Update April 2020: Looks like Craig Campbell has stumbled upon my SEO review of his hidden black hat SEO link, the hidden “Craig Campbell SEO” link has been removed. Looks like Craig removed the black hat link before February 20th, 2020: within a month of my review article going live.
In January 2020 viewing HTML Source of https://www.nigelfaragemep.co.uk/ and searching through the HTML code for Craig Campbell SEO and you would have found three instances of the phrase “Craig Campbell SEO”, the 3rd of which is a black hat SEO hidden text link to the Craig Campbell SEO website.
Craig Campbell SEO Black Hat Link
<p><span style="color: #ffffff;"><a style="color: #ffffff;" href="https://www.craigcampbellseo.com/">Craig Campbell SEO</a></span></p>
I immediately noticed the CSS color code for WHITE text, that’s color: #ffffff; used for the text link!
The code above is a text link with white anchor text “Craig Campbell SEO” on a white background, this passes SEO ranking value to the Craig Campbell SEO website for the keywords “Craig Campbell SEO” and is a clear cut example of a black hat hidden text link.
Take into account in January 2020 I believed the Nigel Farage MEP website was owned by Nigel Farage, so this looked wrong. At this point my thoughts were either Nigel Farage had hired Craig Campbell to work on the sites SEO and he’s hidden black hat text links and affiliate links or he’s hacked the domain to add the link etc…
A third remote option was Craig owned the domain: this was later confirmed to be the case: Craig has wrote about this website and how he bought it as an expired domain.
in the middle of this content about black hat SEO, it stands out as weird (it’s not relevant). Had I used Craig’s black hat hidden link HTML code the above link would be hidden, but it would still pass PageRank and anchor text benefit.
Here we have a website about an ex-EU MEP linking out in the middle of the content to a Glasgow SEO consultant’s website. If Nigel Farage owned the Nigel Farage MEP website (he doesn’t) it would look weird. Craig Campbell is trying to pass this site off as a Nigel Farage owned domain!
What we know from this is Craig Campbell used black hat SEO link building techniques to generate SEO ranking benefit to his own SEO services website via off-site black hat SEO techniques.
If you consider hiring this SEO consultant to work on your business website be aware of this: make sure Craig only uses white hat SEO techniques on your site, you do NOT want an SEO consultant adding black hat SEO backlinks to your business website, they are a pain to remove!
Update June 2020
I received an email from Craig Campbell SEO about my article. Craig is making silly legal threats, he wrote: “I’ve passed this onto my solicitor as its both defamation and liable as what your trying to do is paint a picture of me that isn’t true“.
I replied to his email and warned him anything he does against me/my website will go public: I’ll share it on my website. For example if Craig does get a solicitor to send me a letter or something I’ll publish it and my response on this website.
Craig also offered a reason for the hidden black hat SEO link to his Craig Campbell SEO website:
For Your information I’ve spoken about the Nigel Farage website both at conferences and online, to show people the power of expired domains, not that it has anything to do with you, but all the data, phone numbers and so on all go to Nigel’s office. And yes I had a link on there again to demonstrate it made no difference to my site in terms of power or ranking movement, again all of which has been well documented online and at conferences I’ve spoken at.
Craig hasn’t explained why the contact form collected addresses etc… the site used the WPForms plugin which means anything added to the contact form goes through the WordPress Dashboard and can be saved/used for other things: Craig Campbell had access to the contact form data! This is a serious data protection issue, Craig Campbell should NOT have a contact form which visitors believe their private contact data went straight to Nigel Farage. Remember after Craig found my review he removed the contact form, if he wasn’t doing anything wrong why did he remove the contact form?
If Nigel Farage had picked up on this he could have started legal proceeding against Craig Campbell.
Craig Campbell SEO Test
Regarding the hidden Craig Campbell SEO link, if I understand Craig correctly he is saying it was an SEO test to show it had no SEO ranking benefit.
I run hundreds of SEO tests and IF this was an SEO test it’s a poor setup. To perform a valid SEO test you have to exclude as many SEO variables as possible, IF this was an SEO test Craig excluded ZERO SEO variables.
What did this test SEO wise?
The hidden link was to his homepage with the anchor text of his main brand SERP Craig Campbell SEO. Craig already has hundreds of backlinks using the anchor text “Craig Campbell SEO”, so there would be no way to determine if this black hat hidden link passed SEO benefit.
So I call SEO BS, to do a test like this you would have added unique anchor text so you could search Google for it. For example if the hidden link had anchor text “gnitseT kcalB taH OES skniL” this would be very easy to test for SEO wise. Adding his main brand SERP “Craig Campbell SEO” as anchor text looks like blatantly trying to rank higher for that search phrase.
Seems to me this is clear cut blackhat SEO, but always open to being convinced I’m wrong.
I believe in a right to reply, the comments are open, if Craig wants to explain to those who find their way here why there was a hidden link etc… I’ll approve his comments.
PS I want to thank Craig for checking out my backlinks profile: presumably looking for black hat SEO things I’m doing wrong :-). Craig noticed the Classic Literature site (I own it and it links to the SEO Gold Coast domain) was downloading a file rather than loading a webpage! Craig wrongly suggested it was malicious:
Explain to me why the strongest link you have to your site, is trying to download malware to peoples sites www.classic-litrature.co.uk? Craig Campbell email June 4th, 2020
I’d recently updated PHP from PHP v5 to PHP v7 on the sites server and a really old (added to the site over a decade ago) .htaccess rule which allowed *.asp files to be read as *.php files stopped working resulting in the index pages downloading as files!!! I’m glad Craig noticed it, could have cost me rankings/money had he not noticed it #phew.
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