file for 1 year time period only.

Let me know are you agree if you agree then send me paypal id please.

Waiting for your Answer

Thanks

Fred jackson

Now I’m not averse to making a little money from my site, even though $175 isn’t a lot for a whole year’s placement, so I checked out the demo link given in point 5 above and found myself looking at a strange-looking page entitled ‘Mom~E~Centric’.

First of all I could see no links in the page’s footer. Then I realised that may be due to Adblock, so I disabled that. I reloaded the page and could still see no links.

Then I realised: the links were invisible.

Hitting CMD-A (CTRL-A on Windows systems) to Select All revealed 9 links to various destinations, sitting in a row at the bottom of the page. Links of this kind are there to try and fool search engines into giving their destination pages more SEO value than they actually deserve.

Hidden Links? In 2013?

Try googling “seo penalty for hidden links” and take a look at the first few results. Doesn’t look good, does it?

So don’t be tempted if you run a website and receive an offer like this. Sure you may make a little money, but this comes with the risk of your site being heavily penalised by Google and potentially dropping off search results altogether.

In fact I’d strongly advise against doing business with Pass4Sure or any of their agents. Dodgy business practices in one area usually mean dodgy business practices in other areas.

And another final thought: what if the PHP file that this Fred guy sends you turns out to be a backdoor into your site? Doesn’t even bear thinking about.

20 Comments

  1. On 10 May 2013 at 11:36, John said:

    That is good advice I had not ever considered the penalty of hidden links. Thanks for the heads up. Cheers

  2. On 14 May 2013 at 17:19, Ash said:

    I just got the EXACT same email too. I opened up the PHP file they sent and there were a TON of links in the code, all pointing at “testking[dot]com”

    Thanks for the heads up!

  3. On 22 May 2013 at 05:20, Don Anderson said:

    I would not trust this guy. Make sure not to give out information and look for broken english as a clue to eho you ‘re really dealing with

  4. On 29 May 2013 at 11:34, Kevin Beach said:

    Wow, hidden links in this day and age. That is some old school seo.

  5. On 02 Jun 2013 at 05:13, best eye cream said:

    Really great for you to post this. Will definitely be aware of this trick, Pass4Sure!

  6. On 05 Jun 2013 at 17:54, Central Air Conditioning Repair Akron OH said:

    I believe I received something very similar, if not the same one. Thanks for the warning. I forwarded it on to my tech guy and I’m pretty sure he avoided it like the plague. I’m always worried about those kind of piggy backing links, now knowing how they could be affecting my site especially when it comes to being penalized by the search engines. And I agree with the commentator above, poor grammar and English in any correspondence usually throws up a red flag for most readers.

  7. On 06 Jun 2013 at 11:39, Bilal Akbar said:

    Your post covered an important topic. Off course links to spam and low quality sites will ruin our rankings.

  8. On 10 Jun 2013 at 16:44, Rick Miles said:

    Hidden links – I can’t believe they were ever used by professionals in the industry. I imagine they were ashamed or lazy when they were doing it, as when desicovered the whole practice would have severely cheapened the nature of the site.

  9. On 16 Jun 2013 at 09:14, Ashok said:

    I dont know why people are going the old blackhat way in 2013. Google is going smarter day by day. You cant exist if you go blackhat. Writing awesome contents for your readers is the only way. :D

  10. On 17 Jun 2013 at 12:58, MrCleaner said:

    Sounds like a great way to get your site banned by Google for $175…..And whats even worse, I am sure that “Fred” will probably find some newbies to go along with this…

  11. On 19 Jun 2013 at 05:29, Pawan said:

    Thanks for the valuable advice and warning us.

  12. On 23 Jun 2013 at 23:41, best eye cream said:

    Thank you for the heads up. By this post and those who read this, we will definitely not be fooled by PAss4Sure.

  13. On 27 Jun 2013 at 15:06, Souri said:

    Wow … this is something new. I never thought that people csn be that evil. 175$ isn’t a lot for advertising … but a lot of bloggers would take the offer. It’s sad to see that so many people create more bad than good things … :-(. Thanks for the heads up on this topic.

  14. On 30 Jun 2013 at 09:14, Dubai Web Design said:

    I really appreciate that you have taken a good decision by neglecting this offer of small amount and saved your blog getting penalized. I agree such advertising may harm our blog reputation in the eyes of google and lost all its reputation.

  15. On 30 Jun 2013 at 11:50, Arun Prasath said:

    Thanks for informing about these hidden link technique. Hereafter i will be very careful in displaying the ads on my blog.

  16. On 02 Jul 2013 at 12:10, Neil said:

    Many techniques that worked in the long since past will now hurt your site.

  17. On 15 Jul 2013 at 17:56, Tim said:

    I was recently in a meeting with an IT individual. He was going to put links on the company website, hidden! And load the background with white keyword text… I was surprised that a professional IT guy with 20 years experience was going to go this way, but he wouldn’t listen to me because I’m just a blog guy.

  18. On 16 Jul 2013 at 00:41, Brian Jackson said:

    We too got a similar email. Opened up the PHP file and contained a bunch of hidden links. If you do the math $175 for a year is not really that much, and then to put hidden links on top of that, something Google doesn’t like. I would stay away from any deals like that. Will only hurt your site down the road. Thanks for the tip!

  19. On 22 Jul 2013 at 10:23, Te said:

    Yeah I think you should skip this offer, not worth the money!

  20. On 04 Aug 2013 at 20:40, Ankit said:

    Very Nice article also so informative , Your post covered an important topic. Off course links to spam and low quality sites will ruin our rankings.

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