• Toucan Insights Staff

7 Main Black-Hat SEO Techniques That Will Sink Your Site 

Table of Content

  1. What is Black Hat SEO?

  2. What are the Risks of Implementing Black Hat SEO Techniques

  3. Main 7 Black Hat SEO Techniques

  4. Keyword Stuffing

  5. Sneaky Redirects

  6. Comment Spam

  7. Link Farms

  8. Invisible Text

  9. Negative SEO

  10. Harmful Website Behavior

  11. Conclusion



What is black hat

Like in any society, in the SEO world you can follow the rules to work your way up the ranks or you can try to cheat the system.


Search engines have their own “terms of use” to clearly distinguish between what’s allowed and what is not.

For instance, Google’s webmaster guidelines outline the best SEO practices to follow in order to improve your page rank.




However, some marketers are purposely breaking those guidelines to get a quick advantage with less effort.


By implementing these techniques, you will engage in what is called Black hat SEO and you will most certainly drop in the search results rankings or in the worst case scenario your website could be taken down from Google.



1. What is Black Hat SEO?


When defining Black hat SEO, we can say that it is the practice of using illegitimate tactics to quickly improve your page rank on search engines.


Black hat SEO techniques are clearly condemned by Google’s webmaster guidelines and should be avoided to prevent penalties.


You can usually recognize when a website uses Black hat SEO techniques. In general, the content of the page doesn’t provide much value to the visitor and the overall user experience is clearly lacking in quality.


Instead, the content is generated in such a way that aims to deceive search engines and present the website as a valuable and relevant source of information.


This has negative consequences for people landing on such pages as they get lured into a low-quality trap.



2. What are the Risks of implementing Black Hat SEO Techniques


As a result of misleading your online visitors and search engines, you can get different penalties that are outlined in each search engine guidelines.


At this point, it is important to remember the goal of search engines like Google and that is to provide the best results (websites) in terms of valuable content and user experience for each search query.


Going back to Black hat SEO, Google can reduce your website traffic or lower your page rank temporarily if they discover that you have engaged in such practices.

You can always revert this decision by fixing the problem and submitting a request to Google to audit your website or a specific page again.


Additionally, the boost in traffic you gained from Black hat SEO usually won’t last long.


Once the loophole you are exploiting gets fixed by an update, you will lose all your progress.


Using spammy tactics will also hurt your brand reputation because you are delivering a poor user experience. People will quickly leave your website when they realize that they have been misled by tricky black-hat strategies.



 

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3. Main 7 Black Hat SEO Techniques

Black Hat SEO tecnics

a. Keyword Stuffing


Keyword stuffing is the practice to include many irrelevant keywords or phrases in your content.


The search engine will get the impression that your content is relevant for the user's search intent for stuffed keywords.


Marketers used to abuse this loophole by putting as many keywords as possible in the titles, meta descriptions and in the content.


Oftentimes your content will even rank for irrelevant terms and steal spots from more legitimate sources.


However, it is easy to spot such a page because it doesn't have a coherent written structure. This gives an extremely cheap and spammy impression to your visitors who got deceived for a bad quality page.


Fortunately, with recent updates this technique is no longer effective, moreover it can hurt your page rank if search engines detect keyword stuffing.



b. Sneaky Redirects


In general when marketers use “sneaky redirects” they lead users to a different web page than the one they were using to attract them.


It tricks both the user and the search engine to redirect a visitor to a different URL than the one initially displayed on the search engine results page.


A common practice using sneaky redirects consists of leading people from a high authority website to your low-quality one. This black hat SEO technique aims to superficially increase your web traffic and increase your page rank.



c. Comment Spam


This Black hat technique consists of posting links in the comment section of your page to artificially increase the authority of your website.


Google is very strict about this because they want websites to rightfully earn backlinks by providing quality content to their users. It doesn’t matter if it comes from people or bots, Google considers it as spam and can remove specific pages if such dubious behavior is detected.


You can avoid this by using anti-spam tools like Google’s free reCAPTCHA tool. Otherwise, you can program your website to prevent links being included within the comments.



d. Link Farms


This Black Hat SEO technique uses one or numerous websites containing links to your website to increase the perceived level of authority from your website.


These websites with your backlinks are simulating real websites linking back to you. Generally, those link farms provide no value to the user and are just built to house as many backlinks as possible.


Marketers who don’t want to put in the effort to create quality content to attract their audience, fall for this trick and pay money to artificially increase the authority level of their websites.



e. Invisible Text


As the name states, this method adds invisible text to your content. This is done by matching the color of the keywords with the background color.


However, search engines can still detect them and put your website in a higher position for those keywords.


The goal of adding invisible keywords to your website is to increase the perceived relevance for those specific keywords. As a result, your page rank improves for those terms.


This will lead to deceiving people who are expecting different content based on their search query.



f. Negative SEO


A rather newly emerging Black hat trick is called Negative SEO.


Here, the aim is not to rapidly increase the page rank of your own website but to take down competitor sites that are above you in the search engine results page.


A common negative SEO technique is for another website to copy your content and file a report for your website claiming you stole their content.


Another way to attack competition is to publish a large number of negative reviews about them on multiple review platforms. This will damage their reputation and let them most likely drop in search ranking.


Luckily you can defend yourself against such attacks by flagging suspicious reviews and reporting stolen content to Google.



g. Harmful Website Behavior


This is a more vague term that includes websites actively trying to harm the user.

These Black hat SEO tactics consist of retrieving customer information without the user knowing or agreeing to it.


Another example would be to inject the host computer with malicious software like viruses or other malware as well as adding files when the user is downloading content.


These attempts to manipulate content or execute certain actions in an irregular way represent a clear breach against Google’s webmaster guidelines.


The intentions of these Black hat tactics are to harm the user’s safety on the internet.


This can result in serious damage to their systems so we would strongly recommend to refrain from using such techniques at all costs.


The intentions of these Black hat tactics are to harm the user’s safety on the internet.

This can result in serious damage to their systems so we would strongly recommend refraining from using such techniques at all costs.




Conclusion


It is always better to double-check if you are not developing any SEO tactics that could go against Google’s terms of service.


In general, don’t deceive or manipulate your online visitors or the bots scanning your website.


Be absolutely sure that you are not breaking Google’s webmaster guidelines.


Especially, when you are paying money to increase your PageRank you should avoid these practices altogether.


In order to not accidentally engage in bad practices, you can audit your website with Alexa’s Site Audit or the On-Page SEO Checker.


These tools will help you to point out possible black hat issues allowing you to make the necessary changes to meet Google's standards.


 

Contact Toucan Insights NOW and learn how we can help you to create a safe and efficient SEO strategy to improve your page rank on Google.