Black Hat SEO can take you to the peak of website ranking and traffic in a very short time. But strictly speaking, it is totally illegal according to search engine ranking guidelines.
You should be avoiding black hat SEO entirely unless you want to get penalized and crash your Google ranking forever.
Don’t run after shortcuts to be successful as they are only momentary.
Stay focused on your long-term approaches and success is only a matter of time.
What You Will Learn
- Different types of SEO – Black Hat, White Hat, and Grey Hat
- How Black Hat SEO affects your site?
- 13 popular Black Hat SEO techniques to avoid
What Is Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO refers to those SEO practices that are against the rules and guidelines of search engines.
These are illegal methods of increasing the page rank in search engines result pages and eventually leading to more organic traffic.
In simple words, the practice of writing content for search engine rankings and not for human beings is deemed as black hat SEO.
- Black Hat SEO Examples – Writing a spun article with keyword stuffing, including hidden links in the content and indulging in manipulative link building practices.
This will get you a good rank on search engines initially but when search engine crawlers will analyze your article after an algorithm update, your website will get a Google penalty.
How Black Hat SEO Affects Your Site?
The ultimate aim of SEO is to get on the first page of search engines.
According to Search Engine Journal, 75% of the users never go past the first page of search result. To reach the first page in a very short time, black hat SEO is the only way as it is a search engine oriented approach.
It is a fact that some websites have been super successful with black hat SEO in the past. But when Google came up with algorithm update policies named Panda and Penguin, all those websites vanished forever.
- Also Read – All about Google’s Panda Algorithm
- Page Rank In Search Engines – Initially, your page rank will increase with black hat SEO tricks and techniques but once search engine crawlers and analyzers spot you, you will be doomed.
Your page rank for specific pages will crumble to new lows. Moreover, it will crash your Google ranking for the overall site.
- Organic Web Traffic – Once you have a good rank in search results, you will get unlimited organic traffic. But once the page rank goes down, organic traffic can reduce to a single digit per day.
With such a significant reduction in organic traffic, your money making opportunities and revenue generation will go down overnight.
- Worst Case Scenario – Getting your website banned from search engines is so easy once you get addicted to black hat SEO. You will be punished forever instead of giving you a temporary penalty which can be recovered.
What Is White Hat SEO?
If you want to avoid downranking every time Google updates its algorithms, white hat SEO is the ultimate solution. These are SEO practices, techniques, and strategies that are in accordance with search engines’ rules and guidelines.
It is important to note that you cannot get success and significant results in a very short time. But you have to put your effort continuously and over the long run, you will achieve sustainable growth for your website in terms of organic traffic and revenue generation. Your rank will go up slowly and steadily.
In simple words, when you write your content for your visitors first and keep SEO in second place on your priority list, it is white hat SEO.
It includes keyword optimization with proper density, quality link building and following other search engine guidelines for better ranking.
The difference between black hat SEO and white hat SEO lies in the fact that white hat SEO is slow, legal and the results are sustainable.
On the other hand, black hat SEO is fast, illegal and the ultimate results are Google penalties, AdSense ban and website ban from search engines.
What Is Grey Hat SEO?
Grey Hat SEO is the middle path between Black and White hat SEO. It is an adaptation from those SEO approaches.
The good thing about Grey hat SEO is that your website is unlikely to get banned nevertheless it can tank your Google ranking once you are spotted after algorithm updates.
Therefore, you need to stay away from Grey Hat SEO to avoid down ranking unless your main source of traffic is not from search engines.
13 Popular Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid
1) Hidden Texts and Links
When the color of the text becomes same as the color of the background, it gets hidden.
Similarly, some of the links in the content are kept hidden so that visitors click on them accidentally and generate money for the website owner.
They fall under Black hat SEO and your website is sure to get punished for these practices.
2) Fake Traffic
Some website owners buy fake traffic because they can make money from ad segments that pay for page views.
Furthermore, fake traffic helps in increasing page rank and total page views help in convincing potential clients easily.
But one must avoid such black hat SEO tricks and focus more on getting organic, social and other legit sources of traffic.
3) Negative SEO
Negative SEO is the practice where a website owner reports or sends spammy or low-quality backlinks to its competitors’ sites. This is done to bring down the rank of a specific page automatically.
But once Google finds you out, instead of punishing the reported web pages, their team will penalize your website.
4) Keyword Stuffing
It is needless to mention that keywords hold the key to a better ranking. But if you exceed the keyword density from 1.5% for each keyword, you are calling for some trouble.
A lot of websites took advantage of this practice previously but once the algorithms and guidelines got updated, they were punished heavily.
5) Buying Cheap Links
This is one of the most irresistible black hat SEO tactics that most people do to increase their search engine ranking significantly within a few weeks.
Most of the links are from low-quality websites and since they are delivered quickly, search engine crawlers can spot your websites easily.
Avoid such practices completely because your website can get banned from search engines. Instead, focus on white hat SEO link building with links from high-quality websites.
Cloaking is one of the most popular black hat SEO techniques where one shows the search engine something different while taking the visitors to a different web page.
Example – You put a text with a link “To watch the full show, go to XYZ site”. The search engines would understand that you are redirecting your visitors to XYZ video streaming website. But in reality, you are sending you visitors to a shopping site. It decreases users’ reliability and you will be penalized sooner than later.
7) Heading Over-Optimization
Headings get more priority when it comes to matching the search query with the content of an article to determine its relevancy and ranking.
People use too many headings in their contents and most of them contain keywords which are meant for search engines.
8) Content Mistakes
- Duplicate content
- Spun content, and
- Automated content
All are bad for search engine ranking. People use different black hat SEO tools and software to spin articles and generate automated content for better search result ranking.
When you write titles full of keywords and catchy words and your contents have no relevance with the title, you are simply click baiting people.
Search engines always want to show their users those links that are relevant to solve their query.
Therefore, you must abstain from such black hat SEO tricks and use catchy relevant titles and headings.
10) Link Farm
There are a number of sites that solely exist to get backlinks from high-quality irrelevant websites and provide backlinks to other websites as a service.
Google hates a website when it has too many irrelevant backlinks and bans it from its search engine.
11) Comment Spamming
It is a very old practice of posting links of a website or web page in the comment section of other websites to drive traffic.
It leads to bad user experience and your website will be the one that will get affected in in terms of downranking.
12) Cookie Stuffing
Cookie stuffing is the process of dropping an affiliate cookie in the computer of the visitors who happens to click on certain links from the content.
The more cookies are there in the visitor’s computer, the more are the chances of making commissions when the visitor buys a product from the affiliate site. Avoid it completely else Google penalty is surely coming your way.
13) Social Media Spamming
This is becoming quite a popular activity these days. People keep on posting the links of their website or web pages in the comment section of popular posts of a page or a group.
They hope that people will click on them after reading their catchy caption. This is actually going to hurt the search engine ranking as social media has a significant factor.
Check out Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and Bing’s Webmaster Guidelines to understand the practices they consider under Black Hat SEO.
Wrapping It Up
In today’s scenario, everyone wants to reach the pinnacle of success in a very short period of time and takes all the shortcut paths available.
Black hat SEO is that shortcut that can take your website to glory for a few days but during the course of time, your website will get penalized by search engines.
Your web traffic and ranking will hit a lifetime low and all your accomplishments will start getting downgraded.
Therefore, keep long-term approaches in mind and keep up the good work with white hat SEO.
Slowly and steadily, you will rise above your competitors in the search results.
White hat SEO is what can give your website sustainable growth and complete sustainability. So, I now believe you will say a big NO to black hat SEO tactics for the success of your website or blog.