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20 Risky Black Hat Techniques used Today

Black hat techniques

Black hat techniques revolve around unethical Search Engine Optimization Practices that are against Search Engine Guidelines.

Every digital marketer or business owner knows how beneficial it is to have an SEO strategy.

Having an organic SEO channel enables the company to advertise itself on search engines for free.

But this process takes a lot of time and effort.

There are certain rules and guidelines that an SEO expert must adhere to while creating an SEO strategy.

– But as in every profession, some people try to exploit the system.

These spammers have tried to outsmart the algorithm of google by applying shady techniques. These techniques are also known as black hat techniques.

These tricks should be avoided as they invite sanctions and penalties from search engines.

One of the common examples, when Black Hat Techniques tanked a top-performing website, is-

J.C. Penney’s Black Hat Links in which J.C. Penney ranked at the top of Google search results for a vast number of keywords like “home decor”, and “skinny jeans”, etc by using black hat SEO link building techniques.

– For doing this, Penney received a Google penalty that saw them drop down close to seventy positions on Google Search Results even for common search terms like “living room furniture.”

So, it is inevitable to opt for ethical White Hat SEO tactics that follow webmaster guidelines. To learn about the ethical practices of SEO, you can pursue an SEO course that will provide you with the right skills to master the realm of online SEO.

However, this post will uncover some of the most common black-hat tactics that expert SEOers would never suggest. So, without any further ado, let us get started-

20 Black Hat Techniques that invite Google Penalties

Let’s look at some of the black hat techniques that are being used by spammers:

List of 20 Black Hat Techniques
Sr. No. Black hat Technique
1. Keyword Stuffing.
2. Spam comments.
3. Clickbait.
4. Cloaking
5. Copied content
6. Buying links
7. Malicious active content
8. Doorway pages
9. Automated queries
10. Mirror websites
11. Cookie stuffing
12. Link farming
13. Abusing Structured Data/Rich Snippets
14. Alt Description stuffing
15. Use of Irrelevant Keywords
16. Hidden or Invisible texts and links
17. H1 Header tag Stuffing
18. Content Automation
19. Article Rephrasing using Tools
20. Guest Post Spam

1) Keyword Stuffing

This is one of the most popular black hat techniques. As the name suggests, this technique involves using the same keyword over and over again.

This technique used to be popular in the 2000s, but after Google introduced the Panda Google Algorithm to penalize such content, it has become a thing of the past. Panda Google

The algorithm checks content stuffed with unnaturally high keywords and penalizes it.

It is now recommended to add keywords that appear naturally in content rather than overusing them.

2) Spam comments

We have all come across comments on blogs and posts unrelated to the content. These comments are trying to advertise some other website.

Spammers use this black hat technique to create backlinks for the website they’re trying to advertise. This practice does not affect the SEO ranking of the website in question.

Tags such as nofollow and blocking plugins render these links useless.

Google recognizes spam comments as one of the black hat techniques; any website using spam comments is penalized.

3) Clickbait

Clickbait is another one of the black hat techniques used by spammers to increase the number of clicks on a website. In this technique, the spammer uses an enticing but deceptive headline to attract website visits.

This approach harms your website in the long run as it increases your website’s jump rate and decreases the click-through rate.

Clickbait also tarnishes your website’s goodwill; any customer who visits your website once will make sure that they never visit again.

This technique is used by tabloid writers who get paid by the number of clicks their website receives.

4) Cloaking

Cloaking is one of many black hat techniques; it involves writing two different content pieces to fool the search engine algorithm.

One of these contents is created for the google bots to crawl. At the same time, the second content is created for the users.

Cloaking violates google’s webmaster’s guidelines, violating these guidelines levy heavy penalties on your website.

5) Copied content

Digital marketers usually refer to content as the king because they know the importance of original and attractive content.

Many content writers or website owners who haven’t pursued an SEO course end up copying content from other websites. They copy content from various websites to create an abomination for their website.

Google can identify this copied content, and as a result, it only shows the original content on SERPs. Copying content is deemed one of the worst black hat techniques in the business.

6) Buying links

Link selling is how a website owner increases the popularity of his website’s link by using financial resources.

Many sellers on the internet claim to sell quality links, but these sellers are usually scammers. Link buying is the most convenient way of increasing the site rank as it involves little or no effort on the part of the website owner.

Google recognizes buying links as one of the black hat techniques and penalizes any website found guilty of breaking this policy. Google counts only 50 percent of the traffic for a website that buys links.

7) Malicious active content

This black hat practice involves malware usage; this malware uses common, dynamic scripting languages to infect the visitor’s system. This practice is outright illegal and invokes heavy penalties by Google.

This malicious active content recognizes the vulnerabilities in the scripting language. These vulnerabilities are then exploited to carry out malicious code.

This malicious code is pernicious for any local system; it can be downloaded through the visitor’s web browser without any prompt.

This type of content is used to inflict dangerous viruses and worms that harm the visitor’s system and steal their confidential information.

8) Doorway pages

Doorway pages act as middlemen between the user and the page they want to visit. These low-quality pages have been optimized to rank high for certain keywords.

These pages are generally content-focused. Instead of providing the service that they were showcasing, they provide a link that directs the user to the query they searched for by the user.

These pages are deployed for boosting the SEO rank of a website. But Google considers this as one of the black hat techniques. They have declared that they will heavily penalize websites that use this technique to boost their SEO rank.

9) Automated queries

Google has cracked down on service providers such as WebPosition Gold, which provides websites with the facility to boost their SEO rank by creating automated queries.

An automated query is a process in which an AI generates many queries for a specific keyword. This process allows a website to rank high in SERPs.

This unnatural way of boosting one’s SEO rank is considered one of the black hat techniques.

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10) Mirror websites

As the name suggests, these websites are a replica of the original website. These websites are created to reflect the data on another website.

This practice improves the rating of the original website. Some websites claim to do this because they fear a cyber-attack.

But this explanation is far away from the truth. Google considers mirror websites as one of the black hat techniques and punishes websites that use this approach.

11) Cookie stuffing

Cookie stuffing is an affiliate marketing technique in which a host website sends a third-party cookie to the user without their knowledge.

This technique is one of the common illegal black hat techniques, and any website found guilty of infringement will get the Google penalty.

12) Link farming

Link farming is a process in which automated programs create multiple websites to hyperlink each other to boost the SEO ranking of one or many websites.

These websites are authentic, and so is their content. But these websites hyperlink random websites to boost their SEO rank. The process of starting a link farm should not be confused with the process of link building.

This technique is one of the most dangerous black hat techniques as per Google, and any website participating in this activity is heavily penalized.

13) Abusing Structured Data/Rich Snippets

Structured data incorporates rich snippets and schema that lets you change how your content is displayed on the SERPs.

It is used for letting content stand out from competitors. But black-hat SEOers sometimes abuse this practice.

They provide inaccurate information in structured data for following the users and search engines.

For instance, awarding five stars to themselves using any fake review site and adding that to structured data to let your site stand out in SERPs is a black hat tactic.

It is quite risky, as Google encourages its users to report such sites that are involved in misusing structured data.

14) Alt Description stuffing

It is one of the most common black hat techniques. It is similar to keyword stuffing. Like keywords are stuffed in the whole article to increase the keyword density same is done in the Alt description.

Keywords are stuffed in image Alt descriptions by which search engines not only penalize the site but it also affects SERP ranking.

So keywords in the Alt description should be used normally wherever it is necessary without forcefully fitting them where they are not required.

15) Use of Irrelevant Keywords

Many people use irrelevant keywords which are not related to their internal pages just to increase their page ranking.

They think if I use the most searched keyword and add multiple used keywords on the page then the page rank will improve.

But they don’t know by doing this Search engines get confused they can’t understand what the content is about and it results in losing the rank.

Also, the audience of those pages becomes confused that this blog is about this or that and they go to another site which increases the bounce rate.

So, the use of relevant keywords is advised else than stuffing irrelevant keywords.

16) Hidden or Invisible texts and links

Hidden or invisible texts and links are used nowadays, it is a very clever idea to do that just for increasing the ranking of the site.

In this Black hat Technique, the font size of the text is set to zero and the background is set the same as the background so it cannot be visible.

In some places, the link of a single character is hidden or CSS is used to position the text outside of the screen.

All these black hat techniques are discovered slowly by search engines and a penalty plan is ready for these malicious schemes.

17) H1 Header tag Stuffing

This is one of the most naive black hat techniques used. In this Technique, the H1 header tag is overly used to improve the search engine ranking.

But this technique is already identified by search engines and anyone can see the use of the H1 header tag is just used for search engine ranking.

18) Content Automation

This black hat technique is used on a wide scale nowadays because AI is improving day by day.

In this trick AI software and script are used to generate and publish the content without any human intervention or effort.

So, the alignment, fonts, keywords, content, paragraphs everything is generated by AI and most of the time AI worsens the content which is not meant for users.

Search Engines like Google gives a heavy penalty for using such AI-generated content which may also result in the blacklisting of the site.

19) Article Rephrasing using Tools

This is one of the most famous and easy black hat techniques used today because no effort are needed.

In this Black hat technique, AI tools or automated software are used to rephrase the content to avoid plagiarism issues.

Since the sentences are just reformed or restructured the content is still old because there is no update in the content and no new thing is updated.

It’s better to update the content with some proper research else than to use tools and not doing any effort.

20) Guest Post Spam

In this black hat technique, one person contacts the person from the high domain authority domain.

The first person asks to do guest blogging on the second person’s higher domain authority website.

During blogging, the first person uses a do-follow link to his website to pass the link juice from a high authority domain to his website.

Also, many times these types of content whose only aim was to get a do-follow link will have poor content and no means for users.

It will not only affect the high authority domain but will also affect the site which got backlinks.

There is a heavy penalty for passing a link juice to an unrelated website or content.


Improving the SEO rank of a page requires hard work, dedication, and the right knowledge.

Many black hat SEO techniques claim to boost your SEO rank, but using these techniques invokes Google’s penalties. Thus, you should not use these techniques while creating an SEO strategy.

Anyone who wishes to learn the right SEO techniques can enroll in an SEO course that educates you A to Z of SEO- starting from History and Introduction of SEO to on-page/off-page tactics, algorithms, and future SEO and finally takes you on the right SEO Career Paths.

In case of any doubts about the right SEO practices for your site, feel free to share your details with us in the comments.

Do you also want to add some other black-hat techniques that novice SEOers are using these days? Also mention those in the comment section below.

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1. Which technique is an example of black hat SEO?

10 Best Examples of Black Hat SEO techniques are:

  • Keyword Stuffing
  • Spam comments
  • Clickbait
  • Cloaking
  • Copied content
  • Buying links
  • Malicious active content
  • Doorway pages
  • Automated queries
  • Mirror websites

2. What is the difference between Black Hat Techniques and White hate techniques?

Black hat techniques do not follow any search engine SEO guidelines and their only intent is to get better ranking for their sites in SERPs.

Whereas White hat techniques involve a good strategy and a plan to rank their websites on SERP by following search engine SEO guidelines strictly.

3. What are the most used Black Hat Techniques for SEO?

The most used Black Hat Techniques for SEO are: Keyword stuffing, Paid Links, ALT description stuffing, Content rephrasing, AI-generated content, and Spam comments.

4. Does using Black hat techniques and tricks to improve SEO ranking affect the website?

Yes, Using any kind of Black Hat technique not only results in losing the rank of the sites but also Search Engines like Google gives a high penalty for using such techniques.

Sometimes Search Engines also blacklist the list the sites for using such techniques.

5. Explain in short what is black hat SEO?

The technique which is used to optimize the search engine for better ranking of websites in search engine result pages without following the rules and guidelines of search engines is called Black Hat SEO.

Ankit Soni
Strategic Planning, Analyzing Markets, Identifying Opportunities and Targeted Brand Campaigns are his forte. As a Search Marketing & Advertising Expert, Ankit shares his expertize through Digital Marketing Blogs that not only help professionals dig deep into Search Engines but also guide them learn best practices of Digital Marketing & Search Advertising in a nutshell. He is also involved in Media Planning and Public Relations.

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