SEO abbreviates to Search Engine Optimization; a legit technique to rank higher in search engines organically. However, some marketers have taken it in a wrong way to cheat search engine algorithms using different tricks later coined as Black Hat SEO.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO is a technique to manipulate the search engine results for a search query. Basically, marketers use different tricks and phishing practices to rank websites on the top in search engine rankings instead of creating high-quality web pages and getting excellent results.
These Black Hat SEO or Black Hat Internet Marketing techniques helps to get the fastest results but do not work in a long run. A few years back search engines were not that smart to identify web spam, however, this is not the case anymore. These kinds of SEO techniques often lands you get a penalty from search engines like Google, Bing & DuckDuckGo.
What are the Black Hat SEO Techniques?
A lot of Black Hat Techniques to rank websites are in practice but the most popular are keyword stuffing, cloaking & PBNs. Most search engines have their own webmaster guidelines to optimize websites and web pages and do not suggest tricking search engines algorithms to get a high ranking in SERPs. As we said earlier, using these black hat search engine optimization techniques may lead to penalties for your website which means losing current rankings too and loss of organic traffic.
Cloaking is an unethical way to use two different contents; one is written for the search engines and the other for the users. The cloaking while search engine optimization of web pages violates the webmaster guidelines and invites penalties from algorithms like Google Penguin.
Hidden text and links
Many webmasters use hidden texts and links on a web page with a similar background color or size “0”. This practice makes the text invisible to users while surfing the website and google calls it deceptive in its webmaster guidelines (read here). Google particularly highlighted the following:
- Using white text on a white background
- Locating text behind an image
- Using CSS to position text off-screen
- Setting the font size to 0
- Hiding a link by only linking one small character—for example, a hyphen in the middle of a paragraph
As its name suggests; a website owner simply compies the content from other websites and published it as it is on his own site. This type of content is called duplicate or plagiarized content. If your site is practicing these black hat SEO techniques then you are on the way to getting penalties from search engines like Google.
Paid links are the most trending black hat SEO technique that is still in use and preferred by pro marketers as it is not easily noticeable. You can understand this technique as one website owner pays another website to give a link in exchange for money.
Article Spinning or rephrasing the content, copying from the other website, and publishing on your own website is another popular black hat search engine optimization trick. This technique is commonly used for Autoblogging where a website owner scraps the content from another website and rewrites manually or using Artificial Intelligence. It also falls under the Black Hat SEO techniques and is prohibited by search engines.
Link Farms, Link Wheels, Link network
Link Farms, Link Wheels, Link networks often called Private Blog Networks are websites with almost no content with links to other web pages. Creating such backlinks to increase the website authority is useless and total wastage of time. In our view, you should invest your time and money to create link-worthy content that people love to link.
Structure Data Markup
Structure Data Markup is a process to format web page elements to show data to search engines and users on search result pages. This also helps search engines to clearly see the data on a particular webpage. However, some webmaster exploits this SEO technique to send wrong data signals to the search engines and show wrong information to the website visitors. Thus, exploiting this process is also considered a prohibited practice while doing SEO.
Automated Queries to Google
Submitting Automated Queries to Google goes against them its Terms of Services and doing this you may get a penalty. This is done by using software to increase the number of keyword searches to rank higher in the SERPs. SEOs do this to reach the top position on the Search Engine Result Pages in an unnatural way.
The Keyword Stuffing is one of the oldest Black Hat SEO Techniques in utilization since the inception of Internet Marketing. A webmaster utilizes the irrelevant keywords on a webpage at a scale to get more traffic on a website. However, these website visitors are irrelevant to the webpage because they were searching for something else but you’ve onboarded them by stuffing misleading keywords on the page.
Why should you avoid Black Hat SEO?
The main reasons to avoid Black Hat SEO are:
- It is illegal & unethical
- Harm Brand reputation
- Doesn’t provide what users are searching for
- Not good for long run
- Gives irelevant content
- Increasing bounce rate
- May get search engine penalty
How to avoid Black Hat SEO?
White Hat SEO is the best way to avoid the Black Hat Marketing tactics as it performs well in long run builds strong businesses. Black Hat SEO can work for the short term and can lead to quick success but now search engines are smart enough to detect web spam and punish them. You should always focus on creating an ethical business with fair marketing practices.
The best ways to avoid Black Hat SEO are:
- Create Unique Content
- Create in-depth and research content
- Build relationship with audieance
- Improve redability and quality of site
- Increase CTR & engagement
- Decrease bounce rate
How to report Black Hat SEO?
Have you found a website using unfair SEO practices and planning to report them?
Do you know, you can do it!
If you found a website that is using the black hat SEO techniques to manipulate the search rankings you can file a spam report with Google for the violations. Your reporting will help the Google algorithms to discover the webspam and check for the violations.
If that website is found using unfair ways to get higher rankings then Google will take action against that website and may penalize that by downgrading their ranking.
Black Hat SEO techniques can deliver quick results but such results don’t last long and leaves negative impact on the quality of search results. Black Hat Search Engine Optimization is opposite to White Hat SEO techniques where White Hat process takes hard work & time, follows the search engine guidelines. On other hand black hat tactics gives fast results.
Almost every search engine updates its search algorithms to deal with such website that spam the search results. Sometimes, search engines like Google completely ban them from its search index. Using Black Hat SEOs will not take you anywhere, so it is better to invest some time and money on the fair SEO pracitices.