What is Black Hat SEO? 19 SEO techniques you need to avoid
Black Hat SEO techniques were once widely utilized by marketers to rank websites, but now everything has changed. Today, EverRanks will go into great detail about what is Black Hat SEO and 19 strategies to avoid if you don’t want to violate the algorithm and Webmaster Quality Guidelines.
What is Black Hat SEO?
The term “Black Hat SEO” refers to a set of techniques used to manipulate search engine algorithms in order to boost a website’s or page’s ranking on the SERPs (search engine result pages).
In Western movies, the phrase “Black Hat” first appeared to distinguish the “evil guys” from the “good guys,” who wore white hats (we also have White Hat SEO). Since Black Hat SEO not only violates search engine policies but it also does not help the searcher and frequently results in a penalty from search engines.
The risks of Black Hat SEO
Utilizing Black Hat SEO techniques to improve your website’s rank carries a number of hazards, which is why the majority of SEOs decide against utilizing such strategies.
Even if Black Hat SEO strategies succeed in driving traffic to your website, the effects are commonly transient. Because these methods are not helpful for any users, and they wouldn’t be employed if search engines didn’t exist, it is a truth.
Moreover, when examining Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, it is easy to see that they provide clear guidance on the fundamentals of SEO:
“Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee.”
Black Hat SEO is not illegal, but it does go against search engine webmaster standards. This means that if you use Black Hat SEO, you must be prepared to suffer a severe penalty as a result. A penalty from search engines will lead your website to decline in the search rankings, or worse, it may be removed entirely.
19 Black Hat SEO techniques you need to avoid
According to Google, “any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.”
The purchasing and selling of links is strictly prohibited by Google. Getting detected could result in an automated or manual penalty that affects on certain pages, or worse, the entire website.
You may believe that you can hide a link in your website’s content or by making the link the same color as the background, but Google will discover and penalize you for attempting to trick the system.
Hidden links are against Google’s standards. The more irrelevant connections you include, the less likely Google will be to send traffic to your intended audience because your relevancy will be diluted.
Because footers are present on every page of a website, they are ideal locations for links. In order to manipulate results, you may have been inserting footer links with commercial anchor text on a large scale. If so, Google will probably be able to spot it and penalize you.
Some Black Hat SEOs will attempt to manipulate Google’s penalty system to further their goals by backlinks linked from websites you wouldn’t want to be associated with in order to lower your page rank.
A link farm is a website or group of websites created exclusively for link building. Low-quality content and a lot of links are common in link farms. The anchor text of the links typically includes the keyword they want the website to rank for.
Since search engines rank websites based on the quantity of links pointing to them, Black Hat SEOs make use of this by link farm. However, Link farms are easily detected by search engines like Google, therefore they should be avoided.
Cloaking is an ancient Black Hat method that is still used today: utilize a flash or animated page to hide information in the HTML that only Google can see. If Google discovers that you are cloaking, you will be penalized.
Article spinning is a strategy that involves rewriting content using synonyms, modifying sentence structure, or completely rewriting language while conveying the same information as the source material. It is similar to duplicating or plagiarizing content.
Despite the fact that automated article spinning has improved to the point where the articles are understandable, Google will still penalize you for spun content.
Doorway or Gateway pages are a type of cloaking technique. They are made to appear in search results for specific keywords, but they then send users to different pages.
Redirects are frequently used in SEO, whether you’re updating an outdated page to a new URL or getting ready for a site migration. Black Hat SEOs, on the other hand, utilize cunning redirection to trick search engines and provide material that differs from what a user sees, much like cloaking.
A search engine will frequently index the original page even though users are sent to a different URL. Sneaky redirects are particularly listed as a Black Hat technique that Google prohibits in its Webmaster Guidelines.
Private blog networks
Private blog networks are websites which link to each other. They used to be much more common in the 1990s and the early 2000s, especially among fanpages for various television programs, motion pictures, musicians, etc.
Webrings are regarded as a link scheme when they are intended to trick algorithms, even though they are not always evil.
Poor quality content
Poor quality material that provides no value to the searcher is another typical tactic in Black Hat SEO. A typical example is the “bait and switch” method. This entails producing material about a subject you want to rank for. The content is changed once the page starts to appear in search results for this subject. As a result, searchers will have a bad experience because the content they clicked through to view is no longer available.
The technique of cramming your content with unrelated keywords in an effort to promote where the page appears on search results pages is known as keyword stuffing. When keywords are added in several variations even when they don’t bring any value, users are negatively affected. Additionally, it can make your page rank for unrelated queries.
Automatically generated/duplicate content
Automatically generating content to rank for a lot of keywords without actually writing anything useful or original is a frequent Black Hat approach. Many SEOs make use of this technique by creating numerous location pages with the same content, with the exception of the place name changing.
The comments section of a website may allow you to share a link to your website. However, utilizing so many comments to gain an irrelevant link might lead you to be a spammer and receive a penalty.
Hidden text, like hidden links, is information that has been made the same color as the background. This strategy aims to stuff a page with as many keyword phrases, long-tail keywords, and semantically related words as possible.
Of course, Google’s algorithm can distinguish between keywords that are present in a paragraph’s body and those that are buried in the background.
Overused anchor text
Every time you post a link to your website, it can make sense to use the exact same title because that indicates what the page is about, and consistency may suggest relevance.
However, this is also how it would appear to Google if you were carelessly spamming.
Abusing structured data and rich snippets
Giving false information in structured data to trick users and search engines is known as Black Hat SEO. For example, someone using Black Hat SEO might give themselves five stars on a false review site and add structured data to stand out on search results pages.
Reporting competitors (Negative SEO)
Negative SEO is a tactic used by certain unethical SEOs to lower their competitors’ ranks. Consider this as employing Google policy-violating techniques on a website other than your own.
In reality, this typically involves creating a huge number of unnatural connections to another person’s website then reporting to make it punished as a result.
Google has the right to stop users from using their search engine to access your website if it has been attacked or infected with harmful code.
This will not only make you untrustworthy to anyone who comes to your website through organic search, but it will also cause your website to fall in the ranks, much like a Penguin or Panda penalty would.
Some frequently asked questions about Black Hat SEO
- Black Hat SEO vs. White Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO violates search engine guidelines and manipulates them to improve rankings. It may result in getting completely removed from search results or moving down the rankings. White hat SEO is a more moral approach to SEO that emphasizes producing high-quality content and a positive user experience.
- How to report Black Hat SEO?
When you suspect that a website is ranking because of purchased links, spam, or other violations, you can file a spam report with Google Webmaster Tools. Although reporting a website won’t result in immediate action, it will help algorithms better detect spam.
This article has shown you what Black Hat SEO is and its risks to your website. EverRanks hopes that “19 Black Hat SEO strategies you need to avoid” can help you in the future. Please follow EverRanks for more useful knowledge!
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