“SEO Isn’t About Gaming the System Anymore; It’s About Learning How to Play by the Rules.” – Jordan Teicher.
To lead the race of search rankings, business owners resort to various tactics for optimizing their website and to gain visibility in search.
The set of these practices or tactics are referred to as Black-Hat SEO. They are used to increase a site or page’s rank on a search engine through means that violate the search engine’s terms of service. Various marketers make use of unscrupulous Black-Hat tactics to improve their search visibility and get new visitors to their websites.
It may sound like a shortcut to topple your competitors from the top of the SERPs. But always think twice before using such Black Hat strategies, as they can hurt your SEO more than they will help. And, you should AVOID using them to optimize your website.
If you have been envisioning why you should avoid them, we have listed below some reasons to help you with the same-
Black hat techniques are heavily penalized by popular search engines like Google. Whether done consciously or otherwise, they can lead to getting your site banned from the search engine and affiliate sites.
The techniques only create short-term results (if any) for a website. Black-hat SEO uses strategies to exploit loopholes in search guidelines to gain visibility. The results earned through these techniques disappear once the loophole is fixed. To remain the most popular search engine worldwide, Google continuously updates its algorithm to offer the best user experience. Therefore, it always looks for and fixes loopholes that people use to game the system.
It creates a poor and misleading experience for the page’s audience. Many black-hat strategies create a poor user experience, resulting in users leaving the page. The tactics may even make the page look untrustworthy and spammy.
If a page does not add any value to the user and is only creating rankings for search engines, it is likely because of black-hat tactics. It may even result in a page ranking for irrelevant queries.
To end this, Google has openly denounced a list of black hat tactics and strategies on its Webmasters Guidelines for the ranking game.
From web developers to SEO experts, everyone is required to play the game as per the rules listed in the guidelines. However, some practitioners try to sneak to the top through various unethical shortcuts called the black-hat tactics.
Black-Hat SEO is the most common disapproved practice used by practitioners who wish to win the game without following its rules.
Of course, they know the rules. However, they make use of their understanding of these rules to derive shortcuts that aren’t exactly a part of Google’s best practices. However, Google is smart enough at identifying and penalizing black-hat SEO practices, which does not stop these people from implementing such practices anyway.
5 Black-Hat SEO Tactics You Should Avoid
While there are some practices you clearly must not use, like hacking, because they are illegal and very risky. There are some other less risky practices as well, but that does not mean you can use them for getting your website rank higher.
You need to avoid black hat practices as they can land you in an algorithm or manual penalty, or the worst-case scenario- your website is banned from Google and other affiliate sites.
You might do some of these without intending to do so, but isn’t it great to familiarize yourself with these practices to make sure you stand clear.
1. Buying Links.
Buying links means paying different websites to link to your website. The payment is done in terms of money, goods or services.
High-quality links help drive traffic to your domain and tell Google that you’re a trustworthy website. But, buying links, however, are against Google’s webmaster guidelines.
If you are caught buying or selling links, it can impact the specific page or the entire website.
2. Keyword Stuffing
Content is the king, while SEO is the supreme God. However, you should not use the king to manipulate God.
Keyword stuffing is one such practice where people repeat the same keywords or similar phrases in their content to manipulate the rankings. Using this Black-Hat SEO tactic for cramming unnecessary keywords makes the content sound robotic and unnatural.
It can even lead to a penalty from Google, resulting in a lower ranking. So if you don’t want to take the plunge, ávoid stuffing too many keywords in your content.
3. Hidden Links or Texts
Do not try to game the system by adding a hidden link in your website’s content or in your footer text to manipulate the rankings. Google will most likely identify the links and penalize you for the same.
4. Spamming the Comment Section of a Blog
Blog comment spam is another Black-Hat SEO tactic used by black-hat practitioners to gain visibility. It refers to spamming the comment section of the blog post to get a link back to your site.
Not only is it annoying on the audience’s part, but it is not even good for SEO. These comment links are nofollowed and are unlikely to help you anyway.
5. Article Spinning a.k.a Content Spinning
This strategy involves rewriting content from one piece to create many other “new pieces of content.” Article spinners use the tactic to create “unique guest posts” to post on multiple sites and build backlinks quickly.
It is considered bad for SEO as it rarely results in an engagement. It also sounds unnatural and weird, so they result in low-quality backlinks.
Businesses need to avoid using such Black-Hat SEO tactics and practices to optimize their websites. If caught, it can result in penalties, or you may even get your website banned!
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