To achieve higher Search engine rankings, a lot of SEO practitioners started employing a lot of different unethical SEO tactics that are widely known as “Black hat SEO” but what is Black hat SEO and what are some of the black hat SEO tactics that are being used these days?
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat SEO is the term used to describe the use of unethical SEO methods to manipulate search engine algorithms to gain high rankings.
Is Black hat SEO illegal for search engines?
The use of black hat SEO techniques is prohibited by search engines and once detected it will cause a huge drop in search rankings and a possibility of a permanent removal of the affected website.
One of the most popular strategies employed nowadays is keyword stuffing, where SEO users overuse a particular keyword to rank it higher on their page and attract the attention of search engines. An illustration of “keyword stuffing” for a website attempting to rank for “used automobiles in Oman” is shown below:
“Visit our website if you’re looking for the greatest used cars in Oman. Our business is renowned for offering high-quality used automobiles in Oman.”
While it is true that search engines like Google use a list of keywords as a metric to rank different websites, search engines are going to be more topic focused than keyword focused as the main concern now is a good user’s experience and quality content that meets a specific search intent. We can easily notice that it looks unnatural and the author is trying too hard to over optimize this keyword just to get the search engine’s attention.
In order to trick search engines, cloaking involves creating two distinct web pages or pieces of information, one of which will be seen by end users and the other by search engine bots. When you use Google to search for a particular term and click on a search result, you might experience cloaking when you see a completely different page.
Another strategy is spammy redirects, in which website owners reroute visitors from other websites they operate in order to obtain backlinks.
When a visitor clicks on a link on a page and is sent to an unrelated website, that is an example of a spammy redirect (like spammy trading or pornography websites)
Bait & Switch
One of the most inventive techniques to trick search engines is replacing the content of a page that has previously achieved high rankings with something entirely new, forcing web users to view the new content when they search for the initially ranked content.
White hat This strategy is typically used by SEO professionals who first rank a page for a keyword with high search volume but little ranking competition before switching their content to what they ultimately want consumers to view (Bait & Switch)
One of the fundamental black hat SEO techniques is to insert hidden text into web pages. Similar to keyword stuffing, hidden text is placed in the page’s header, footer, or background color to remain hidden. It may also contain crammed keywords, links, or references.
Private blog network (PBN)
Private blog network, or PBN, is essentially the use of a network of various websites owned by the same person in order to get backlinks to your websites. People who own these PBN typically charge some fees in exchange for publishing a blog for your website on their private network, which shows search engines that your website is getting backlinks from different unique domains, but this tactic has become easily detected by search engines so if you use it, you should be aware that it could result in your website being penalized.
Search engines, particularly Google, are becoming increasingly stringent with their algorithm adjustments in order to counteract black hat SEO methods and give the greatest user experience. Even if you are getting some quick results, you should stop utilizing any SEO black hat techniques right away. It will probably hurt you in the long term and could lead to the permanent removal of your website from search engines.