Black hat SEO techniques used to get higher search engine rankings, but in a way that search engines do NOT approve of.
The black hat SEO tactics usually have one of the following characteristics:
They violate the search engine rules and regulations
They create a poor user experience on the site that utilizes such SEO tactics
They display the content on the page in a non-visual way to trick visitors as well as search engines into clicking on them or indexing them.
What is Black Hat SEO?
In the SEO world, the black hat refers to the use of forceful SEO techniques, tactics, and strategies (discussed below in this post) to achieve HIGHER search engine rankings by breaking guidelines set by search engines as well as disregarding the user experience.
Some examples of Black Hat SEO techniques are keyword stuffing, article spinning, link buying and exchanging, link farms, doorway pages, among others.
Once upon a time, many of these black hat SEO techniques used to be valid, however, some people went a bit overboard, and today, the SEO community often shun sites using such tactics.
These unethical SEO practices offer a short-term benefits in terms of rankings, however, if you are discovered using any of these ‘spammy’ tactics on your website, you may be penalized by search engines.
Therefore, these SEO tactics is a shortsighted solution to a long-term problem, which is building a website that offers a great user experience through engagement, participation, and two-way communication.
Related article: How Not to do SEO
With that said, let us look at the black hat SEO techniques to avoid in 2015.
Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid in 2015:
- Keyword Stuffing: – It refers to filling a web page with keywords or numbers, often in groups and out of context. Stuffing your web pages with keywords or numbers to influence search engine rankings can result in a negative user experience, which can harm your site’s overall rankings. Instead of overloading pages with keywords, focus on creating informative, useful, and engaging content that uses keywords in context and appropriately.
- Invisible Text: – This black hat SEO method involves filling web page(s) or post(s) with keyword lists, usually at the bottom of the page, which has text with a color matching the page’s background. Although these texts are invisible to a casual visitor, search engine robots can detect them, as they can read content through the HTML code of the page.
- Doorway Pages: – They are usually a ‘fake’ page; page that offers no real value to the visitor and redirects the visitor to a completely different page. Doorway pages are created only to be visible to the search engines and their robots for influencing higher SE rankings.
- Cloaking: – This black hat SEO technique refers to showing different content to SE robots than what you actually show to your users. For example, you could use different keywords, titles, and description on a page that is very different from what your content is really about. Of course, these unethical SEO strategies are used to manipulate the site’s rankings in Google.
- Page Stuffing: – Similar to keyword stuffing, page stuffing refers to black hat SEO techniques where website owner create a web page that appears high on the SERPs, and then, they duplicate the page’s content in hopes of achieving similar rankings and eliminate their competition over time. Unfortunately, today many search engine robots are able to compare and determine if two different pages have duplicate content.
- Article Spinning: – It refers to a tactic in which webmaster post unique version of their original article on their site by re-writing articles by hand or using spinning software. No matter how you do it, spinning content reduces the quality of the original work, which reduces user experience as well as limits places where you can post articles in the future.
Black Hat SEO Techniques To Avoid in 2015: Conclusion
For a short-term, these black hat SEO techniques can help you achieve higher rankings for your web pages, and hence, your site. However, once Google and other search engines discover that you are using ‘unethical’ SEO strategies on your site, you will be penalized – they will drop your existing rankings, de-index your web pages (Google Sandbox), and sometimes even completely ban your website from displaying in their search result pages, in the future.
In the end, utilizing black hat SEO tactics on your site may not be worth the risk as results could be quite negative to your site.
Although this list does not cover all the black hat SEO techniques of 2015, nonetheless, you probably know by now not to use any of these tactics on your site.
Instead, there are many ethical ways to improve your site’s rankings, and although they may take some time, the results last longs and are worth all the time, energy, and effort you invest into it.
Related article: SEO Best Practices for 2015
Tell Us What Do You Think: Does breaking search engine rules and regulations, creating poor user experience on your site, and ‘unethically’ presenting your content to influence search engine rankings work?
Which efficient search engine optimization (SEO) techniques have you used on your site to achieve higher rankings? Please comment below!