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Getting Hacked as Link Bait

Is it an April Fool’s joke or the real thing that Google’s Matt Cutts blog has been hacked by Dark SEO team? Either way, there’s a ton of buzz about it already ranging from at Search Engine Land to several forums to Digg.

Danny Sullivan reported Matt’s site has been slow and that he’ll be offline until Monday so the hacked page will be up for a while. Interestingly, Matt’s blog and this blog are both hosted with the same company – at least from what I can tell from his DNS records.

While the defaced page is up over the weekend, it will attract quite a bit of buzz and links. For an April Fool’s joke, taking out all the archives of the blog seems a bit extreme.

According to his post on Twitter, I’m thinking it was hacked:
“blog’s been hacked. that’s why there was the slowness. i can’t fix this now, either. sorry, will try when back on monday”

I think CuttsCon is the more likely (and funny) Matt Cutts April Fool’s play. 🙂

Can getting hacked serve as a form of link attraction? Sure, but certainly not the kind of links that offer any value. Unlike the old public relations adage, “Any news is good news”, any links are not good links. Getting a ton of incoming links with references to getting hacked isn’t going to associate any kind of desired meaning to the site.

April Fool’s joke or not, it should spur some interesting commentary, like the need for site monitoring so if your blog gets defaced you can do something about it quickly. Blogs change so often though, I suspect that kind of monitoring would be hard to do.

Backing up your blog is another topic that might come out of this. Nothing would suck more than losing a few years of posts and I doubt his web host is archiving.

Lee Odden :@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.