Black Hat SEO - What It Is

In the SEO world, there are clear rules to follow, that is if you want to stay in the good graces of Google. The search giant has guidelines in place designed to provide users with a useful, relevant, and safe experience while looking for information, products, and services online.

Google penalises websites that don’t follow its rules. People who practice what’s called ‘black hat SEO’ are putting their websites at risk by trying to outsmart Google’s system.

Black hat SEO consists of doing things like spamming blogs to gain links and publishing low-quality content that’s not useful to anyone.

On the other hand, white hat SEO is done using Google-approved techniques to improve a website’s ranking. White Hat SEO does not rely on any under-handed tactics to trick the search engine algorithms.

Examples of Black Hat SEO

You can look at Black Hat SEO as any attempt to fool the system by artificially or unnaturally inflating a website’s search result rankings. Some examples of Blackhat SEO include:

  • Keyword stuffing: The deliberate over-use of commonly searched keywords in an attempt to push a site up in the SERPs.
  • Posting duplicate content: When a substantial amount of content is copied from another site, with or without permission in an attempt to boost rankings and traffic levels.
  • Comment spamming: Posting a non-relevant and spammy comment on a blog or website that includes a link. While adding a link in comments isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is when the comments made are nonsensical and low-quality. People who take part in this black hat tactic do it to drive traffic to their own sites.
  • Cloaking: The act of misleading a user to content that they didn’t search for. This technique is often done to drive traffic to a site. An example is if you are using ‘pharmacy’ as your keyword and you click on a link that takes you to a page with completely unrelated content that has nothing to do with a pharmacy.
  • Link Farming: Linking many websites to one targeted site in an attempt to boost that site up in the search results.

These are just a few blackhat SEO tactics. Others include reporting a competitor (aka negative SEO), buying links, link manipulation, sneaky redirects, and more.

It’s Not Worth the Risk

If Google discovers that you’ve overtly used one or more black hat SEO tactics to trick its system, you’ll be penalised. A Google penalty will result in your site being deindexed which means it will be buried deep in the SERPs where no one will find it.

Even though black hat SEO may boost your site up in search rankings, it’s an unethical practice you should avoid at all costs. It’s simply not worth risking the success of your business and the reputation of your brand. Be one of the good guys instead and follow Google’s guidelines with white hat SEO!