What is Black Hat SEO?
SEO is crucial for the success of any content marketing strategy. But it is necessary to recognise that SEO is an ongoing effort. And it takes time to show results. Anybody promising you miraculously fast results is probably using unacceptable techniques. At times, these techniques can fall into the Black Hat SEO category and you can end up with a demoted website on your hands. So, what is black hat SEO? Why do real SEO experts advise you against it? Our SEO team at Perth explains.
What is Black Hat SEO?
In simple terms, black hat SEO refers to the group of techniques and tactics used to rank websites quickly by violating the guidelines of a search engine. Rather than optimising your content and website in a way that makes them useful for human readers, black hat SEO attempts to manipulate the search engine algorithms to return a higher rank. The methods used in this type of SEO are unethical and spammy and can lead to your website being completely blocked from search results.
Common Black Hat SEO Techniques
To avoid black hat SEO techniques for your websites, you have to know about them first. Sometimes it may be difficult to understand whether a method is white hat or black hat. Are you offering the same content to the user as well as search engines? Are you providing good quality content? Are your backlinks earned organically? Is your content useful to the reader? If you answered yes, then the SEO techniques can be considered white hat. We recommend taking the services of SEO professionals, as sometimes, what may seem acceptable to you may be against the guidelines of search engines. Here are some of the most common black-hat SEO techniques to understand this better.
- Paid Links
Buying or selling of links is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a monetary transaction. Even free products in exchange of links is considered as paid links and against search engine guidelines. It is important to note that if a paid link is detected, Google penalises both the buyer and seller. Ensure that all your backlinks are organically earned.
- Keyword stuffing
When you oversaturate your content with multiple target keywords to manipulate ranking for multiple searches or repeat the main keyword excessively for a higher ranking, it’s called keyword stuffing. These texts often make no logical sense and don’t add any value to the web page’s content. Unnatural repetition of words and phrases, listing geographical locations and phone numbers that add no value to the content etc., is considered keyword stuffing by Google and can cause low rankings.
Redirects are a beneficial tool that allows you to send your visitors from one URL to another for an enhanced experience. However, some marketers misuse this feature by sending the search engines to one destination while users are redirected elsewhere. Such sneaky redirects are considered unethical by search engines. Redirecting visitors to an irrelevant page from an authoritative page just to improve its position is also a black hat SEO technique.
It is a common black hat SEO technique in which the marketers show different pieces of content to the search engine and users. Spam websites often use this method to trick the search engine into thinking their content is legitimate. While tailoring content to different demographics is acceptable, even encouraged, presenting different content to crawlers and visitors is unethical.
- Misusing Structured Data
Rich snippets are commonly used in SEO to make your content stand out from the competitors. They let the users know what your web page or website could offer them and hence, are crucial in driving traffic. Black hat SEO takes advantage of this feature by adding inaccurate information. By changing reviews or details, marketers try to manipulate the search engine and the visitors. However, this can later turn against you as search engines have options that allow users to report misinformation.
Why Should You Avoid Black Hat SEO?
Turning to black hat SEO leads to increased risks for your website. While black hat tactics could work for a while, cheating the search engine algorithm will not help for long. The SEO industry considers such techniques to be completely unethical. However, there might still be marketers who want to adopt these methods. Here are five reasons why you should avoid black hat SEO at all times.
- The user experience will be compromised by black hat SEO techniques since these techniques are more search engine- centric.
- It does not guarantee long-term results as the associated techniques are used as short-cuts for quick success.
- After the initial positive results, black hat SEO will ultimately negatively impact your brand visibility, SERP rankings and traffic.
- As your site’s performance deteriorates, you will have financial and revenue losses.
- Even if a few pages adopt black hat techniques, the whole site will be penalised.
Even though black hat SEO is not illegal generally, it is a highly unethical set of practices that are against the guidelines set in place by the search engines for better user experiences. Adopting such techniques may get you quicker success than organic, white hat SEO, but the results won’t last long. Marketers might tell you that it’s ok to adopt such practices, as search engines won’t pick these manipulative practices from the millions of websites they crawl every day. They are wrong. Search engine algorithms are a far cry from the initial days – they are now much advanced and can easily recognise black hat practices. These practices can attract penalties from search engines and your site may be demoted or, worse, blocked from search results. Now that you know what black hat SEO is, always avoid such methods and invest in legitimate SEO. Are you in search of a trustworthy SEO team in Perth? We are a click away. Contact us or email us today!
Rich snippets: These are extra information about a web page displayed on the SERPs that allow users and search engines to understand its content better.
Google Webmaster: Google Webmasters or Google Search Central is a service that helps your content reach the right people by improving your website’s discoverability.
Search Engine Algorithm: A set of rules or process that search engines use to rank websites in response to search queries.