Updated June 20, 2023
Black Hat Techniques in SEO
In Search Engine Optimization, companies use a wide variety of techniques. There is a safe way as well as a risky way of doing SEO. White hat and black hat SEO are the two techniques used in SEO. White hat SEO is the ethical technique that provides users with quality content and relevant keywords. Black hat SEO refers to the practices used to get higher page rankings in an unethical manner. Black Hat SEO focuses mainly on search engines rather than considering its audience. As a result, black Hat SEO service has a negative reputation.
The common feature of White hat SEO and Black hat SEO is to improve the site’s visibility in search engines. But they differ in their process of doing it. There are a lot of risks involved in using Black hat SEO techniques. Sometimes Google will penalize your site, and your site will be banned. The reason for Google to ban your site will be the recent Google algorithm updates. Here we have listed a few Black Hat SEO Techniques which you should avoid.
Black Hat Techniques in SEO
The following are the different techniques:
1. Keyword Stuffing
- Keyword stuffing means filling the webpage with keywords to make the search engine think that the page is relevant to the search. This technique was more popular in the old days, but the situation has changed due to Google’s algorithm updates.
- It’s okay to include relevant keywords and information regarding the topic. But including the keywords after every two sentences leads to keyword stuffing.
- Keyword density of 2% to 4% is considered reasonable, but more than that leads to the problem.
- Keyword stuffing will annoy the search engine and your visitors.
- You should include only a particular number of keywords in your page content.
- The penalty for this black hat technique in SEO is severe.
- This is the most widely used Black Hat SEO service. Cloaking is where the SEO persons deceive the search engines and searchers by showing different content to search engine and takes users to a site where there is different content shown.
- Cloaking is used to highlight a site that has a design that is more attractive and friendly to the users and not to the search engines.
- One form of cloaking is using different keywords, titles, and descriptions that are not relevant to your site.
- If the search engine finds that the site is cloaked, then your site will be banned.
3. Link Exchanges
- Link exchanges can reduce your site ranking.
- Link exchange programs are programs where you can exchange links with others.
- Link exchange programs will help you get many links but will not help you improve your page rank.
- Excessive link exchange will make your SEO efforts waste.
4. Duplicate Content
- Duplicate Content or content copied from another site is also included in the black hat technique in SEO. Duplicate content is more commonly known as Plagiarism
- Search engines are always attracted only to unique contents.
- It will not index the contents that are repeated more than once.
- To be the success in your SEO marketing campaign always focus on writing unique and creative contents.
- Duplicate contents can also appear in your blog
- There are a lot of anti-plagiarism applications available online which can help you detect duplicate content.
- Search engines will penalize the websites which have duplicate content
5. Article Spinning
- Article Spinning is a technique in which the site owners instead of writing new contents for their updates they just make few changes to the already existing content and replace a few points to make a slight change to the contents.
- Search engines always look for frequent content updates to the site.
- Often this technique is used as an off-page black hat SEO technique.
- This black hat SEO service reduces the quality of the original content. This method also reduces the amount where you use the contents.
- The best way to avoid article spinning technique is to employ content writers who frequently update your site with unique contents.
6. Doorway Pages or Gateway Pages
- Doorway pages are pages which are poorly drafted and of no value. It is created to just attract the visitors.
- These pages help to ease the navigation by redirecting traffic to the site.
- Doorway pages actually show a page in the index of the search engine but actually directs to a completely different page.
- The doorway pages are made visible only to few search engines.
7. Translated Sites or Machine Translation
Some SEO experts use programs to convert the contents of a page into other languages automatically for the purpose of SEO. But such translated pages are often impossible to understand.
8. Link Farms
Link Farms are a group of sites that work with the sole purpose of increasing the popularity of another website through hyperlinks. These links will not drive traffic to your site but will attract search engine sometimes. Such links which are derived from an irrelevant source will have a negative effect on SEO. Google and other search engines do not like links obtained from third parties. If your website has a lot of such links then it will be traced out and penalized.
You can use link farms in such a way that it does not affect your site rankings. So be cautious with your links.
9. Link Buying
- Links are said to be the major factor in determining the website ranking.
- There are a lot of companies who provide you with thousands of links in exchange for money.
- Google’s Penguin update works against such link buying techniques and finds out such spam website or companies who sell links. Such companies or websites are being banned from selling links.
10. Hidden Test
- The hidden text comes in black hat techniques in SEO where the text that is entered in the site is invisible or unreadable. It implies that white text written on white background. Humans cannot read the text written on the same color background. But search engines can.
- Such hidden links or texts are used in a site to increase the keyword density in a page.
- Before launching your site make sure that your source code and logs are free from the hidden text.
- If the search engine finds out the hidden text from your site then your site will be penalized.
11. Comment Spamming
- Usually, there is a practice of commenting on blogs and other related websites. Such comments include links to one’s website. This is called comment spamming.
- In 2005 Google has launched the nofollow attribute to bypass such links while indexing sites on the search page.
- Other search engines link Yahoo and Bing also have such nofollow attribute but do not include it in their ranking calculations.
- Comment spamming technique has been reduced but not yet been completely eliminated.
- Comment spamming also derives additional traffic to your site.
12. Parasite Hosting
- Parasite Hosting refers to hosting a site on another individual’s server just for SEO purpose. If such a website is clicked from the search result page by a visitor it will take them to a completely different website.
- This technique came into practice in the year 2007.
- These black hat techniques in SEO are used by many SEO professionals to redirect traffic to their site.
- This technique cannot be easily identified without proper security measures as the hijacked website shows no signs.
13. Google Bombing
- Google Bombing is a tactic which is used to reduce the ranking of a competitor’s site. It actually manipulates the search results of the competitors.
- Google bombing includes creating negative pages about the competitors and redefines a specific keyword or phrase which is more popular with competitor’s campaign.
- This SEO technique is more effective and creates a long-lasting impact among the public.
- If the search engine finds such Google Bombing technique it will immediately reduce its effectiveness.
14. Low-Quality Content
- A website can lose its ranking because of poor quality content used in the site.
- Always prefer writing fresh, error-free and original contents.
- Check for plagiarism before updating the contents to your site.
- Update the contents on your site frequently to grab the attention of the visitors.
15. Meta Description Stuffing
- This is another black hat techniques in SEO where Meta tags and descriptions are filled with keywords repeatedly to attract search engine crawlers with a view to index and rank their web pages high in the search results.
- Meta tag descriptions say what a page is about. So the search engine crawlers always concentrate on the exact content of the page than the meta tags.
- Meta tags or descriptions may fool a web crawler in driving attention to the site, but without proper usage of keywords in the page content, the search engine will not index the page.
- So this technique when used alone, will draw only negative attention to the site. It should be paired with good and quality page contents to increase the web rankings of their site.
16. Page Swapping
- This is another black hat SEO service of placing a page at a site for some time and once the page has attained a good position the site owner replaces it with another page which is less optimized.
- These days search engines re-indexes the pages more frequently so this technique doesn’t work anymore and such pages lose their value immediately.
17. Pingback Spam
- Pingback is a way for one blog to tell another blog that it has made a post. In this technique, it notifies the search engines and ping servers about the contents several times to give an illusion that the content is new.
- Pingbacks are fully automatic which gives the software the ability to communicate between websites.
- Cybersquatting is also known as Domain squatting. It means registering, selling or using a domain name which is in someone else’s name for gaining profit. It also uses existing businesses domain names to get more profit.
- This method is used in SEO to drive more traffic to a site of one’s own choice.
- Always use a new domain name that does not exist already. See through that the domain name is relevant to the website or product.
- Typosquatting in other words known as URL Hijacking. It is based on the probability that a particular number of online users will mistype the name of a particular website or URL.
- In Typosquatting the site owner purchases a domain name that is actually a misspelled version of its competitor’s site or a well-renowned site with a view to mislead the visitors.
- This helps in increasing the traffic to their site.
20. Social Networking Spam
- Social networking spam is concentrated on the users of internet social networking services like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google + and others.
- This spam uses the social network search tools to target a certain group of people or fan pages to send emails or messages with their advertisement.
- This is used to promote their website or product on social media.
21. Cookie Stuffing
This is a marketing technique in which a cookie is dropped in the user’s computer without the user being aware of it. This happens when the user visits such site. The cookie will be received from an entirely different website.
22. Scrapper Sites
- Scrapper site is a website which copies contents from another website to get unique contents. It then combines all the collected contents into one structure.
- Such sites often contain advertisements and are used for promotional purpose.
- It improves the search engine ranking through a blog network.
23. Referrer Spam
- Referrer spam is aimed at search engines and it includes using a fake referrer URL to send website requests more frequently to the site where he wants his advertisement to be displayed. Such sites will link back to the spammer’s site and such links will be indexed by search engines.
- Thus this spam has its effect directly on website traffic. It increases the search engine ranking of the spammer’s site.
- The above list covers most of the black hat techniques in SEO which should be avoided. Following black hat techniques in SEO will damage your reputation and your site will also be banned.
- There are a lot of other White Hat SEO techniques which you can follow to make your website more popular. It always takes some time to make your website more visible in SERPs through white hat SEO technique. But the results will last for the long term. Have this in your mind and start using White Hat SEO techniques and the rest will follow.
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