17 Sep Jargon Buster – Black Hat SEO.
Jargon Buster – Black Hat SEO.
From YMG – The Award-Winning Digital Marketing Agency in Chelmsford, Essex.
Jargon Buster is a series dedicated to helping you understand words and phrases commonly used in the digital marketing world. For the most part, we highlight positive and useful terms, to help you enhance your understanding. However, to truly understand the world of digital marketing, you must also understand the negative and, for lack of a better term, bad parts of digital marketing. And that’s exactly what we’ll be looking at today.
Today’s topic, as you’ve probably noticed from the title, is black hat SEO techniques – also known as spamdexing. It’s a dodgy business, so, the more you know about it, the more you’ll understand why you should avoid it.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
What are Black Hat SEO Techniques?
Black hat SEO techniques are practices intended to increase a website or page’s placement in search engine result pages. However, these practices break or violate the search engines’ terms and services.
Unlike white hat techniques, black hat techniques often adopt a cheating behaviour, trying to cut corners and unfairly manipulate a website to the top of a search result.
How Do Black Hat SEO Techniques Work?
When it comes to how they work, black hat SEO techniques work in a very similar way to white hat techniques. By this, we mean that they tell and convince search engines that they’re the best and most relevant result for a specific search. However, black hat SEO techniques use methods that are strictly forbidden and frowned upon by most people.
Should My Business Use Black Hat SEO Techniques?
In a word, no.
Black hat SEO techniques may offer a quick and instant fix for bad placement in search engine result pages. However, when your website is found to be using these techniques, you will be punished. This can result in your website being deliberately pushed down onto lower positions or removed from search engine results entirely.
You should avoid black hat SEO techniques at all costs. Although white hat techniques may take longer to achieve results, they’re earned, and you’re at no risk of being punished. When you consider how Google bots and other search engine algorithms are developing on a daily basis, it’s not worth risking supplying your business with black hat techniques.
What Type of Black Hat SEO Techniques are There?
When it comes to avoiding black hat SEO techniques, it’s fair to assume that, in order to avoid using anything black hat, you’ll need to know what techniques are black hat. It’s important to remember that black hat techniques are always developing and changing to try and hide from the Google bots. But, in the end, all new techniques will be found out and punished. Some of the most well-known examples of black hat SEO techniques include:
- Keyword Stuffing – Overly using keywords or phrases in an attempt to push your website up in search engine results. Some older styles of keyword stuffing include placing text boxes full of the keywords on a webpage but colouring it the same as the background. This is done in an attempt to fool Google bots. But, in recent years, Google bots have learned to detect this and punish it.
- Reporting Competitors – This is where a company will report competitor’s websites from multiple sources, in the hope that search engines will find a discrepancy and punish them. Additionally, a website that is constantly reported can automatically be punished until it’s investigated, much like how a YouTube copyright claim on a video can work. However, search engines are wising up to this, and are clamping down on it, punishing websites and businesses that are found to be using this technique.
- Buying/Manipulating Links – You see this often in spam emails, much like those listed in our scam and fake email blog. Buying links to your website from spammy/shady websites, in order to boost your own. After all, the more links you have to your website, the more trustworthy it seems, the higher search engines will rank it, right? Wrong. If the websites that the links are coming from are untrustworthy or suspicious, this will harm your PageRank and SEO. Also known as link farms, this type of black hat technique will be found out and shut down by the search engines. So, don’t do it, no matter how cheap these fake emails can offer them for.
Other commonly used forms of black hat SEO you should avoid are:
- Article Spinning.
- Content Automation.
- Doorway Pages.
- Duplicating Content (either from other websites or on separate pages in an attempt to push yours higher).
Of course, these aren’t the only black hat SEO techniques available, and as one method is stopped, another will pop-up. So, if you’re ever unsure about a method offered to you, or if you should pursue something that sounds too good to be true, you can always check with the experts – like us! Or, equally, you could visit our Buy It Now Digital Marketing Store to provide your business with top-quality, effective, and affordable white hat SEO techniques.
That’s our list! Think we’ve missed any black hat techniques that we should have included? Let us know in the comments section below! Except if you’re posting spam, because, of course, we’re not going to let that fly here…
For more blogs in the Jargon Buster series, check out our Jargon Dictionary, our handy shortcut to every piece of content in the series! You can check out the rest of our blogs here, or visit our website by clicking this link.
Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you on the next one!
YMG are an award-winning and full-service digital marketing agency based in Chelmsford, Essex, and home of the Jargon Buster series, helping business owners to understand the technical terms of digital marketing.