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Black Hat SEO is one of the website positioning techniques that are unethical and incompatible with Google’s guidelines for webmasters. Black Hat SEO activities allow you to achieve high positions in search results in a very short period of time. However, despite this, these activities are dangerous for the site due to the possibility of penalties.
Black Hat SEO techniques – example activities
- Keyword stuffing – that is, stuffing keywords on a page to manipulate the page’s ranking in search results.
- Cloaking – that is, masking content on a page. This is to increase the position of a page by showing a different version of it to Google robots and users. Often such sites have high quality content for robots and achieve high search engine rankings, but for Internet users the same page is displayed with different content. Mostly users are presented content with gambling or pornography.
- Hiding content and links – is another of the Black Hat SEO techniques, which involves hiding text with keywords or links, e.g. adding keywords in the background color, setting the font size to 0, hiding links behind an image or using CSS to hide links or positioning text off-screen. This is visible to search engines, but not to users.
- Automatic content generation – creating a large amount of content in a short amount of time, with the goal of manipulating search engine algorithms rather than providing value to users. Producing content for your site using AI, templates or spinning are prohibited.
- Use of link exchange systems – Google uses links to assess the quality, authority and ranking of a site. Therefore, Black Hat SEO activities are based on the following actions: the use of link farms (sites that link to each other), link-for-link exchanges or link buying, through which search engine algorithms are manipulated to appear in better positions in organic search results.
- Doorway pages – these are sites that are designed to allow users from a search engine to enter a particular site, but when clicked on, they will find themselves on a fake site.
- Linking from poor quality sources – an example is adding links in comments to articles on various sites. Such links often look like spam and if Google recognizes these actions – it will impose a penalty.
- Creation of poor quality content so-called srapping content, duplicate content – content marketing constantly plays a key role in SEO. In this case, copying content from other sites to your site without the author’s permission is also a Black Hat SEO technique. The purpose of copying content is to gain better positions in search results and increase traffic to the site. Note that these actions are against the webmaster guidelines.
Black Hat SEO technique what risks does it carry?
- Penalties from search engines – search engines have their own requirements, for example, according to Google’s guidelines for webmasters, the use of Black Hat SEO techniques is prohibited and explained what such actions can result in. Penalties that Google has set include reduction of ranking in search results or even complete removal from Google’s index. In addition, Google uses algorithmic filters, such as Google Panda (which works against low-quality content) and Google Penguin (which works against link manipulation).
- Loss of user trust – if a user discovers your Black Hat SEO techniques then he won’t want to access your site again in the future. Even if he sees the site in the first search results, the previous experience will definitely discourage him from visiting.
- Short-term benefits, long-term losses – such techniques will allow you to improve your search engine ranking in the short term and see results quickly. However, in the long run for your site, you may end up banned.
- Creating poor quality content is the perfect recipe for giving users a bad experience with your brand, but with an increase in rejection rates and lower conversion rates. That’s why it’s a good idea to take care of content that contains naturally woven keywords, answers comprehensively to the topic the user is searching for.
For the reasons mentioned above, Black Hat SEO techniques should not be used. Instead, you should focus on White Hat SEO, which is its opposite. Such techniques involve creating pages with the user in mind. Published content is of high quality with natural keyword saturation, inbound and outbound links are not uniform, and the site itself is optimized for Core Web Vitals.