Black Hat is a term often used to describe someone with malicious intent, and in the world of computers, it is often in the association of hacking, or in this case, Black Hat SEO techniques.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO is aimed at achieving higher search ratings in an unethical manner. Usually employed by those looking for a quick return to their internet site, instead of investing on a long-term basis.
Black Hat SEO can result in a website or page ban by the Search Engines, but most owners of such sites do not mind being banned because they are oriented on a quick high return business model.
Why you should beware of Black Hat SEO
You can easily distinguish between Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO. Both are methods to manipulate search engine spiders to give higher rankings, but you can separate them based on how fast they work. The authorized SEO strategy is quite slow to lead into advantages – patience is key. In the use of unethical methods, such as using Black Hat SEO, results are produced quickly.
Google offers a 32-page manual covering those SEO methods that it finds acceptable. If you are a business who only wants to promote yourself via the Web, you really should follow these guidelines. There are many marketers out there that will offer instant success, massive traffic generated to your site and increased visibility in the search engines results, but you should beware.
What are common Black Hat SEO techniques?
As most web page owners already know, SEO is imperative to the success of your website. With so many different methods for SEO campaigns out there, it can become overwhelming trying to decide what works and what doesn’t.
Then some techniques seem to provide good immediate results, but which when used can put your entire website and domain at risk of being blacklisted by Google and other search engines. These are the so-called Black Hat techniques.
The following SEO tactics are considered the black hat and should not be employed if you want to stay ethical and above board with search engines including Google:
- Keyword stuffing – writing thin content or using keyword stuffing.
- Page Swapping – this technique is also known as the old bait-and-switch, where one of your pages are indexed and ranked with popular content only to change it (the content of the page) entirely.
- Hidden or invisible text and links – hiding links and text or writing tiny text and on the same color as the background color for the sole purpose to build backlinks.
- Linking over-optimization – trying to over-optimize the inbound links will ruin your site profile in search engines.
- Duplicate content – writing duplicate content.
- Content automation – using automated ways to generate content.
- Article spinning – crafting manual or automated article spinning.
- Cloaking – in this technique, the search engine and the user are directed to unrelated content which may be pages or sites.
- Malicious active content – building up pages with malicious behavior.
- Webrings – using web rings to get traffic from related websites.
- Link farms – manipulating your link profile by increasing the number of inbound links.
- Guest post spam – unrelated guest blogging just to generate links.
- Splogs – also known as “spam blogs,” utilize software that creates garbled text containing keyword phrases all to getting users to click on ads.
- Shady redirects – using 301 redirect link exchange.
- Spam footer links – loading the footer of your website with links.
- Paid advertorials – paying for advertorial to pass authority.
- Google bombing – influencing the rank of a page by artificially increasing the number of pages that link to it and the anchor texts used.
- Automated Google queries – sending automated Google queries.
- Cybersquatting or domain squatting – registering domains similar to a trademark for the sole purpose of getting monetary benefits.
It is better to generate original anchors than to have duplicate links that are not genuine.
How Google penalizes websites for Black Hat SEO techniques
As a whip to the Black Hat SEO users who are against the search engines guidelines, Google has some moves up the sleeve to punish them.
These Black Hat SEO penalties include:
- Dropping the rank of a page or/and a website – the ranking of a page or/and a site drops which leads to less traffic and search visibility in Google.
- Removing the site or page from SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) – the site or page is expelled from the search engines’ result pages which lead to minor traffic than before.
- Manual web spam penalty – a website’s search is ranked negatively due to updates to Google’s search set of rules and manual ratings.
- De-indexing of a site – Google may ban sites from its search results if it believes it has violated its algorithms.