Google Entity Stacking SEO Scam
The purpose of this article is to tell everyone that Google Maps Stacking and Google Entity Stacking as an SEO strategy is a scam. Okay, so maybe "scam" is a strong word and not everyone believes it's a scam because you actually have to put in some kind of work and effort. However, these "marketers" may not realize that what they are doing is not only ineffective, but also a waste of time. Therefore, it can be considered a scam depending on the context of how it is presented as an SEO strategy.
Here's my analogy: the scammer basically takes a wet nap and wipes down a car that someone else just detailed and takes credit for it being clean. The car was already clean to begin with (just like your website was already ranking well to begin with). Just because they make you believe that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is your God, doesn't mean it's real deity. That's pretty much what Google Entity Stacking scams are all about. These "SEO scammers" are basically just doing something really trivial in an attempt take credit for results that they themselves did not create in the first place.
Don't fall prey for some unscrupulous "marketer's" overpriced services that offers Google Map Stacking services. In this guide, I'm going to tell you exactly why you shouldn't buy Google Maps stacking services. You'll also see why using gimmicky SEO methods such as Google Stacking is not a good SEO strategy.
Before I wrote this article, I knew very little about Google Entity stacking (or any of it's synonyms "Google Map Stacking, Google Authority Stacking, Google Drive Stacking, etc) because even back in 2020, it seemed like a scam. The only reason why I wanted to do a deep dive into Google Stacking because I saw an unsolicited email sent to a client of mine trying to sell them "Google Map Stacking" services, so I had to research more about this myself.
Rule # 1 Be Wary of Unsolicited Emails
Google's official documentation will tell you this (and I quote): "Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that email you out of the blue." It looks especially suspicious if someone is using a Gmail account to write you and not an actual email attached to a domain. If you want to know more about how scammers compose their emails, read about common website design scams.
Disclaimer: For legal reasons, I am NOT accusing this guy of being a scammer (poacher is more like it). I am just quoting what Google says to watch out for. This was an "unsolicited email" after all. So therefore, in my humble opinion, this message looks like it could be a scam. Whether or not there really is a scammer behind it, I really can't say. I don't know this person. I don't want to know this person. Also, the client they emailed was already ranked on page 1 for all of the keywords for their services, so they would not be adding any additional value to what I already provided. So basically what I'm saying is: don't send misleading emails to my clients, bro. I think you're a scumbag for doing this.
What is Google Entity Stacking?
Not to be confused with Google Stacks, which is a document-scanning and -filing app. developed by Area 120 (Google's in-house incubator). Google Entity Stacking (aka Google Authority Stacking, Google Maps Stacking, Google Drive Stacking) or any of it's variations is NOT the authoritative SEO strategy that some "marketers" claim it is. They can spin it however they want, but it's NOT a good SEO strategy. The point of Google Stacking is to get backlinks from Google through the use of it's properties such as Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Business Profile, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Sites, Google Photos, Google Sheets, etc.
You Could Have Had Me Fooled
When you do a search for "Google Entity Stacking SEO", then you will most likely find the page I screenshotted below. You can see that it was created with Google Sites, which is a free website builder that literally anyone with a Gmail account can use. For someone who is unfamiliar with Google's properties, it is highly possible that you might mistake this for a real article from Google support (however, this is NOT an official Google support document, it is just a Google Sites page that someone made).
At first glance (because of the URL structure opening with: "sites.google.com"), the untrained person who is not familiar with websites might actually mistakenly believe that this was actually an official Google endorsed SEO strategy. However, when you scroll through the other search results, you will see that absolutely NONE of the mainstream SEO professionals such as Moz, SemRush, Bright Local, Yoast, Neil Patel, Backlinko or any of the other big names in the industry have ever talked about this. This was why I was highly skeptical. In my opinion, the only people who talk about it are relatively unknown (or lesser known) SEO companies and the discount SEO marketer from Fiverr.
Disclaimer: Once again, I am not accusing the website above of being a scammer. I am simply giving my humble opinion (which I am allowed to do) on how his free Google Sites page "looks misleading". And in my opinion, it really does appear to be an official Google document upon first glance. Experienced users will see that it's not, but the average person may not realize that the article was not written by Google, but instead by third party.
After reading more about Google Entity Stacking, I realized that the entire concept was complete and utter BS. I seriously don't know if the people who practice this actually believe that what they do is effective or whether they really know that it is ineffective and do it anyways just to make a quick buck.
Does Google Entity Stacking Actually Work?
It does, but not in the same the way that the scammers want you to believe. The best analogy I can make is it's more like you're just Jerry-rigging something rather than providing a permanent fix. Doing SEO with Google Entity Stacking methods is like applying duct tape on a broken drain pipe to make the water flow. It may even work, but don't count on it to be a permanent solution. It's definitely a "make-shift" method of SEO that may work for niche keywords, but it won't work for highly competitive keywords. Therefore, I would definitely not count on Google Entity Stacking for your SEO if you have a business with any kind of brand or identity.
Since I don't follow gimmicks, I don't take "Google Entity Stacking" seriously. Any experienced SEO profession can tell right away that it's not a viable strategy. As a matter of fact, there is no official documentation about this on Google and anyone trying to pass this off as an official Google endorsed strategy is definitely a scammer.
Sure, the people who defend this tactic will argue that "Google does not penalize it's own properties", while this is true, you don't get any additional benefit from having a Google Sheets or a Google Docs file filled with backlinks. You will get the same results whether you have 1 or 1000 backlinks on Google Docs. The only backlink from Google that actually holds the most weight is from your Google Business Profile listing. Next would be YouTube and yes, you can have 1 link to your website on every YouTube video you create and you won't get penalized, but it won't make your keywords rank any better either. You might get some social traffic (which is great), but that's it won't make your website rank any higher. The rest of your backlinks, you should acquire either locally or from high profile websites, social media and even citation building from directories.
An Outdated Web 2.0 Tactic
Google Stacks is essentially a similar tactic based on the outdated “Web 2.0” link manipulation technique in the late 2000's and early 2010's. Using this old method, many webmasters would build links from Private Blog Networks (PBNs) and article farms directly to their main site earning the wrath of Google Search Quality teams. At some point, it became apparent that you could build links from these sites to “Web 2.0” properties that pass PageRank (Blogspot, Wix, Weebly, WordPress.com, Squidoo, etc.) and then build links from those properties to the main website. Google wasn't as concerned about Web 2.0 spam as they were about spammy links pointing directly to websites. This was form of SEO manipulation was actually fixed with the release of the Penguin Algorithm.
Will My Documents on Google Drive Rank?
Yes (depending on the context of the content), like any website, your Google documents will rank for keywords depending on the competitiveness of the keyword and how many other websites are talking about it. So yes, you CAN rank a Google Sites page or even a Google Docs file just like an actual website. In order to make these entities rank, all you have to do is make the file public and it will be indexable. So yes, you can rank these documents like you would an actual web page, but why would you want to do that? Wouldn't it be better to just rank a page on your website? Do you want your web pages to be indexed or do you want content on all of your Google Docs pages to be indexed? I would rather have my web pages indexed.
Is Google Drive Stacking a Black Hat SEO Strategy?
No, Google Drive Stacking is not a Black Hat SEO strategy (at least not by definition). In itself, this is not considered a Black Hat SEO tactic because "can" work as a legit SEO hack if you don't want to pay for web hosting or a domain name (by getting your Google Docs or Google Sites ranked, you really don't have to pay a dime). Like I described in my introductory paragraph, the way unscrupulous marketers spin it does make it a Black Hat SEO scam because they will do the work on a website that already ranks well and claim that credit for what was already there. Google Stacking does absolutely nothing to improve your rankings and regardless of having 50 or 50 million additional backlinks coming from your Google drive will not improve your rankings any more than having the one link from your official Google Business Profile.
No One Even Talks About Google Entity Stacking
Have you ever wondered why mainstream SEO professionals NEVER talk about Google Entity Stacking? There is a reason why they don't, and it's because Google Entity Stacking is is complete and utter BS. No reputable digital marketing agency would recommend this to a client and none of them do.
The only SEOs who offer Google Entity Stacking services are the ones on Fiverr and they are almost always going to be a waste of time and money. You have to wonder why these guys are on Fiverr and not working at an actual digital marketing agency. You get what you pay for.
There's no secret sauce. There's no magic formula. Google is not going to make it that easy to rank on page 1 for any keyword you want. The people who do this are no better than snake oil salesmen. Even Google states in its official documentation about hiring an SEO that "no one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google".
The Total Amount of Backlinks Are Irrelevant
John Mueller of Google stated in an interview that "the total number of backlinks a website has doesn’t matter at all to the search algorithm." This was featured in an article published by Search Engine Journal in February 21, 2021. He talks about how the quality of the backlinks weigh more than the quantity and how "a single link from a relevant source can send a stronger signal to Google about how it should treat that page."
But What About Backlinks From Google? Aren't They The Best?
The whole gimmick around Google Entity Stacking is to get as many backlinks as you can from Google's properties because Google will obviously not penalize their own properties. The only issue with this is the fact that Google does indeed penalize it's own properties depending on the context. One way it penalizes its own properties is if you create multiple Google Business Profile pages. Google may not suspend the duplicate listing, but it will flag it as a "duplicate listing" within your Google Business Profile account manager dashboard and it won't even count the second link from your second Business Profile. As the business owner will be alerted to the fact that it is a duplicate and you will end up having to either merge the duplicate listing or delete one of them.
Another reason why Google Authority Stacking is considered gimmicky is all of these backlinks are from the same source, which is considered irrelevant after you have more than one backlink from the same website. Your 500 links on Google Docs are not really going to stack in the way you think it will. They definitely won't stack up like Goku's power level after each season of DBZ if that's what you're thinking.
For example, if you fill out an an entire Google Sheets spreadsheet up with backlinks to different pages on your website and expect them all to pass on "link juice" and "domain authority" to your main website, then you are highly mistaken. This is because you only get one link counted towards your overall "authority" and the other links are just treated as duplicates. So it really doesn't matter if you have 1, 10 or 100 backlinks on the same Google property, because they just treat it as "one backlink" and the others are considered "spam".
Links Will Be Less Important in The Future
According to this interview published on November 4, 2022 on Search Engine Land, Google’s John Mueller said that in the future he can see a Google Search ranking algorithm where links are not as important in the overall algorithm as they are today. He also hinted that links are not weighted as much as they were in the history of the Google ranking algorithm. This all due to the evolution of how Google's algorithms ability to determine search intent, which makes content much more valuable than backlinks.
Be a Savvier SEO Pro with Google Authority Stacking Awareness
Google Entity Stacking is a common scam to spot, but not being aware of the scam can lead to you getting fooled. By keeping up with the latest SEO trends and staying on top of things, you can be a savvy SEO pro who knows how to spot a Google Authority Stacking scam.
As an SEO pro, it's important to stay ahead of the latest SEO tricks and schemes. Google Entity Stacking is one of the latest tricks being used to fool people into giving up their hard earned money. By being aware of the signs of this scam, you can avoid getting fooled and use more ethical, reliable SEO tactics to get the results you need. With Google Entity Stacking awareness, you can be a savvier SEO pro and outsmart the fake SEO tricksters.
Avoiding the Fake SEO Traps
As a business owner, it's important that you stay ahead of the latest SEO tricks and schemes. Google Entity Stacking is a relatively new SEO scheme that has been used used by some unscrupulous SEO agents claiming to boost your website rankings. By being aware of the signs of this scam, you can avoid getting fooled and use more ethical, reliable SEO tactics to get the results you want.
While technically Google Entity Stacking is not officially labeled as a Black Hat SEO strategy, the way scammers make you believe that it actually works to raise your keyword rankings really does make it a "Black Hat SEO strategy". You could be sold a service that has no value.
Google Entity Stacking is a Total Waste of Time
Literally, the only time Google Entity Stacking would have value is if you don't have an actual website. If you don't have an actual website, then you can benefit from Google Entity Stacking because you had nothing there to begin with. So essentially, you could just create a free website on Google Sites with links coming in from Google Drive (docs, sheets, photos, etc.), a YouTube channel and a Google Business Profile, etc. That's fine and it's not considered a Black Hat tactic if someone creates this type of Google Stack for you because it will give you some sort of presence in search since all of those Google properties are indexable.
However, if you already have a professional website that is already ranked on page 1 of keyword searches, you already have a YouTube channel, and you already have a Google Business Profile, and some asshole emails you out of the blue, claiming that they can raise your keyword rankings using Google Entity Stacking or Google Maps Stacking, then it's a complete waste of time because you don't need it. They can't help you and even if they do some work, it will be a complete waste of time and you essentially paid for a service that has no value.
Google Entity Stackers Are Snake Oil Salesman
According to Wikipedia: Snake oil is a term used to describe deceptive marketing, health care fraud, or a scam. Similarly, "snake oil salesman" is a common expression used to describe someone who sells, promotes, or is a general proponent of some valueless or fraudulent cure, remedy, or solution. For all of the reasons discussed above, I genuinely believe that Google Entity Stacking is snake oil because it is just "hack" and not a legitimate SEO strategy.
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