Black hat SEO tactics may sound enticing for reputation management, but you should think again before engaging in these practices. Black hat SEO tactics are clear and overt violations to search engine policies. And these techniques can result in much more hurt than good. Let’s take a closer look at black hat SEO.
What Is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat SEO practices are used to boost a site’s search rankings in a manner that goes against search engine guidelines. These techniques attempt to bypass best practices by cheating the system with unscrupulous practices. At the very core, black hat SEO tactics ignore searcher intent. For comparison:
- White hat SEO practices closely adhere to search engine guidelines to naturally improve rankings.
- Black hat SEO practices are those that intentionally exploit guidelines to improve rankings.
Examples of Black Hat SEO Practices You Should Avoid
Let’s take a closer look at actual black hat practices that may be commonly used by review management companies:
- Keyword stuffing is the practice of repeating the main keyword over and over. Using the keyword unnaturally across a page is keyword stuffing, and it’s black hat.
- Duplicate content generated to rank for certain keywords across several pages on your site would be a black hat practice. Google values great content and penalizes sites that create duplicate copy.
- Hidden text is copied secretly embedded on a page. Oftentimes, it’s the same color as your background or strategically placed behind images or in a font of zero. This hidden copy includes stuffed keywords or a long list of keywords the marketer wishes to rank for. While this text may be hidden to the reader, it’s visible to search engine crawlers.
- Paid and manipulative link schemes are among the top black hat SEO tactics. It’s also one of the areas where most confusion originates. In the end, all links pointing to your site should be earned from editorial relevance and quality. Avoid any tactic designed to manipulate inbound links. Examples of these black hat practices include forum spam, blog comment spam, excessive link exchanges, and similar practices.
What Are the Implications of Black Hat SEO?
Some market marketers try to use black hat SEO to quickly perform negative content removal. However, these illegitimate practices can hurt your brand and website in more ways than one:
- Only deliver short, temporary results. Google and search engines regularly update their search engine algorithms to intentionally catch black hat SEO tactics. When they do, the results gained through these practices will disappear as soon as the loophole is fixed. Search engines are always looking for and correcting loopholes that may be used to compromise the system.
- It can cause your site to entirely disappear from search engine rankings. Considering black hat SEO tactics go against search engine policies, the penalties for engaging in these practices can be steep. It can cause your rankings to dramatically drop. Even worse, black hat practices can cause your site from being banned from the search engine results page.
- It creates a misleading, poor, and annoying experience for readers. Black hat practices result in a poor reader experience that causes them to immediately leave the page. It can also cause your brand to look untrustworthy and spammy.