As good and as tempting as all these black hat SEO tactics are, they are aimed at boosting your site’s ranking short term and at the risk of being blacklisted in the longer run.
They could also get you banned from a search engine or penalized.
So should you avoid black hat SEO techniques?
Find the right answer here, and you’ll maximize your SEO efforts.
What is Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO is a type of search engine optimization that goes against the terms of service of popular search engines like Google and Yahoo.
While there are many legitimate reasons to use black hat SEO techniques, doing so can have serious consequences for your website and business.
Black hat SEO techniques can include manipulating search engine results, creating fake content, and spamming the search engines.
The goal is to get your site at the top of the search results without caring about whether or not it is ethical or legal.
Some of the most common black hat SEO techniques include link farming, article spinning, cloaking, and keyword stuffing.
It is important to remember that black hat SEO can negatively affect your website’s search engine ranking and your site’s reputation as well.
We’ll be learning the 6 black hat SEO technique that should be avoided in this article.
Hopefully, by the end of this, you’ll get a heads-up on what to avoid and run a healthy SEO campaign.
Why Should You Avoid Black Hat SEO?
As we had mentioned above, black hat SEO tactics are those that are expressly designed to deceive search engines and manipulate their results.
These tactics can include manipulating titles, metadata, backlinks, and other on-page elements in order to improve a site’s ranking.
But why should we avoid those tactics when our end goal is to bring our websites to the very first position in the SERP?
Because being realistic, this is not how things work at all.
Search engines are constantly working around the clock to find new ways to index websites while filtering out those using black hat techniques. And as time goes by, those using black hat techniques may get screwed or banned outright from Google or other major search engines.
Think about it!
The search engines may see you as a fraud or spam and ban you outright from their search results. And we don’t want that to happen, do we?
So to avoid being banned from Google, Bing, and other search engines, it is very important that you follow SEO best practices such as doing keyword research, publishing quality content, and promoting your site using ethical marketing techniques.
Do you know there are Grey hat and white hat SEO practices as well? Whatever the name is, we believe these are all created by marketers to tell their stories.
And now, let’s examine these 6 black hat techniques that you should avoid at all costs.
1. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is the process of repeating a keyword in a page’s content to get its ranking on the first page of a search engine’s results.
If you’re familiar with the term “keyword density” then you probably know that keyword stuffing is carrying the same meaning.
The truth is, keyword stuffing is an outdated and obsolete SEO tactic that doesn’t provide any lasting results.
And search engines have updated their algorithms to detect this practice and penalize websites using keyword stuffing in their content.
Instead of spamming your article or content with keywords, you might want to consider synonymizing them instead.
For example, instead of writing “cheap shoes” you can instead write “affordable shoes” or “low-cost shoes.”
Google and other search engines should be able to understand you if you need to write this way.
Cloaking is another black hat SEO tactic that you should avoid when optimizing your website for search engines.
Cloaking is the practice of making search engine bots think that a page’s content is something different from what the users see in their browsers.
This is accomplished by adding a code to a website in such a way that the search engine bots will see one version of a site while the real users will be looking at another version of it.
Cloaking is against the terms of service of popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo, so your website could get banned if you use this tactic to fool them.
These days, cloaking is easy to do and even easier to detect.
So don’t waste your time on cloaking because search engines can spot it quickly enough and ban your website from their search results if they suspect you’re cloaking.
3. Article Spinning
The other black hat SEO technique we should avoid is article spinning.
Article spinning is the practice of taking a piece of content and rewriting it using synonyms and different words.
The main reason to avoid article spinning is that the content you are reproducing is not giving additional helpful insight to help your readers.
Instead, you are just rephrasing and only repeating what is already out there.
It is often the case that you might end up plagiarising other’s people’s work when spinning the content.
There are tools that can help to detect plagiarism such as Copyscape, but if you are able to achieve 100% free plagiarism for your spin content, it would become unreadable.
It would take a lot more effort to produce an original spin content piece. So, why bother?
Even in the age of content repurposing, article spinning is still a taboo and a black hat tactic.
Writers would invest more time to write unique content and avoid the complication of spinning low-quality content.
So avoid article spinning just to be safe.
4. Link Farming
If you had heard of link farming before, then you’re probably familiar with the penguin algorithm update that Google carried out back in 2012.
Experts say that Penguin was the first major algorithm update ever launched by the search engine giant in a bid to penalize websites that were using spam techniques to manipulate the search results.
What is link farming?
Well, in layman’s terms, it’s the act of getting as many links as possible to your website. Link farming is a scheme where a webmaster would purchase or rent links in a network.
One of the most popular link buying networks back then was SAPE and backlinks.com.
If you are considering because of the effortless link acquiring, then please do not waste your time or money.
5. Content Automation
We do not lack content for our website, right?
Especially with all the AI writing tools mushrooming these days.
But does content automation deliver quality results?
The simple answer is no.
Content automation is known as a content spinning program that showcases automated content generation. It is used to create an article on the fly by spinning out an existing article from a list of keywords.
The issue with content automation is that it will never ever deliver human readability content.
We are not against the use of these AI writing tools, in fact, we do encourage the usage of the tool to enhance or speed up your writing process.
But this has to maneuver and patch your human writing work to deliver unique content.
Black hat content automation that produces hundreds of articles in a day might ring some alarm.
With the latest Google helpful content update, creating quality content for your website would be the only way going forward nowadays.
6. Over Optimization
Over-optimization is a new term that pop out recently due to some findings that have shown to do with overwork with your SEO practices.
By reducing some of those elements, businesses and websites are able to regain some of the ranking losses.
The over-optimization can affect your SEO negatively.
One of the examples is the exact match internal link anchor, interlinking your webpages with the same keywords might not be very natural.
A better way to counter this issue would use a variation or descriptive anchor text for your internal links.
Another one is the over-optimization of the title tag and URL.
Quick Guide: Learn how to optimize title tags the correct way.
Over-optimization of the title tag can affect the site’s CTR negatively.
Instead of using your primary keyword in the title tag, it would be best to use a more descriptive keyword.
SEO is essentially a marketing strategy to boost your website’s ranking on the search engine results page.
By changing or tweaking your website code or content, you are able to direct more traffic to your website.
But it doesn’t mean that SEO is a go-at-your-own-risk game.
There are some black hat SEO techniques out there that may work short term, but in the long run, these websites would get slammed by Google and other search engines.
With that in mind, black hat techniques might be tempting to try but in the long run, it could cost you more than gain you in terms of rankings and conversions.
So we should continue to keep our SEO tactics legit and reasonable at all times.
By doing so, we will be able to stay safe from possible penalties by search engines.