Search Engine Optimization is an ever-evolving aspect of digital marketing that has changed enormously since its inception. For example, even just a few years ago, SEO was full of manipulative tactics like keyword stuffing, hidden text, cloaking, and more that made Google wrongfully think a particular site was authoritative. However, over the years, with tonnes of Google algorithm updates, SEO has changed for the better, but still, manipulative tactics are practised by many.
In this article, we will look into such SEO techniques that are commonly referred to as “black hat” SEO tactics and why you need to avoid them at all costs. But before that let’s look at what black hat SEO is really.
Black Hat SEO: What is it?
Black Hat SEO is referred to those techniques that are used to rank a certain website that violates the guidelines maintained by latest Google algorithm. These are used as means to manipulate the search engine algorithms with the goal of increasing the rankings of a website on the search engine result page.
Search engines like Google or Bing focuses on delivering value to the users which means there are certain practices to go by when ranking sites on the web. However, violating these rules might lead to certain actions, like a decline in organic traffic, and can even lead to penalising the particular site.
Why should every business avoid black-hat SEO practices?
According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, it is clear that such violations might lead to taking the site down from the Google index and might not show up on Google.com or any of Google’s partner sites. Practicing “black hat” SEO can negatively impact the search rankings and visibility of the website on the web. This means that with declining organic traffic, there will be fewer conversions and sales in the long term.
With black hat SEO, there are chances to increase the search engines rankings initially as Google might take some time to detect if a site is participating in unethical approaches. However, once it takes place, a decline in traffic is bound to happen as the techniques practised violate the guidelines mentioned by Google.
With that being said, here are some of the most common black hat SEO techniques that every business needs to be aware of.
- Keyword stuffing
The first one is, of course, the most well-known technique that was practised by many marketers back in the day to showcase a site that was rich in SEO. This technique involve including a particular keyword unnaturally across a page that might sit outside of the content and make no sense. While it was a popular tactic back in the day to rank a page, today Google considers this a manipulative technique to rank a certain webpage that can result in a penalty as well.
- Duplicate content
Creating high-quality content is still one of the top ranking factors of Google. But it is no joke to create well-researched, SEO-friendly content that will help your site rank. This difficulty in reaching the bar introduced another common black-hat technique where marketers or webmasters use automatically generated content or duplicate content to rank their sites. This type of content provides no value to the user and is another way to manipulate the ranking of a webpage.
- Paid links
One of the most popular sorts of black hat SEO is link schemes, and this is where a lot of misinformation originates. Many marketers understand that you should provide content that is useful to your users and avoid burying content, but link building is a little more complicated than it seems. In short, links should be earned, especially because they are editorial votes of faith from one website to another.
While this article only features the top three black hat SEO techniques, one must also be aware of negative SEO, misleading redirects, misused structured data, cloaking, gateway pages, hidden texts, and more that fall under the manipulative practises of black hat SEO. To be aware and prevent your site from getting banned from Google, it is a wise decision to hire a trusted digital marketing company that can serve you the best results.
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