Ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) is an important factor for driving traffic which could then generate leads to your website.
As an SEO Specialist, your aim is to rank high on search engine results pages. As a result, you are left with two options – either to use the proper SEO techniques (White hat SEO) or choose the wrong techniques (black hat SEO) which involve manipulating the process by engaging in negative practices such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, etc.
In this article, we’ll be looking into the meaning of black hat SEO, the different tactics, and the reasons why you should avoid it.
What is Black Hat SEO?
As the digital world evolved, the number of websites increased and people started concentrating on their site’s ranking on search engines.
As a result of this, the need to optimize their websites in order to enable them to rank higher on SERP was introduced along with the processes and principles involved in achieving it.
These principles were created to be properly followed to earn a legit ranking on search engines. However, over time, some negative techniques were introduced to manipulate the search engine’s algorithm to rank faster. The process of applying those techniques is what we know today as “Black Hat SEO”.
Black Hat SEO is a trick people use for search engines in order to increase their website ranking even when there is no relevant content or quality backlinks on the site.
Black Hat SEO Techniques To Avoid
Cloaking in SEO is a situation where the content you deliver to the search engine is different from the content seen by your users.
It enables your page to rank for a variety of terms that are not related to your content.
Cloaking is not easily discovered when you add “no archive” within your meta-tags, that is why it is used by most spam websites.
This technique is used to hide spam links, sneaky redirects, malicious software, excess ads, and machine-generated content.
Cloaking can be implemented either by using texts that cannot be seen by users. Black Hat SEOs achieve this by making the font color the same as the background color.
2. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is one of the major practices carried out in black hat SEO, it involves adding irrelevant and particular keywords constantly to your content with the aim to influence search engines to rank you higher on the result pages.
When keywords are properly placed in areas like the title, meta description, headers, and a few times within the main content, they won’t be considered as being stuffed.
But when you jam irrelevant keywords to your content, it makes it look like it was written just for bots and not humans, and search engines will always detect it to be a form of manipulation to its algorithm.
An example of keyword stuffing for an SEO content writers blog is this:
SEO contents are very important for SEO ranking in search engines. Every SEO needs an SEO content writer to carry out an effective SEO activity. SEO contents provide information for search engines during their crawling process.
From the example above, you can see that the word “SEO” is constantly used in a paragraph and it doesn’t look proper while reading.
In writing content mostly for search engine optimization, you have to avoid the constant use of a particular word. It’s best to have a mix of your target keyword, its synonyms, and other related words.
3. Using Paid Links
One major issue people face in SEO is the ability to generate quality backlinks, which is one of the key factors for high ranking on search engines.
In order to acquire quality backlinks, you need to provide very useful and shareable content.
In a bid to rank higher much faster, some people choose to go to websites that have built authority to buy links that would boost their site. This can trigger a Google penalty on a site
4. Link Farm
Link farms involve a group of unrelated websites connecting to another to increase its page rank on search engines.
It looks like a regular web page but it’s a program created only to gather a large number of links from various sites that would be linked to a particular website.
Why Should You Avoid Black Hat SEO?
Search engine algorithms have become more sophisticated over time, therefore it is easy for Search engines like Google to detect these techniques when implemented on a website.
Long-term use of black hat SEO techniques results in risking your presence on search engines rather than improving it.
It can lead to your site being wiped completely from search results pages or in minor cases, a drop in rankings.
How You Can Avoid Practicing Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO, as already stated above, is an illegal process for ranking on search engines and should be avoided so as not to be penalized by search engines when detected.
Also for long-lasting brand credibility, it’s best to focus on building your website with long-term SEO practices. Some of the ways you can avoid black hat SEO include:
- Provide relevant contents that are the same when viewed by the search engine and users. Don’t try to manipulate search engines.
- Use relevant keywords and place them appropriately when creating your content to avoid keyword stuffing.
- Avoid buying backlinks. Create quality, relevant, and shareable content.
Black hat SEO is never the best option for building your website’s credibility. It’s unethical and when discovered, can get you penalized by search engines.
SEO is usually a long-term game that always pays off in the long run as long as you follow best practices.