Do they literally wear a Black Hat while doing it? Not really…but that would be cool!
Again the question arises, then what is Black Hat SEO? First, we’ll start with the basics of SEO and then go on to differentiate between Black Hat & White Hat techniques. What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. SEO helps to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engine.
SEO is typically a set of “white hat” best practices that webmasters and web content producers follow to help them achieve a better ranking in search engine results So, now I hope we have understood the meaning & definition of SEO and how it can be used to generate valuable leads for business through the Internet. Let’s move forward. Okay, till now you guys might be thinking, this seems fun & easy. But let me tell you, SEO is not everyone’s piece of cake. It takes immense hard work & focus to accomplish it. Some people think that you just have to put a website in a ready-made software and it comes out optimized and starts indexing on the 1st Page of Google. Face-Palm! (Literally, I have met these types of people, so just wanted to clarify).
It works like this:
You have to follow guidelines of all the major Search Engines, make changes on the structure, get backlinks, do on-page, off-page, create new pages, update titles, meta, etc. And while doing all these activities, you should not violate Search Engines Guidelines. It takes minimum 6 months or more for any website to show up on Google’s 1st page.
Here’s the link to follow proper Guidelines of Google.
And here the main difference starts between White Hat & Black Hat techniques. SEOs who follow proper Search Engine Guidelines are known as White Hat SEOs. This technique is the best to use and it lasts longer.
And obviously, those who don’t Follow these Guidelines are known as Black Hat SEO. They use spam methods to increase their ranking in Google’s organic search results, at time it helps, and you see some significant results, but they are not long lasting methods, and Google penalizes these sites frequently. Black hat SEO techniques are fastest, easiest and the most dirty practices of getting your website to the top of the search engines. They may get you to the top in days, but Google will just as quickly discover your dirty little tricks and it’ll all come crashing down – with your organization’s reputation suffering the most damage. These practices are against Google policy.
So now you might be thinking, only fools do black hat SEO. Actually, these techniques are used by spammers who claim to give guaranteed results in one month, higher rankings in a short time, etc. People who offer cheap services also use this method, so beware of them. To reach the first page in the search engine result pages, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) acts as a PATHWAY to reach your destination. But this SEO also has two pathways namely Black Hat SEO & Whitehat SEO. As we have seen the guidelines laid down by search engines, it’s obvious that this process takes time and no one can guarantee 1st page results in less time. And mind you, Google and other search engines know how to penalize these websites and remove them from Indexing. So just for a short period of time they enjoy 1st page rankings and once your website is penalized it takes months or even years to recover from it. So now Let’s Move on to learn about these Black Hat Techniques in detail and how it can affect your Online Reputation.
The most popular Black hat technique, cloaking is the practice of deceiving the search engine by showing different content to Google and taking your website users to a different content or web page than the one they think they must be going to, after having clicked the search engine link.
If detected by Google’s Algorithm, such websites are subjected to a penalty which includes a drop in the ranking of the website or even banning it from the search engine, completely.
It was a widely used technique before Google updated its algorithm, link-exchanges basically means getting back-links from low & irrelevant websites and in exchange giving them a back-link. But now Google states that link building should be done naturally. This technique can get you lots of links in less time but will not help you improve your rank. In this Guideline Google clearly states that link-exchanges should not be practiced: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en
3 Duplicate Content
One of the worst & easy Black Hat Technique is Copying content from another Website. Google’s Algorithm is modified almost daily, Once a new content is uploaded on any Website, Google Indexes it and will not reconsider it again for Indexing. Therefore, you should focus your SEO efforts in creating unique and original website content only.
4 Buying Links
Getting Back-links is considered as one of the Major factors in SEO. Links are good for ranking Websites. But we should not buy links from untrusted websites or any website for that matter. Internet is flooded with many such ads who call us to buy links for few dollars. Google Panda Update ban those sites which have bad or fraud links.
5 Keyword Stuffing
With Google’s Search & Ranking Algorithm Updated this technique is never to be used. Basically, it means placing your targeted keyword, on every line of your Content, this technique is rarely used now, thanks to the Google’s Updated Algorithm. But this doesn’t mean that you should not use your Target Keyword at all. Compare to the Content, 2% – 3% keyword should be used appropriately and is considered normal by many professionals. Using more than this is considered keyword stuffing by Google.
6 Hidden Text
It simply means having white text on white background with keyword stuffing. We as humans could not track the data in a white colour text in the white colour background definitely, but Google bots can track it. Bots have an automated system that identifies hidden codes in text source and may penalize your site.
7 Link Farms
It means a group of the sites containing links to connect with each other. What may look like a regular web page is full of hyperlinks which are most often not relevant to the site being linked to. They are often set up by creating a network — one that is often created with the sole purpose of gathering a number of locations from which to point at a website. Because Google dislikes links between unrelated sites, some link farms divide their links into categories or a directory. Google does not like unrelated links and link farming, on the whole, it will trace those sites and penalize them.
8 Writing for Search Engines
Content has always been an important factor. How content influences results may change over time or (better worded) our understanding of how to use content may evolve, but to be sure – content has always and will always be a key factor in the algorithms in one capacity or another. Some bloggers only focus on search engine traffic and write articles to make search engine robots crawl their site fast. But it ends up with confusion to the readers to understand what the article is about. There is nothing wrong in it, but Google’s Panda Update can now detect such spam content and remove them from the rankings or index.
Working on your SEO, the simplest and natural way, can provide more friendly user experience and increase your rankings too. However, making your website over-optimized can hurt your rankings. Hence, your posts should b easy to read & follow.
10 Low-Quality Content
You can lose your website’s credibility and rank through low quality or spun content. Such content will more likely send the visitor away, so it is better to write new, error-free and original articles.
11 Mirror Websites
Basically, it means a person has many websites but theoretically he writes same content on all websites. As mentioned above Google can detect duplicate content and you have to face a penalty.
How to manage this black hat SEO risk
- Don’t fall for those spamming emails you receive offering you link building or SEO services.
- Before hiring an SEO company, do your homework. How do they work? What types of success claims do they make?
- If they promise you high rankings, walk away. No one can guarantee anything when it comes to the search engines.
- If they promise you overnight success, walk away. SEO is always an ongoing and long-term strategy.
- Don’t be shy to get referrals and speak with past customers.
- Do a search for the company’s targeted keywords and investigate how good their own search engine rankings are.
- If they seem too good to be true (in their claims, in their pricing or in any other way), they probably are.
Hence, Black Hat techniques harm your website ranking and authority. It may lead to a permanent ban from search engine result pages (SERPs) which could lead to closure of your internet business.
For more info, we have a SEO blog where we write about ranking factors of Google.
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