Using 4Chan Tactics for Outreach
I thought I’d start of this post by introducing the kind of “tactic” we’re going to be using by showing you how this has been done before.
Boxxy, the character played by Catie Wayne was an internet phenomenon that cropped up around 5 years ago (2008) in which a very hyper active girl makes videos about absolutely nothing. Feel free to entertain yourself (or not?) with one of these videos below:
So, how has this got ANYTHING to do with Outreach?
Well what followed was a barrage of harassment for Catie, she had her real name, address, date of birth all publicized as well as her emails and site hacked. Now just to confirm, we aren’t going to be hacking our potential sites emails.. Though the name, address, date of birth etc.. Can be “used” as part of our campaign!
Have you ever had those annoying outreach targets that have a kick ass site, good DA, good PR, awesome community but don’t have a contact form, email, twitter and their whois is protected?! It happens…
I see now!
So, what tactic is it that 4Chan actually use? Well the method is called doxing. It basically means to gather the personal information on a person or username. I’ll be going over some tools you can use and adding in a YouTube video that gives a quick overview as a TL;DR kind of thing.
So, like any SEO work we’re doing, we want to keep things nice and tidy.
For this I’ll just be making a pretty easy excel spreadsheet where we can put all our victims info in!
So, the first thing you’re going to want to do is fill out as much info that you already have as possible.
Then, if you can – Pull the domains whois (If it isn’t private).
Now let’s go to the username/email search using Pipl.com, as a test example I’ll use my email, if you know your victims country then that adds even more accuracy.
It didn’t find any direct profiles/listings for my email but it did narrow down the username on my email and find my picasa (Which links to my Google+ and gives my name). So from this, we can add G+ profile, first/last name, email and more.
So, from this Pipl search, we found a few images on Picasa, 1 of which was a car parked on a Street:
Notice the road plate in the background? So, for my industry I’m in the SEO business, let’s put the name of that street + SEO into Google, what do we get?
Yup! We get a company that fits the description, on the road we framed and more than likely owns (or an employee owns) the target site we are trying to outreach to. Now all we have to do is either look through their team or call them up! So, what if we have a picture but it’s not linked to any road or there are no super noticeable things for us to locate it to? Go to Google images and put in said image, I’ll be using a pretty simple example of a family sitting on top of a mountain – Once we’ve searched, we’ll either get 1 of 2 results: The result showing the best guess of where they are (in this case, these people are in Machu Picchu in Peru) So, we have a location of these people for one! The 2nd result won’t be able to determine where they are but will give a list of other sites to find the image (or won’t, depending). I’m going to use the picture from before which when I put in the result, displays the original location of the picture (Which can a lot of the time be the owners website or social profile). So from this we can add a general location, which then allows us to re-search (hehe) Pipl with a location attached, narrowing down a lot more of searches for people under that name (Especially if it’s a pretty popular name or username). To get addresses and phone numbers, it varies in different countries but within the UK you can use 192.com or in the US you can use WhitePages/Spokeo (I prefer Spokeo, though WhitePages is pretty detailed). Use the info you’ve collected above to locate your victim, then just use the paid search features to get the address, phone and sometimes even more info (192, which is the UK based one even goes as deep as court documents). So, after all that you should have all your victims info, don’t forget that Google’s actual search is your friend and can display some good results for finding social profiles and personal documents (such as PDFs).
I hope you enjoyed my post and can use some of these actionable tips for your own outreach strategies.