Businesses, particularly the newer ones, are often desperate to acquire exceptional online visibility overnight. Such ventures often get trapped by those alleged “digital marketers” who exploit their desperation for ranking and guide them in the wrong direction with their black hat SEO techniques.
In many cases, black hat SEO tactics are used as those sneaky shortcuts that promise to improve a website’s rank overnight. As mentioned in the previous blogs, search engine optimization is a gradual process that can take weeks and months. Therefore, all those claims of quick rank boost are already bogus.
Also, the ranking achieved through black hat SEO practices remains a fleeting success that often turns over its head. In many cases, a website sporting black hat SEO tactics gets blacklisted by search engines or thrown even below its previous rank.
What Is Black Hat SEO?
Before we discuss the particular techniques, it is important to have an overview of what black hat SEO actually is. It is a set of SEO practices that go against the guidelines rolled out by search engines and the fair play conventions set in the digital marketing industry. Engaging in black hat SEO entails a no-lose outcome. Firstly, it doesn’t guarantee a rank bump. Secondly, you risk getting penalized and blacklisted by search engines. Lastly, you fail to add any value to your page for visitors.
Six Black Hat SEO Techniques
Let’s look at the six common black hat SEO techniques. Make sure your site’s SEO operators are not using them inadvertently or on purpose.
Cloaking, as the term suggests, is an act of hiding. It is one of the popular black hat SEO techniques where a site owner/operator makes two versions of a site: one for visitors and one for search engine bots. Both these versions are different from each other. The primary reason behind carrying out cloaking is to give search crawlers a signal that the website contains useful information of high value.
Usually, websites with low-quality or illegal content use this technique to lure search bots into registering them as sites with high domain authority. Cloaking violates the basic rule of search engine guidelines. It doesn’t just try to deceive search engine bots but also provide low-quality content to users.
This is the reason why permanent de-indexing is often ruled as the punishment for cloaking. In the last couple of years, Google algorithms have become smart enough to detect cloaking before a website can make unlawful gains from this black hat SEO technique.
2) Paid Links
Backlinking is considered one of the essentials of SEO practices. Backlinks are like respect, i.e., you can’t buy them; you can only earn them. However, earning backlinks is a painstaking and time-consuming process. You have to continuously curate valuable content over a long period and promote it, and then you eventually start earning unpaid and organic backlinks.
Since high domain authority websites don’t do paid backlinking, users have to resort to low-quality websites that are just running the business of backlinking without providing any value to its visitors. By
“earning” such backlinks, you don’t do any favor to your site. Google discourages the practices of having paid backlinking.
Even if you are taking the paid link routes, make sure the backlinks are coming from authentic, content-driven websites, and also there is some contextual connection between the anchored text and the link. Google evaluates a couple of these factors and then decides the legitimacy of a backlink.
3) Gateway Pages
Gateway pages are those pages of a website that are stuffed with short and long-tail keywords to trick search bots into believing that these pages are content-rich and of high value. But in actuality, it is just a doorway to other pages. The keywords used on this page redirect the user to other sites. The majority of search engines consider it deception and thus penalizes pages that use one domain as the doorway for other domains. Also, users ending up on those websites bounce off real quick after seeing the mess that they display.
4) Duplicate Content
There are two ways in which content can be duplicated: you copy and paste content from other pages to your site, or you reproduce your existing content on different pages. The first scenario is an outright case of plagiarism and can get your website de-indexed. However, the second scenario doesn’t entail such serious consequences because many times, it is not done with any malicious intent. Nonetheless, you should avoid all sorts of content duplication if you want to get your site in good books of search engines.
5) Spam Comments
You may have noticed comment sections on certain websites that are crammed with nonsensical comments containing links irrelevant to the section in which they are posted. It is another black hat technique that is used manually or via bots to create link juice for a site. Keep in mind these spammy comments featuring links don’t provide any benefit to a page with its ranking. Also, the site that contains such spam comments should be careful because it doesn’t reflect well on its web management skills.
6) Keyword Stuffing
Last but not least, keyword stuffing is a black hat technique that doesn’t work anymore, even if a group of people suggesting you otherwise. You can’t just improve your site rank by inserting relevant keywords left, right, and center on your site. A 300-word body of copy can’t contain more than three long-tail keywords, or else the content will appear stuffed. There was a time when keyword stuff would pay off and got site higher on SERPS. However, search engine crawler bots are now sharp enough to tell apart a well-written piece of informative content and gibberish containing a certain phrase(s) multiple times.
Using black hat techniques won’t give you any success either with conning crawling bots or engaging and converting users. Instead, invest your time and resources on legitimate SEO practices to improve your site’s rank and users’ experience on it. Business Marketing Solutions Group can help you with that with its years of legitimate and effective SEO practices.