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 themselves 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”, “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 the 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-
13 Black Hat Techniques that invite Google Penalties
Let’s look at some of the black hat techniques that are being used by spammers:
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 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.
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.
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 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 as 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 per cent 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, who provide 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 as one of the black hat techniques.
10) Mirror websites
As the name suggests, these websites are a replica of an 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 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.
Final Thoughts about Balck Hat Techniques!
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 enrol 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, 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.