Black hat SEO techniques that are bad for business

Several companies are realising the tremendous benefits of ranking high on Google with optimized SEO strategies. 

For many businesses, SEO is their top priority. Unfortunately, in order to rank at the top of search engines results pages, they often resort to black hat SEO practices.

What is black hat SEO?

A black hat SEO practise involves abusing search engine guidelines in order to improve search rankings for a website. It may appear to be a quick way to improve your search ranking and visibility. You should, however, think twice before using these tactics because they can often cause more damage than good to your SEO efforts.

The following are a few examples of black hat SEO techniques to keep an eye out for and avoid at all costs.

1. Keyword Stuffing

Using keyword stuffing is one of the most widely used black hat SEO strategies. Keyword stuffing occurs when a keyword appears an excessive number of times on a website in order to rank higher in Google searches. You can spot keyword stuffing by looking for it in places like titles, meta descriptions, and introductions.

It is important that your content be centred around the keywords relevant to your business.

2. Duplicate Content

By definition, duplicate content is simply content that is copied and pasted from one site to another.

Because search engines prefer unique content, content duplicated across different domains is considered to be one of the most harmful black hat techniques. Similar results in Google are a clear sign of manipulated search engine rankings and result in poor user experiences.

3. Spam Comments

Spam comments are comments posted by spammers or automated software in order to generate backlinks. It is currently one of the most popular black hat practices. 

Your blog will eventually get spam comments if you don’t keep an eye on things. This will not only affect your users’ experience but also leave them with a negative impression of your site. You’d be better off preventing these spam comments by restricting your comments section or installing the necessary anti-spam plugins.

4. Hidden Links

Hidden links are no longer as common as they once were, but you’ll still run into this form of black hat SEO from time to time. The term “hidden links” describes links that are not normally visible to the end-user. Search engine spiders (such as Googlebot – Google’s version of the spider!) on the other hand, use them when judging a website’s ranking.

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines expressly prohibit the following:

a) Placing text behind an image

b) Use white text on white backgrounds

c) Adding a connection to a small section of a text i.e., links on full stops.

5. Cloaking

Cloaking is a method for improving a website’s search engine rankings by serving content or information to users that is different from what is shown to search engine crawlers (i.e. spiders or bots). 

In cloaking, the search engine and the user are literally on different pages and are, therefore, both being deceived.

When Google discovers that your website has hidden content, empty link anchors, or meta/javascript redirects, you may end up receiving cloaking penalties, which can devastate its performance in the long run.

Conclusion

Whenever you have to question whether your SEO is black hat or not, it probably is. 

It is much better to optimize a website for search engines using a white hat SEO strategy. Investing in it now will pay off in the long run, and you can rest easy knowing you won’t suffer a penalty that impacts your rankings.

Tenacity Works can assist you with all of your SEO requirements. Get in touch and let’s start ranking your website the right way, today!

Image purchased on Canva.

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