Black Hats Mock Google's Matt Cutts With Payday Loan Hack

Jun 17, 2013 • 8:40 am | comments (55) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

pay day loansAs you probably remember, Google launched a new spam algorithm to target spammy queries such as payday loans. It had a serious impact on spammers from what I see, which I will cover right after this story.

But before I cover the impact, I wanted to share what some SEO or blackhatter did to try to mock Google's Matt Cutts.

Search for [payday loans] in Google UK and you will see on the first page of the results a blog named Here is a screen shot:

Matt Cutts With Payday Loan Hack

The snippet reads, "Get payday loans here today from Mr Cutts! Up to £1000, 100% secure!"

Clicking on the result may be a bad thing to do, it is some weird redirect. So stay away from it to be safe.

The folks at BlackHatWorld are having a field day with this result.

Obviously, since it is out there, I am sure it will be pulled down soon. But not before this black hatter made his point.

Forum discussion at BlackHatWorld.

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Graham Ginsberg

06/17/2013 12:44 pm

Ha, ha , ha humor rules the day when common sense does not!


06/17/2013 12:54 pm



06/17/2013 12:54 pm

HAHAHA Matt you are sounding more and more out of touch all the time.

Praveen Sharma

06/17/2013 01:03 pm

This shows haters can even make Matt Cutts name a spam. Will Google be forced to drop Matt Cutts name out of SERP in future after such mocks? Just Forecasting :)


06/17/2013 01:06 pm

How has Matt Cutts not been fired yet? I thought Google had really stringent job appraisal rules. That fact is, he's head of webspam and yet where ever you look you see spam everywhere. The Matt Cutts blog above just shows how easy it is for a spammer to still abuse the SERPs regardless of Panda/Penguin and the Payday Loans update. This is just flat out embarrassing for Matt.


06/17/2013 01:07 pm

Everybody knows: SEO black hat tactics still work as usual. Brands use these tactics to establish themselves as authorities (and/or further deepen it) on a daily basis and to lock out small guys once and for all from serps, no matter how good their stuff is. Thats how google "levels the playing field" for all LOL.

Jawad Latif

06/17/2013 01:14 pm

Conclusion: There are still tactics which can spam Google search results.


06/17/2013 01:51 pm

it shows that with black hat tactics you can put anything on page 1 in no time. They are making joke of Google's efforts...


06/17/2013 01:54 pm

it's all mathematics. if he can show to his boss than on average they are doing better 0.1% than last year he can keep his job. Now screw the fact that in one niche spammers own 99% of SERPS and in another they own have 1%. On average that's only 50% per niche.


06/17/2013 02:00 pm

Bow Down to our new dark overlords.

Andrew Biviano

06/17/2013 03:00 pm

It won't stay long, hard to monitize something that isn't around

Jill Whalen

06/17/2013 03:12 pm

Seems to me that what's worse are those 2 other seemingly irrelevant results. A public library and a horticulture institute. Okay.

The Loan Ranger

06/17/2013 03:23 pm

Cutts' bosses will see that his incompetence is bringing Google into disrepute and the institutional shareholders will start clamoring for the complacent tubby buffoon to be shown the door. Sooner the better......... His nauseating videos are nothing more than him promoting the Cutts 'personality'; they're his pathetic efforts to make himself look like a reasonable, rounded being. He's not, he's an egocentric bell............


06/17/2013 03:25 pm

you only need to be on top of "payday loans" for a few days to bank really hard, all you have to do is rinse and repeat. you can make 100's of sites and just rank one a day


06/17/2013 03:42 pm

Looks like Doubleup did it. If you stop the refresh and view the source, the is a link to his user page on


06/17/2013 03:57 pm

The horticulture site has been hacked, as you can see by the warning under it's link and the fact that 'payday loans' is showing in its description. The library example does seem to be an irrelevant result... ...but when I do a search for 'payday loans' on I see these results: Result 1: UK Payday Loans --> Result 2: EOCash: UK Payday Loans --> Result 3: Payday Loans from Mr. Cutts --> the site article talks about Result 4: Payday Loans | Money | The Guardian --> The rest of the results on this SERP are payday loans sites... ...I'm at work and haven't gone through each site, but they are all about payday loans (how spammy they are, I don't know, but that's not what I'm addressing here). Seems like it changed since you checked.


06/17/2013 03:59 pm

Oh Loan Ranger, so full of crap and so full of time. Dangerous combination.


06/17/2013 04:00 pm

Exactly why certain SERPs will always be a pile of spam. But don't worry, that wont stop people from pointing to those SERPs as if they represent the state of all SERPs.


06/17/2013 04:08 pm

This confirms that Google's attempts to block spammers are only affecting honest / white-hat webmasters. Funny joke though, I wonder what Matt Cutts will say about it, there will be a video reply from him for sure.

Wendy Piersall

06/17/2013 04:11 pm

That is one BIG FAT touché.

Graham Ginsberg

06/17/2013 04:22 pm

"full of crap" EThalon wrote. I think not. Very well written, to the point, concise, honest and well researched.

Gregory Lancaster

06/17/2013 05:07 pm

I took a huge hit, and I have yet to break the rules. Ill admit this kinda stuff makes it tempting


06/17/2013 06:00 pm

why in the world hacked site ranks on page one? Is it difficult to write a simple "IF" formula that will exclude all sites that have message about being compromised from Serps or at least push them to page 2 or 3?


06/17/2013 06:05 pm

.It wasn't there when I checked. Seems like it was excluded fine and just took a little time.


06/17/2013 08:34 pm

I love that this happened, I hate that this is so easy to do. Whitehat businesses are suffering (en-mass) from the battle against spam. Sites that have taken years to create are being demolished. Meanwhile they're posting videos about 'stock images' with lines like 'yeah, that might be a good signal for the future'. O god, it's horrible. Complete and careless disregard for so many people who've worked so hard. Come on Webspam, let's have some REAL feedback.


06/17/2013 09:15 pm

Maybe domain age should have a better weight, because these black-hats try many things and can always get a new domain if something goes wrong. But those of us that work hard for years on same site are negatively affected for good. Only big brands and irrelevant/spam sites is what I see in top results.


06/17/2013 09:27 pm

I don't think he should be fired, I personally like how he explains things in the YouTube videos and the tips for improving site usability are great. I don't like their algorithm changes but I doubt one single person is responsible for that.


06/17/2013 10:15 pm

Calling the kettle black?


06/17/2013 10:17 pm

After it was brought to their attention.


06/17/2013 10:20 pm

I don't think Cutts shoots videos that expose their vulnerability to people. Don't forget that Google tries to portray themselves as being one step above the rest. Other than that, this made my day. Webmasters 1 Google 0.


06/17/2013 10:51 pm

I don't see the result anymore in Google UK; Does this mean they made a manual "intervention" ?! And didn't they say they never do that ?


06/17/2013 11:06 pm

it got deleted but what was fun, was still fun.


06/18/2013 02:43 am

LOL for your reason... FYI, there are guys who is better than matt cutts


06/18/2013 03:07 am

deleted but it was up for longer than I expected. Someone blew a bit of resource to make a point and to make us laugh!


06/18/2013 03:31 am

Might want to credit the copyrighted image there guys.

John Morgan

06/18/2013 08:23 am

Yes it was him, he pretty much cam up about it on Black Hat World.


06/18/2013 08:25 am

God your all so soft. It's not a hacked site, rather it's a cheeky 302 redirect to send all traffic to an affiliate programmer. They know they site will tank quickly so it's a case of "rank and bank". Nothing to do with hacking.


06/18/2013 09:26 am

Didn't Matt Cutts say we wouldn't see any more spam this summer? Unless he was referring to small business sites or something...?


06/18/2013 10:18 am

Aren't you the complete goody two shoes bore?


06/18/2013 10:25 am

I know there are. But it helps to get info directly from Google, it can tell you how they crawl and how Google reacts to different glitches in your site.


06/18/2013 12:10 pm

Matt also said at the last conference that they were looking at ways to release some of the small businesses caught up in the panda, poodle, pongo, piddle, pathetic, spam updates. Well Mattie boy... We alls still be waiting!!!!!!

Josh Zehtabchi

06/18/2013 12:54 pm

Use that term on It's packed full of hacked sites, BS and spam. Wah, Google wants to deindex the site now, because they mocked Google rather than fixing the problem in their algo that causes these sites to appear? Nah, let's focus on PPC. Too many cooks in one kitchen.


06/18/2013 01:12 pm

Yes...yes, I am.

James Hunt

06/18/2013 01:32 pm

theres an even better result at number two for the search "payday loan uk" - huge props to the blackhat team for ranking camden diocese number two :)


06/18/2013 04:22 pm

Here is a post that i made on my blog the other say showing how bad this new update was :


06/20/2013 03:59 pm

Just goes to show that the payday loan industry is way ahead of the algorithm and can constantly find new ways to game the system. It would be refreshing to see this sector cleaned up properly.


06/21/2013 06:08 am

The funniest thing about this story is that search engine land didn't touch it. Ruffle a few feathers over there I guess. So it would seem that Danny is a weakling.

Sam Harries

06/21/2013 01:26 pm

Something similar is back again, the 4th result in Google UK is for mattcpaydayloans on a tripod domain.

Pete Morris

06/22/2013 02:10 am

I wonder how this was viewed internally at Google. Must have been at least a little embarrassing for Mr Cutts. It's good to have a laugh at this, but in all seriousness I think the blackhat people have made a point that needed to be made for us white hat folk. Spam still works, and still works very well. In fact, in my opinion, things like forum links and blog comments work better in 2013 than they did in 2012. The query space I'm working in has had a spam result at the top of most SERPs for 7 months now. They've ranked their pages using thousands upon thousands of exact match blog comments, forum, and profile links. They've been completely unaffected by this latest Penguin update, and continue to rank at the top. A 5 second look at their link profile and it's obvious that it's spam. If Google's algorithms are unable to detect such an obvious attempt to game the system, then they've got big big problems. I think the algorithm, after all these years, is getting way out of their control.


06/26/2013 05:26 am

Did he? That would be nice, caught in Penguin for 1+ years now while real spam sites still rule the world:(

Ben Guest

07/03/2013 06:10 pm

Are they not just pounding the Google freshness algo? Looks like Google needs to start working on it. Indexing is always a work in progress. so just because it's ranked now because of a spam technique doesn't mean it'll stay there. The key to this game is creating a site that stays stagnant in the SERPs while the manipulators come and go. They may drop your site from the ranks for a few hours to a few days, but they never last.


07/29/2013 11:16 am

It's fair use. They don't need to credit if they're using the image for reference purposes. No different than CNN or Fox News showing images of a flyer on the street and referencing it.


07/31/2013 01:49 pm

There's a difference between a picture of a flyer and the original artwork in the flyer. Typically, the original product photo is only considered "fair use" if the published work using it is a review of said product, story about said product, etc. If this were a picture of the same sign, hanging in a storefront window, I would agree with you. It's not.

Spook SEO

12/03/2013 06:54 am

Hi Barry, It seems that Black Hats had a great moment in this outcome. Anyway, I’m sure Google already fixed this one. Well, let’s face the reality happening between SEO and Google’s determination to clean his own digital world of information. Google is our master and we are his slaves. Never do something bad to your master or else, you will lose everything. Thanks for sharing!


05/21/2014 09:20 pm

Gee, I wonder why Google is going so hard against payday loans... Look up, and see who is a major investor in the company. :)

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