Black Hat SEO only goes to show if there are rules, there will always be ways to break them. Google introduced the idea of authority and relevance as the key indicators for search engine page rank, and Black Hat SEO practices cropped up to game them. In response, Google updated its search engine algorithms in order to punish those who use these hacks. It’s best you learn what these techniques are, so you can avoid penalties on your site.
Nasty Black Hat SEO Practices Google Penalizes Sites For
1. Keyword Stuffing
Google used to rank websites for a certain keyword based on the number of times that keyword appeared on that site. A lot of SEO specialists spammed the keywords into the page texts, with each targeted phrase appearing as much as 3 to 5 times per page. Now, Google demotes sites which spam keywords and advises that web content creators use synonymous words through latent semantic indexing instead of stuffing keywords.
2. URL Hijacking
Sometimes, we misspell the web address of the site we wish to visit. For example, instead of going to Digital Marketing Panel, you go to Digital Marketing Board. Unscrupulous web admins know this and invest in domain names which are misspellings of famous sites. Instead of going to Google as you may have intended, you may land on Goagle, which is another site altogether. More often than not, you see really spammy content on such sites.
3. Link Farming
When Google talks about authority as a metric for ranking, one key signal it prioritizes is the number of sites linking to your site. If you have a high number of pages referring to you, it means your site is authoritative and factual. Black Hat SEO specialists created third-party websites full of links going back to sites they want to rank. These sites, called link farms, are unethical and can get sites using them in trouble.
4. Mirror Site
What is a mirror site in SEO? https://t.co/j4sOO0g9aa
— Neeraj Singhvi (@neeraj101) July 15, 2017
Mirror sites are criminal because they heavily plagiarize content from other sites. Sometimes you’ll be surprised that one of your favorite articles just suddenly appeared on a third-party website without authorization. If you see this without the consent of the writer, you can immediately ask Google to take down the page or the site.
Have you ever clicked on a link with a cute cat picture, only to be greeted by a porn site? Or were you researching kibble recipes for pets, when suddenly you get an offer for a beauty product? This stealthy way of covering up a site with a subject that commonly interest people is called cloaking. It’s one surefire way to lose an audience and get reported fast.
6. Spam Blogs
Spam blogs and link farms differ in the sense that spam blogs offer spun content or content written for Google’s web crawlers instead of for humans. As you can imagine, spam blog articles are full of gibberish, which highlight keywords in order to gain ranking. That’s pretty much a no-no for Google, which wants to organize the web as a source of information fit for humans.
7. Domain Squatting
When we talk about domain squatting, it’s all about buying a particular domain name in the interest of selling it when the time comes. Say someone bought the domain name JohnnyDepp.com and intended to sell it to Johnny later on. That’s called domain squatting. It’s a reprehensible act, which can get one sued.
8. Gateway Pages
— SEOValley Solutions (@SEOValley) July 28, 2015
Gateway pages work on the same principle as cloaking. Basically, users are led to a website which turns over visitors to another site with a totally different content. This dupes search engines by showing one form of content to the users and another to search engine web crawlers.
9. Comment Spam
It’s now a must to get anti-spam plug-ins for websites because of comment spam. Comment spam is bot-generated text commenting on your blog entries or posts. Black Hat SEO software auto-generates these comments through bots. If these comments turn you off, they’ll do the same for your readers.
Here’s Chase Reiner SEO to teach you about Black Hat SEO Techniques in 2017:
Now you know about some black hat strategies. When you go for SEO services, make sure you go for a specialist versed in white hat SEO. The difference between white hat SEO and black hat SEO is as vast as night and day. The former uses techniques to help you gain trust and authority without compromising fairness and ethics. The latter will cost you your reputation, and that’s something you can’t-do without in digital marketing.
What’s your take on black hat SEO? Would you dare apply these methods? Comment down below, and let’s get talking about the dark side of search engine optimization.