Blackhat SEO? The name has been dropped around so often, that many people don’t understand it fully. One could wonder what this means and still not be able to define. Literally speaking, when you hear the word ‘black’ it may refer to something illegal (in terms of like blackmail, the black market and so on). Well, blackhat SEO does refer to a darker, unethical approach to get rankings. Unethical as it breaches the guidelines Google has set for websites to earn rankings.
But what are the blackhat tactics that you should look out for and actively avoid? Here we break down the most common practices that are considered blackhat SEO:
The Sly Approach Keyword Stuffing: As the name suggests, keyword stuffing is when websites try to fill in their content with keywords unnecessarily to prove to the search engines that their website is relevant. This is evident on pages and websites where the content hardly makes sense but the keyword is seen being used repeatedly.
The Hidden Text: Similar to the keyword stuffing, using invisible or hidden text is another form of blackhat SEO where the readers cannot see the text but it exists in the background to be found by search engines only. This does not include the use of Alt tags in images as that text is hidden also but is used as the description of the image.
Overloading Link Spam: Initially, Google based a website’s credibility or popularity on the volume of backlinks it had. However recently Google has changed this criterion and it searches for natural linking patterns to the website instead. This has made websites employ link spamming by using automation software that is available for building links to their site.
Creating Scraper Sites: This kind of blackhat SEO is basically scraping off content from other websites instead of creating unique and original content on yours.
The Art Of Cloaking: is when search engine bots are shown a different content than that what is visible to the readers. IP addresses are used to differentiate between bots and actual users. This is strictly against Google’s quality guidelines as it can lead to inconvenience for online users. Let’s take for instance a web server that is cloaking might return a particular in return for a page about cartoons but when the user actually visits the page, the web server may return ridiculous material like adult videos or online gambling. The basic motto behind website owners having such websites is to earn advertising revenue by driving more traffic to their website, rather dodging the traffic to their website.
Behind The Doorway Pages: Acting as a secret passage to the target page or website, doorway pages are another blackhat SEO strategy.
The Trick Of URL Redirects: Using URL redirects to trick online users and search engines to entirely different content than what they are looking for is blackhat SEO.
Now you must be thinking: why does Google hate Blackhat SEO? Here is why the biggest search engine in the world can’t stand it:
- Google cares for its user experience and blackhat SEO described above only creates an awful user experience.
- Google wants websites to pay them to show advertisements on every page. But when websites use blackhat SEO, Google faces a great deal of monetary loss. To counter this type of SEO, Google has now started to change its algorithms to kill any loopholes that allow manipulation.
- Low quality and artificial content are not what Google is known for and it wants to retain its reputation as the ‘Internet God’ – therefore it does not approve of the blackhat SEO.
If you were to continue with blackhat tactics, Google will penalise you for it. So don’t risk your rankings and your reputation by trying to get ahead legally.