While investigating the whole WP/HQ Sand Box spamming thing, I came across something interesting. Our ‘buddy’, user robinruet several months ago, along with a recent post that was deleted spamming for takabd.com (don’t visit it, and do not +1 it). More recently, another user, WPgooglerankingBooster, was spamming for the same site. The current product they are peddling is something that will get you blacklisted from Google.
They’re selling a Google +1 click jacker, and advertise it as such. From their FAQ:
4) Is this Click-Jacking?
It is, however it has a lot of features that helps your blog stay under the radar. If the visitors are not logged in, the button will not be shown. We have developed an algorithm that doesn’t force all your visitors to click the +1 button, thing which is not recommended. We have been using it on several traffic blogs and we didn’t have any problems/complaints.
4)[sic] Is this within Google TOS? What can happen?
Click Jacking is a black hat technique and obviously not accepted by Google. BUT this script will not get you banned, as it will make all look like you are getting natural +1s and stay under the radar.
So what does it do? It is a plugin that adds a +1 button that hovers under your mouse courser. You click, it +1’s. Awesome, right? But wait, there’s more. The guys at takabd.com are just an affiliate, buyplusoneincreaser.com is the home of the plugin. They’re using the name WPPlusOne, which collides with an existing, legitimate plugin. A little digging reveals, this plugin seems to have first appeared on Warrior Forum. Warriro Forum member Mircea made a post announcing his WPPlusOne plugin.
Unfortunately, additional digging did not result in one finding the actual files to the click jacking plugin in question. Thus, I can not speak on the quality of the code it contains (for all I know it could contain a backdoor like BlogPress SEO). The nature of the plugin should be enough to warrant the “Avoid this Plugin” stamp.
Digging through buyplusoneincreaser’s site reveals some interesting tidbits. Even though the peddlers of WPPlusOne make the claim that you will not get banned for using their script, buyplusoneincreaser’s Terms and Conditions contains this nugget:
BuyPlusOneIncreaser.com is not responsible for the way you use WP Plus One Increaser. We are providing it for testing purposes only!
So the plugin isn’t going to get you banned from Google, but they are not responsible for the way you use it. Oh, and you should only use it for testing. This sounds like they’re admitting that it may get you banned, which contradicts the second #4 point in their FAQ. But hey, don’t fret, they’ll refund your purchase if within 30 days you are not satisfied (e.g. your site gets dropped from Google’s search results). Somehow I don’t think that will help much when you get dropped from Google’s search results.
[end of transmission, stay tuned]