So, you’ve heard the term thrown around for a while but you’re not sure what it means. Black Hat SEO, by definition, is any practice that is able to help a website rank higher on search engine pages, which violates the search engine policies or terms of service. The phrase “Black Hat” first became popular in Westerns, to help viewers figure out who was the bad guy and who was the good guy. The good guy traditionally, wore a white hat, so actions that are legal to perform to increase site presence, are considered “White Hat SEO”.
In this blog post, we will discuss the following topics:
How Black Hat SEO Affects You
Firstly, what is Black Hat SEO? Generally, a Black Hat Tactic is one that is not allowed by the terms of condition, which will help a page reach a higher ranking on the search engine results page (SERP). This can cause your site to be blacklisted, penalized or even banned. This can include the major search engine and any affiliates as well. Google has given users access to a list of these tactics and strategies that are commonly used to circumvent ranking rules including the Google Webmaster’s Guidelines and Bing’s Webmaster Guidelines. If you consistently create sites that add no value to your visitors, but are solely to gain the attention of the search engines, your strategies are likely to be viewed as ‘black hat’.
Why does any of it matter in the end? Because black hat strategies and SEO tactics can get your site booted from Google index and others. Although you may succeed in finding short-term success, it is bound to be over as quickly as it began. Not only are you becoming more exposed as traffic increases to your site, your competitors are sure to become interested in your ‘sudden success’ and investigate themselves. More often than not, a competitor will report the use of black hat tactics before a search engine will catch them. The question is, can you afford to be removed from the search for even one day? One hour? Indefinitely? If the answer is ‘no’, then you should be sure to update your strategies and make sure you’re following all of the protocols allowed.
Black Hat SEO Techniques
It can be difficult to determine which techniques are legitimate, and which ones will lead you to using black hat tactics, but this list can help you keep up to date and safe from trouble.
• Link Redirects
• Site Cloaking
• False-Reporting Competitors
• Hidden Text
• Automated Content
• Doorway Pages
• Keyword Stuffing
• Link Schemes, Farms, Wheels, Networks or Manipulation
• Article Spinning
• Auto Google Queries
• Malicious Behavior – Trojans, Malware, etc.
-Reporting Black Hat SEO
In what situation do you report someone? If your website has been attacked (hacked, viruses, malware, etc.) you should request a malware review on the site, which you believe, is ‘infected’.
Alternatively, if your website is suffering from a large influx of spam or random comments and suspicious behavior, attempt to use the Disavow Links Tool, located in the Google Webmaster Tool kit. You can do this after contacting the site web masters in order to have them remove the bad links.
-Achieving similar results the legitimate way