For marketers looking for a shortcut to boost their search engine rankings and increase online visibility, black hat SEO may seem to be the solution. However, if you are planning to use black hat SEO techniques, think twice as it can hurt your SEO campaign more than it can help.
What Is Black Hat SEO and Why You Should Avoid Them
Black Hat SEO is a set of illegal practices used to increase the search engine rankings and visibility of a website. The techniques used work against the search engine guidelines and disregard the user’s intent by attempting to bypass best practices.
While search engines consider the use of black hat SEO unscrupulous, there are still marketers who are still trying to cheat to speed up the organic success of their websites. Although black hat techniques may yield results, they do not last long and often involved damaging effects on your SEO, including:
- Google Penalty
Violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines can get your website or pages penalized. Penalties can downgrade your search engine rankings or worse, a permanent ban on your website. When your target audience does not see your website on the SERPs, your business will fail as a result.
- Poor User Experience
If your web pages look spammy, your visitors will likely abandon your website, resulting in a high bounce rate.
- Malicious Cyber Attacks
While black hat SEO helps improve your search rankings, it can also make your website vulnerable to cyber attacks. Hackers can easily penetrate your databases and spread malware by inserting extra content on random web pages.
Black SEO Practices to AVOID
- Keyword Stuffing
One of the most common misconceptions in SEO is that inserting too many keywords in your content can make your page relevant to a specific search. However, this black hat SEO technique often results in a poor user experience as it can make the content difficult to read. To avoid the penalties, use your keywords sparingly, but make sure to them relevant.
- Low-Quality Content
Content is essential for your search engine rankings. While high-quality content is costly and difficult to create, there are still marketers who post low-quality and cheap content to boost SEO. Google loves unique and high-quality content that provides answers and solutions to the user’s queries.
Black hat marketers use the cloaking technique to trick search engines into ranking content for a specific keyword, which is not relevant to the web page content. This technique misleads users by showing a piece of content on the website while displaying completely different content on the search engine. This tricks the users into opening your website.
- Backlink Buying
Building backlinks from high authority sites not only help increase the search engine rankings but also the domain authority and online credibility of your website.
But instead of building high authority inbound links, black hat marketers purchase links to generate as many links to their websites. Buying links that are not relevant to your website can promote spammy content. As a result, backlink buying will hurt your credibility and backlink quality. Instead, earn quality backlinks organically from reputable sources.
Some black hat SEO marketers use shady practices, such as spamming comments on their competitor’s website with a link back to their website. They leave plenty of comments to attract readers into clicking the links.
- False Redirects
The act of falsely misleading or redirecting search engines, traffic, and users is another form of black hat SEO technique. It involves setting up a redirect link to lead search engines and users to various pages on their website. Black hat marketers can also redirect a high-quality web page to a low-quality page to boost the search ranking of the latter.