6 Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid at All Costs
With the number of articles and online publications increasing every day, publishers are inevitably forced to look for creative methods to make their articles more visible on Google to enhance the customer journey. Fortunately, most don’t even think of using spammy, black hat search engine optimization (SEO) techniques that could harm their website and result in penalties or blacklisting. However, even people with the best intentions can accidentally violate Google’s quality guidelines by employing these tactics.
If you’ve been looking for a way to make money online without having the risk of Google blocking or penalizing you, then spamming their search engine is not going to be the best option. It’s time we tell people who use these unethical tactics that it will no longer work, especially with the onset of real-time Penguin algorithm updates, which can detect and penalize sites that build backlinks with a vast number of low-quality links that direct users to your website.
What Are Black Hat SEO Techniques?
Black hat SEO techniques manipulate search engine rankings or results in an unfair, unethical, or undesirable way.
There are six black hat techniques that you should avoid:
1. Hiding Content
One of the most popular black hat techniques is to use spammy “doorway pages,” which are designed for keywords only, and thus, the content of these doorway pages is hidden from both the users and the search engines. The primary purpose of doorway pages is to fool search engines so they can’t index or rank your website for synonymous phrases or keywords.
2. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is another black hat technique that involves using the exact keywords repeatedly in an attempt to manipulate search engines through excessive use of keywords. This can be done on a variety of webpages, including the homepage and meta keywords tag. It is a spammy SEO strategy that involves using irrelevant keywords in the webpage to make it appear more relevant for specific keywords, misleading internet users who visit the site looking for helpful information to address their needs.
3. Link Farming
Link farming is done when multiple pages or websites link to your website. This is done to make money through the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads on these pages or websites. The problem is that the links only point to your website because it promises them something in return when in reality, it only exists to boost the popularity and traffic to another page you own. These sites are unethical and will disrupt the credibility of the other pages you worked hard on, potentially hurting your potential income.
Cloaking is when you show different content to users and search engines. Users will see your website as it is, but the search engines are shown a different piece of content that is not as relevant to the actual content. This is done to make a website appear higher on the search results page.
Spamdexing is a black hat technique involving using software to spam search engine results with backlinks. This takes the number of backlinks to your website into the thousands and is done solely to increase page rank or search engine ranking.
6. Unethical Redirects
A redirect link becomes unethical when it sends the user to a different webpage other than the one indicated in the link. For example, if you have a link that will take the user to the site “XYZ,” but instead, it takes the user to “ABC,” it becomes unethical. This is done because this link tricks users into following the path you want them to take even though they might not be interested in the site they land on. This type of black hat SEO practice must be avoided at all costs to remain in Google’s good graces and protect the credibility of your online presence.
What Is the Main Goal of Black Hat SEO?
The main goal of black hat SEO is to improve search engine rankings or search engine results as fast as possible. The usual goal is to increase website traffic and get ranked higher in the search engine results.
What’s the Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat SEO?
White hat SEO refers to the practice of following the search engine’s guidelines. Publishers are transparent about what they are doing, which means their pages are not deceptive or misleading. On the other hand, black hat SEO refers to applying unethical techniques for search engine rankings that are against the search engine guidelines. This includes spammy SEO tactics that manipulate search engines.
Does Black Hat SEO Work?
Yes and no. Some black hat techniques can show positive results, but sooner or later, Google will catch up to them and penalize the site. Suppose the black hat techniques you are using affect your website’s reputation or business. That means it’s time to stop, as it will eventually result in your website being penalized or removed from the search engine index.
People have been using black hat techniques for some time now, and Google had to fight back with the Penguin algorithm updates, which can penalize websites that use spammy methods. Also, Google’s webmaster guidelines are the main reason black hat SEO is starting to die out.
If you are caught using spammy SEO techniques, you will not only get a manual penalty from Google, but you will also make it harder for your website to rank on the search engine results pages if it’s not gone forever.
If you’re looking to enhance your organization’s online digital marketing efforts, Zero Gravity Marketing has the expertise and experience to help you develop a customized, actionable digital marketing strategy that fits your business. Connect with us today to discuss how we can maximize the marketing potential of your business and help you avoid pitfalls associated with black hat search engine optimization.