Building SEO to a point where search engines start to notice your website and ranking on the top is a tiring process that requires patience. To fasten the process, some SEO experts opt to use shortcuts to try and achieve the results fast by optimizing their content for search engines rather than their users.
This practice of getting a website ranked higher by search engines by using unethical tactics that are prohibited by search engines is called black hat SEO. It uses shady tactics to get websites ranked higher through exploiting search engine vulnerabilities and building SEO strategies around these vulnerabilities. Black hat techniques undermine the search engine’s primary goal of quality and useful information to users.
To avoid this, search engines implement algorithms that are able to analyze results for every query and return useful results. These algorithms are also able to catch websites that are using black hat methods and hide their results.
Black hat SEO trick can result in a website being removed from search engine results or being de-ranked on the search engines resulting in a drop in traffic for these websites. To avoid this, here are some of the techniques that search engines are regarded as black hat SEO and may result in your site being banned by Google forever.
In the early days of search engines, keyword stuffing was one of the most effective methods of growing your brand and improving your SEO in Google and other search engines. However, as time went by, search engines started to realize that having more keywords in an article or a web page did not necessarily mean that the content had quality.
To curb this, they created algorithms that ensured that the top results returned were quality regardless of how many times a keyword had been used in a bid to improve user experience on their platform. The algorithms were also able to flag stuffed keywords in a web page and de-rank the web page for the specific keyword.
Over Optimization of a website
Techniques such as stuffing keywords on your image description and metadata, using key-word rich anchor tags, internal and external linking over-optimization also have negative effects on your SEO and are flagged by Google and other search engines as black hat methods.
Using invisible text also to optimize SEO on a website is also a great way to get your page de-ranked. This method involves placing keywords on your webpage and then making them invisible from users of your site while leaving them open for search engines. Using such methods can result in a site being flagged by Google.
Poor quality content
Google algorithms are now optimized to detect the quality of web pages and ranking them before being queried based on their quality. Updates in algorithms have also indicated that Google was now looking at the quality content on a page because they create a better user experience for their users.
Websites that use methods such as copied content, content automation and spinning, scraping content and click baits are heavily punished and sometimes removed from top results of a search query.
Cloaking is a common method that is used by black hats, where content presented to search engines for ranking is different from what is on the web page. In the past, this was one of the most effective techniques for improving SEO while also ensuring your visitors are reading content on your site.
However, recent changes in Google algorithms are able to track and flag cloaked content on a website. Websites found using the method are de-ranked because it violates Google Webmaster guidelines by providing clients with irrelevant results.
This is a recent method of black hat SEO, where content creators comment on well-established and authoritative domains in a bid to create external links that can improve their site rankings.
However, not only does the method not work, but it can also result in a website dropping in search engine results.
The comment section of most sites are set to ensure that any external links are nofollow, therefore, spam commenting does not work.
Paying backlinks is also another method that black hat SEO experts use to rank high on their site. This method, if done right, can go undetected by Google and other search engine algorithms, giving websites a huge boost in their rankings.
Although Google has made algorithms that try to identify paid backlinks, flag them and de-rank them on their page rank, it is not an easy method to detect. However, Google is very clear that buying backlinks to improve a web page ranking goes against their policy and websites found doing that are punished.
To avoid your site from getting flagged for using the black hat SEO method, users are required to remove the paid links and they can also disavow external links on their Google Webmaster.
Using link farms
These are websites that are created with the sole purpose of getting websites backlinks. These websites are mostly free, but there are also premium websites. Unlike the other type of paid links, these websites are only fed with a URL and they are able to create backlinks for the URL.
This method of link building is highly detectable and has low-quality backlinks, meaning a website is more likely to lose their page rank than they are likely to improve. Websites found using the method are also punished severely including de-ranking and banning some of their content from getting ranked.
- Creating doorway pages
These are pages that are highly optimized for a targeted keyword. Although some SEO experts may use this method without genuinely knowing that it is banned by Google and other search engines, it is important to note that websites caught using the method see their page ranks go down.
This is because of Google’s emphasis on quality and valuable content for users, and in most cases, doorway pages do not offer value to users. Google sees these pages as trying to trick their algorithms and this may result in a website being punished.