5 Black Hat SEO Tactics to Avoid

SEO Black Hat Tactics

Black hat SEO tactics are those which try to circumvent the rules and regulations of Google and other search engines in the hope of boosting page ranks and getting more traffic.

Although some black hat tactics can be used safely and ethically, the vast majority of them should be avoided. Using such tactics can hurt your business’s reputation and annoy your visitors. As the search engine algorithms continue to improve and penalize websites which use these tactics, it is becoming less and less profitable to use them, particularly in the longer term.

Optimisation Tactics That Cause Harm

Your business plan should take into account promises of excellent ranking and almost too good to be true traffic level guarantees.

If you use black hat tactics, Google may even ban your site from their search results and this will greatly decrease your traffic. Here are five of the top tactics to avoid.

 1 – Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Easily the most commonly employed black hat tactic is keyword stuffing. Search engines use key words and phrases found in a webpage to categorize and index it and while keywords are important for any Web designer, it is even more important to avoid their misuse.

Key words and phrases should only be used sparingly and naturally. They should blend in seamlessly with the content of the page that they are chosen for.

Unscrupulous Web designers, however, often put far too many instances of the chosen word or phrase into their article to the point at which they stick out like a sore thumb.

This makes a page look as though it was written with the search engines in mind and not for actual human readers. Even worse, sometimes people put a list of keywords or unreadable text and phrases at the bottom of their pages.

This looks bad to human visitors and it is also becoming increasingly common for search engines to penalize websites using these methods.

 2 – Do Not Use Invisible Text

Invisible text is text which is the same colour as the page background. To human readers, this is visible only if they highlight the content of the page. The search engine crawlers, however, can see it and use its content to index the page. This is why the invisible text typically contains a long list of key words and phrases.

While this might not bother your visitors (they probably won’t even see it anyway), it is highly frowned upon by Google and other search engines and it is becoming increasingly common for sites that use this tactic to get banned from the search results. Avoid this at all costs, since it will do nothing to help your site in the longer term.

You should avoid using CSS techniques that deliberately hides text from the human site visitor.

 3 – Doorway Pages and Redirects

A doorway page is a fake webpage which contains nothing of value to human visitors. They are designed for the sole purpose of targeting a specific key word or phrase and scamming the search engine crawlers into ranking them higher. Doorway pages are against the rules of Google and most other search engines and they can quickly get your site banned.

Doorway pages are often accompanied by redirects. The redirect is designed to automatically take the visitor to a page containing actual content as soon as they visit the homepage.

An example of this is if you visit a website which appears to have a blank page or otherwise has little content of interest on it, you will be automatically redirected to another page after a few seconds. This annoys surfers and against the terms of use of most search engines.

4 – Rewriting and Spinning Content for Duplicate Sites

Rewriting and spinning content used to be extremely popular and quite effective but, as the search engines are getting smarter and working more like real people, duplicate sites should be avoided. Duplicate sites are basically copies of a website in which the article content is rewritten so that it appears to be unique to the search engines.

Everyone knows that search engines like unique content but, in practice, simply rewriting or spinning content is not good enough. Spinning is even worse.

A spun article is one in which many words are nested with synonyms and then passed through an article spinning program to create “unique” content. In practice, the result is blatantly obvious, low-quality and far from original.

5 – Blog Comment Spamming

If you have ever owned a blog, even one which does not receive many visitors, you have no doubt noticed the considerable amount of spam comments that your content receives. Fortunately, spam filters tend to get rid of most of them but, on a popular blog, a webmaster often has to go through lots of comments to approve the real ones and purge the spam comments.

Blog comment spamming is one of the most common black hat SEO tactics. Using automated posting tools, spammers post comments on blog articles which are completely irrelevant to the content that they are commenting on. These comments are often filled with keywords and phrases and contain links to the spammer’s website.

This is an optimisation tactic that should always be avoided. If you choose to use it, expect your site to be banned from the search engines in no time and your business’s reputation to plummet. Spamming achieves nothing other than annoying people and harming your business in the longer term.

Author by Malcolm Oakley


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