In this article, I will answer the question, “What is Black Hat SEO?”
You probably know about white hat SEO, but what exactly is black hat SEO?
You will learn everything you need to know about black hat SEO, including what it is, how it differs from white hat SEO and a list of the most common black hat practices for improving search engine rank in the sections below.
Let’s start this article, without wasting time!
What Is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat SEO is a term that refers to techniques that are used to rank a website in violation of search engine guidelines.
Black Hat SEO strategy affects the search engine algorithms to boost the SERP rank of the blog or website.
Search engines like Google and Bing make it clear which actions are prohibited.
They are also quite outspoken about the consequences of breaking their rules.
Using black hat SEO strategies can penalize your website (either algorithmically or manually), resulting in lower search engine rankings and most likely, decreased organic visitors.
It is important to understand that using black hat SEO practices and strategies can result in your site being blacklisted from search engines, which will end up you with the internet’s top traffic referral source.
A thorough understanding of Black Hat SEO and its consequences is a prerequisite for any SEO.
What Are The Risks Of Using Black Hat SEO?
There are a lot of dangers associated with using black hat SEO strategies to rank your website, which is why most SEOs avoid it.
Most SEO professionals consider these tips to be completely unethical.
However, the fact is that there will always be a small fraction of marketers who try to drive systems to accelerate the organic success of their sites.
Even though black hat SEO strategies work for your website, the effects are often fleeting.
Three Reasons to Avoid Black Hat SEO Techniques:
1. It Can Hurt Your Search Engine Ranking And Visibility.
The most important reason to avoid black hat SEO practices is that they will make your website lose search rank, exposure, and traffic.
When a website’s traffic and exposure drop, conversions and revenue often decrease as well.
This can result in a loss of company revenue job losses or even closures.
At best, a significant drop in organic traffic will need to be offset by a large expense in PPC or other paid marketing.
Website performance may deteriorate due to black hat, SEO methods due to human action, or algorithmic filtering.
2. It Is Not Going To Give Long-Term Results.
Even though manipulative strategies initially improve the rank and organic performance, these gains are rarely sustained.
While it may take some time for Google to recognize that a site uses unethical practices, once it does, traffic loss is inevitable.
The only thing worse than not ranking a site at all is having the rank and traffic artificially inflated, only to plummet shortly.
Businesses want predictability, which Black Hat methods are unable to provide.
3. This Usually Leads To Poor User Experience.
SEO should evaluate the user experience on a website and try to provide as much content and user experience as possible.
On the other hand, black hat approaches optimize search engines (or at least what they believe search engines want to see), not people.
This in itself can be troublesome.
To be successful in your pursuit, you must have a high level of confidence.
If search engines take precedence over users, the site’s chances of converting are likely to be seriously hampered.
What Are Popular Black Hat SEO Tactics?
The purpose of search engine algorithms is to give consumers the best possible results for their searches.
Marketers who use black hat SEO practices successfully steal high SERP rankings from those who employ well-established and organic white hat approaches. Here are some examples of black hat SEO tactics:
1. Keyword Stuffing.
Keyword stuffing is the technique of collating irrelevant words into your content to control where the page ranks in search result pages.
If you employ too many keywords that have no significance, users will have a negative experience.
It can also cause your website to appear in search results for unrelated terms.
Google defines keyword stuffing as:
Phone book entries of little or no importance.
Attempts to rank for cities and states using blocks of text indicating these locations.
We are using the same words or phrases unnaturally.
Excessively repeating your page’s primary target keywords will not help you rank.
Keyword stuffing, as it’s called, almost always has the opposite effect.
A cap in black SEO can sometimes attempt to influence a site’s ranking by scattered keywords in an unnatural way.
Keyword stuffing is often seen outside of primary content or inside paragraphs in random blocks that don’t make sense when read aloud.
2. Duplicate/Automatically Generated Content.
Creating amazing content is not easy, but it cannot be denied that it is still one of Google’s top three ranking criteria.
Automatically generating content to rank for a large number of keywords is a consistent black hat strategy to really go far and produce good, original content.
For example, let’s say you’ve developed several location pages that have all the same information except for the place name.
It is common in black hat SEO to use low-quality content that does not help the searcher in any way.
This includes content scraped by humans from a machine or any other website.
Search engines like Google used to have trouble detecting plagiarism information from other websites.
In 2011, the Google Panda update addressed this issue.
The search engine rankings of many sites with duplicate content fell almost as quickly.
Google’s ability to recognize duplicate and low-quality content has improved significantly since then.
Therefore, to prevent troubles caused by low-quality or duplicate pages, take the time to generate SEO-friendly content.
3. Hidden Text.
Hidden text is the same color as the backdrop and is of the screen or behind an image or has a font size of zero to hide it from users.
This is confusing, but sometimes it is used to pack keywords.
Many marketers would submit large lists of keywords they wanted their content to rank for in the SERPs.
4. Doorway/Gateway Pages.
Google considers it a violation of its standards to create sites that target certain search queries with content that acts as a funnel to a particular page.
Doorway or gateway pages are the names given to such pages.
Each piece of content on your website should have a specific function, and you shouldn’t be creating pages to rank only for keywords that aren’t related.
Here are several examples:
You’re building sites that funnel readers into one page by targeting geographically focused keywords in places where your organization doesn’t have a physical presence.
Pages are designed to rank purely for search queries, rather than to satisfy user demand.
Create content for people instead of search engines.
Cloaking involves displaying a piece of content to consumers while search engines view a different piece of content.
Cloaking is a strategy that involves presenting alternative content or URLs to users and search engines, to provide them with a unique experience.
Websites that use black hat techniques like SEO do this to make content rank for many phrases that are unrelated to the content.
Spam websites often prevent a search engine bot from discovering the spam content they serve to consumers.
It’s a clear attempt to rank a page based on content written for search engines while redirecting readers to a different location (or whatever).
This is a deceptive tactic that goes against search engine standards.
Focus your efforts on creating the best possible user experience, and there’s a strong chance that search engines will love your website as well.
6. Paid/Manipulative Links.
The buying and selling of links with money are strictly prohibited by search engines like Google.
One of the most frequent types of black hat SEO is the link scheme, where many people get confused.
Many marketers understand that they should provide their visitors with useful content and should not hide information, but link building is a bit more complicated.
The main reason is that links must be earned, especially when editorial endorsements are from one website to another.
This implies that you should avoid using strategies such as:
- Paid (sponsored) links with no rel=”nofollow” or rel=”sponsored” attribute.
- Excessive link exchange.
- Spam Comments on Blogs.
- Spam on message boards.
- Large-scale article marketing or guest posting efforts.
- Spammy directories, bookmarking sites, and Web 2.0 properties are examples of automatic link creation.
- Links in the site’s footer or sidebar.
- Use of exact match or commercial anchor text in links.
7. Misused Rich Snippets And Structured Data.
Structured data is called “rich snippets” or “schema”.
It enables you to change how your content appears on search engine result pages.
It sets your content apart from competitors and gives you additional real estate on search result pages.
Structured data can be added to a podcast, recipe, or book submission page, among other goods and services.
Schema markup for reviews is a specific type of structured data.
Although structured data can help specify online entities, activities, and connections, misuse or abuse of this markup is often a black hat strategy.
Black hat SEO involves providing false information in structured data to deceive search engines and people.
This typically involves using structured data to provide factually incorrect information—for example, to those trying to improve their site’s structured data.
Many marketers create false reviews with 5-star ratings to increase their company’s SERP rank and increase CTR.
This, like the other strategies on this list, is pure deceit and should not be used.
8. Misleading Redirects.
Once they click on the first link, they will be redirected to the second URL.
In black hat SEO, redirects are used for purposes other than their intended purpose.
Similar to cloaking, this may involve sending a search engine crawler with one page while sending all other visitors to a different page.
If you are going to use redirects, make sure you only use them for the intended purpose.
Using redirects is a regular element of SEO, whether you’re upgrading an old page to a new URL or planning a site relocation.
There is nothing wrong with that.
This is the best way to ensure that your site is well organized and accessible to both visitors and search engine crawlers.
Similar to cloaking, black hat SEOs use clever redirection to trick search engines and show content that differs from what the user is viewing.
A search engine often indexes the original page while consumers are redirected to a new URL.
Incognito redirection is specifically listed in Google’s Webmaster Criteria as a black hat technique that violates the guidelines.
9. Negative SEO.
It would be a mistake to believe that all black hat SEO strategies are directed towards the site a marketer is trying to rank for.
Negative SEO is a tactic used by unscrupulous SEOs to lower the rank of their competitors.
Think of it as if you’re using Google’s standards on someone else’s site rather than your own.
In fact, it usually entails directing a large number of artificial links to someone else’s domain in hopes of being punished.
While such attacks aren’t particularly prevalent, it’s important to be aware of them and check your link profile regularly, especially as Google is getting better at disregarding links coming from them.
10. Link Farm.
Websites or groups of websites that were created solely for the purpose of creating links are known as link farms.
Each website includes a link to the site or sites they wish to rank better in search results.
Search engines rank websites based on various variables, including the number of links pointing to them.
A hat in black SEO takes advantage of using the link form to artificially inflate a site’s number of backlinks.
Link farms are known for low-quality content and many links. In most cases, the anchor text of the link contains the phrase for which they are aiming to rank the website.
Link forms can be easily detected by search engines like Google.
As such, they should be avoided. Instead, use white hat SEO strategies such as providing great content, infographics, statistics, interviews, or any other type of content that helps you systematically aggregate backlinks over time.
11. Private Blog Networks (PBN).
A personal blog network (PBN) is a collection of official websites primarily used to build links.
They are similar to link farms in that they both attempt to increase the number of links within the context of a certain website.
Each PBN site links to the site it wants to rank higher in search results, but not to each other.
A HUDA figure.
When SEOs want to build a private network, they usually acquire an expired domain with a lot of authority.
They will add a connection to their site and produce content similar to what is on the domain before it expires.
They believe that search engines will not be able to detect that they are running a network of websites and will rank their primary site much better in search results.
Detection of PBNs by search engines has become more difficult, and you could face a significant penalty if you use them to increase your search visibility.
Instead of wasting time setting up fake websites, focus on producing high-quality content under your domain.
Maintaining the same domain for all your content will give your website a lot of authority.
How To Report Black Hat SEO?
You can report Black Hat SEO in two ways.
Either your website has been hacked, infected with a virus, or subjected to a spammy link-building operation, or you are viewing spammy web results for a competing phrase for which your website is ranking.
You can submit a webspam report using Google Webmaster Tools for the latter.
Please exercise caution when using this tool.
Spam has nothing to do with searches that yield better results than mine!
Falsely reporting spam on the Internet is a form of black hat SEO.
If your website has been hacked, has a virus, or is infected with malware, you should request a malware evaluation after the dangerous code has been removed.
If your website is the victim of a spammy link-based negative SEO campaign, use Google Webmaster Tools’ Disavow Links tool after contacting the webmasters who refer these links to your site to be removed.
Black hat SEO is a controversial topic.
We know that it works, but we also know that it can be dangerous.
If you’re looking to rank higher on search engines, then you need to be aware of the negative consequences of black hat SEO.
As a search engine optimization expert, I can say that it’s not something you should do because it can have a negative impact on your website.
It’s better to follow search engine guidelines and use white hat SEO to increase your search rankings.
I hope you liked this article and if you did, then share it on social media.
Thanks for reading!