Are you Avoiding These Black Hat Tactics?

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Liran is back and provides black hat tactics info and how to deal with them if they appear.

Hijacker on your listing

  • Lots of reasons why a hijacker will come onto your listing
  • Just to get data – you jump on a competitor listing as a hi-jacker you can get the buy-box and run sponsored ads traffic to the listing and see how many impressions and conversion rates keywords are getting
  • You can list a product against a listing as merchant fulfilled and you can pull down business report data from that as well showing traffic to the listing
  • Someone sells counterfeit product for cheaper
  • Re-manufacture your product out of the  same factory with the same packaging as well – how to combat this
    • That factory should not be producing your product for anyone else
    • Go down cease and desist with the supplier
    • Confront your supplier to know what is going on, who is giving information to somebody
    • Do a test order to prove it’s not identical or manufactured by you – prove it’s a counterfit
  • Product has failed an inspection and the Private Labeler has walked away leaving the factory with excess stock to dispose of – they might come onto your listing to sell it off
  • Might just have gutter morals and that is the way they operate their business – bad people

Black Hat tricks that get you banned

  • Review bombing – people leave fake reviews to try and get you banned
  • Competitor goes out to these services and tries to get their competition in trouble, buying positive reviews from these services and Amazon sees this influx and triggers an alert to suspend your listing
  • Liran had a client that was an older gent who was selling his product through Amazon as Merchant Fulfilled
  • Liran saw Seller Feedback querying why they didn’t get their free product even though they had left a review?
  • Turned out this chap places an insert in his product offering a free product if they leave a review
  • This seller had no idea this was against terms of service (ToS)
  • So sometimes new sellers can trip into black hat tricks without knowing or through naivety and break ToS
  • Know that if you get a load of 5 star reviews you don’t expect – be proactive and contact Amazon to look into any anomalies

SEO expert Services on amazon

  • These poor services from Fiverr sending spammy emails to offer services

Add to Cart trick

  • Cart abandonment is a key issue to on-line ecommerce stores
  • Some play the ‘add to cart’ game which helps them rank the product – and it’s a no-no!
  • Some are ‘testing’ the A9 Algorithm – they get bots that search for the keyword, go to their listing, scroll up or down for a bit and then ‘add to cart’ the product
  • This ‘games’ the Amazon algorithm and helps ranking
  • These SEO experts services offer to get you to rank and use this trick to get a boost
  • Also, adding products to wish lists was also a trick that some of these spammy services used

Brand Registry on old listings

  • You had an old listing with 100 reviews but stopped that product
  • You get a new product, you add it as a variation to this old listing and hey presto the 100 reviews are showing up for the new product on the listing
  • A lot of times the reviews make no sense for this new product
  • This is a black hat tactic
  • Also, looking for dormant brands that have been abandoned

Review Groups – buy product and refund with Paypal to get a Verified review

  • Review Groups
  • A rebate club – the customer buys at full price and 30 days later they get a rebate in the post and the review is verified
  • A big way to manipulate reviews
  • This is going to get clamped down on by Amazon
  • The biggest smackdowns you get from Amazon are for manipulating reviews
  • Some Facebook pages are currently pushing people to give reviews and it brings a big penalty
  • Amazon jumps on review manipulations very quickly to close loopholes
  • You can pay £1,000 for a batch of 30 reviews – and this service works through Amazon – the Vine program that Liran has used
  • There must be a reason why Amazon set this review service at 30 reviews…
  • You don’t need as many reviews as you think – it can be less than you think
  • Customers see 100 reviews and your stars and it’s good enough to get them to click on the listing – gives new product a fighting chance to catch up with long established – levels the playing field
  • A product changes over 5 years and the reviews change over time – a good signal would be any old reviews have an ‘expiry date’ so you’re always working on getting good reviews
  • This would give the marketplace a chance to equalize itself over time


Summary of what we covered

  • Hijackers
  • Black hat tactics
  • Adding to wishlist
  • Adding to cart
  • Review bombing
  • Brand registry – using old listings for brand registry
  • People taking old listings andlisting against those with reviews that barely make sense

Playing by the rules

  • If you’re in this for the long-term competitor tactics only last for a short-period of time
  • One negative review from the competitor will be outweighed by the many positive reviews that will come in over time
  • Focus on what you’re producing and do the best that you can, don’t burn negative energy trying to watch what everyone else is doing
  • Do not play those dirty tactics – you need to sleep at night
  • Think about how you want to feel as a person – be a good human
  • Just worry about what you are doing and not what competitors or others are upto

Contact Liran


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