8 Black Hat SEO Tactics to Avoid| If You Don’t Wish To Be Penalized!!!
SEO is very important and vital for any website owner and there are a number of SEO strategies that you need to put into effect to improve your rankings. However, it is also equally important to ensure that you are using the correct type of strategies. There are a number of tactics that you need to avoid, these tactics are known as ‘black hat SEO tactics’.
Black Hat SEO is designed to trick the search engines into ranking content on the first page of the search results. Most of the times these are effective in the beginning but in the long run, they will affect your website in a negative way.
In this post, I will be sharing with you the common black hat tactics that you need to avoid and how they cause harm to your website.
Let’s get started!
What Are The Black Hat SEO Tactics?
SEO is the process that helps your website, by improving its rankings in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The higher your website ranks, the better chances you have of being noticed. There are a number of ways that you can use to improve your rankings, for instance, through keyword research.
However, most of the SEO tactics are encouraged and help you greatly too but there are also some that you need to avoid. Additionally, black hat SEO tactics violate the rules of search engines. They do help you in the short term but not in the long run. These tactics are also said to be unethical.
The tactics that you need to use are the White Hat SEO ones when you use these tactics, it takes a little longer to actually see the results that you are looking for but this is how the search engine algorithms work. Black hat tactics can be easily spotted since these usually are the ones that are too good to be true.
8 Black Hat SEO Tactics to Avoid
The use of black hat tactics is more common now than what you might expect. Hence, it is important to make sure that people who work for you on your website know what to avoid. With that in mind, here are the most common and problematic tactics that you need to be aware of and avoid them in order to get traffic to your website.
1. Automatic Comment Spam
If you have a website or a blog, you must have seen comment spam. These are automated comments that include keywords and links. Getting inbound links of these kinds from spammy comments does not fool the search engines and these comments won’t help you with search rankings too.
Additionally, spammy comments on forums are also not allowed. To put this in simple words, anyone commenting to earn backlinks must make sure that their comments offer value to the opposite person.
It is also obvious that you too wouldn’t want to be linked to these spammy websites because this will cause harm to your own search rankings. So next time you are commenting on someone’s post, remember to have the no-follow tag which helps the search engines know that you are not passing search rankings to any target websites. This will also help by stopping the spammers.
2. Keyword Stuffing
This is another what to get your content to rank higher in search engines. This is done by adding all your selected keywords into the content. Rather than helping your website rank higher, this makes the content difficult to read. Google is all about relevance and using keywords that are not related and the use of too many of these keywords will result in them downgrading your content.
If your SEO person be it a company, SEO training website or anyone else who is an SEO expert, is telling you to create content with tons of keywords or using lists of keywords in the meta descriptions; then, you need to find a new expert to handle your SEO, who will help you out the right way.
3. Content Scraping
Content scraping is where someone copies your content and republishes it on their website as their own. Generally, it is the spam blogs and website that are created in this manner, so that they can cover a particular topic or keyword.
With Google penalizing this type of content, there is no reason for you to use this black hat SEO tactic. And if you are syndicating your content from somewhere to build links, remember to use canonical links so that Google knows where the original content is coming from.
Redirecting is a very useful way to send visitors to the correct page. Unfortunately, this tactic can also be misused also. It is called as ‘sneaky redirects’ or cloaking, which is a practice where the visitors are shown one thing and the search engines another. Someone who is using Black Hat SEO could definitely use this technique in order to insert keywords without the knowledge of the website visitors.
For instance, some users might be seeing the normal content while others will see a spam website.
So the best advice is, don’t do this if you have been doing it unknowingly!
5. Hidden Text
This tactic is closely related to cloaking, where the text and links are hidden by changing the color to that of the page background and by making the font really small so that no one can see or read it.
Hidden text is not necessarily a black hat tactic because sometimes it helps serving up the text for the reader for better accessibility.
6. Link Buying and Exchanging
A number of major search engines have strictly stopped the buying and selling of links. In addition to this Google says that any links with the intention of manipulating the website’s ranking in search results will be considered as a part of a link scheme and a violation of the Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Link buying refers to the practice of exchanging money for posts that contain one or more links back to your content. This also includes giving away free products in return for links.
Google penalizes both the buyers and the sellers for these links. If you have any paid links on your websites, it is best that you remove them immediately.
7. Thin Affiliate Content
People who run affiliate programs make promotional content available for their affiliates a number of times.
But if you publish this on your website as it is, you will most likely have thin content which doesn’t offer any value to the readers. You will also see duplicate content appearing on other websites too.
In order to solve this problem as an affiliate make sure that your product site has original content too like reviews, comparisons and more.
8. Malicious Website Behaviour
Websites that take part in malicious behavior will also be penalized for black hat SEO. The behavior includes –
- Promoting or installing software that changes ad behavior.
- Manipulating the users by changing the behavior of the items on the web page so that they end up somewhere else from where they were actually supposed to be.
- Including trojans, unwanted software, and malware in any software’s download.
- Changing the preferences or homepage without the knowledge or permission from them.
There are also other tactics that can get your website penalized, these include –
- Negative SEO where you are trying to get your competitor’s website penalized by pointing tons of spammy links at the web pages.
- Private blog networks, where website owners use their own network of websites to pass on search rankings to one single website.
- Creating misleading rich snippets.
Despite there being a number of useful and white hat SEO tactics that offer you an honest way to boost your website’s rankings. There is still a use of black hat SEO frequently.
Using these unethical methods will help you achieve your goals faster but it will only be there for a short while. Because there are quick ways to get blacklisted too by popular search engines and this will also disappoint your users and you will end up losing their trust.
In this post, we have looked at 8 different black hat tactics that you need to avoid that include, purchasing links, stuffing your content with irrelevant keywords, cloaking, backlinks and more to trick search engines and your visitors too.
If you have any questions or if you would like to add something to the 8 tactics mentioned here. Let me know in the comments section below.