What Is Black Hat SEO And Why Should You Avoid It?


Black hat SEO can sound like a shortcut to improve your rankings and gain more visibility in the search. But think twice before getting involved in these tactics. Black hat techniques can damage your SEO more than they can help.  

What is Black Hat SEO?

  Black hat SEO is a set of practices that go against the guidelines of the search engines and are used to boost the search rankings of a website. Black Hat’s SEO techniques ignore the intention of the search engine and try to circumvent best practices by cheating the system and obtaining search visibility through unscrupulous practices.  


Read More: Top 3 On Page SEO Techniques Must Use in 2019  


To compare the black hat against the white hat SEO:  

  • Black hat SEO exploits search engine guidelines to improve rankings.
  • White hat SEO follows closely the guidelines of the search engines to improve the rankings.

  Some marketing professionals choose to use black hat SEO techniques on white hat SEO techniques because they believe they can improve their search visibility more quickly or economically using the algorithms of the game search engines.   But it can hurt your SEO in the long term much more than it can help.  

Why is Black Hat SEO risky and can damage your site?

  It can damage your website and your brand in several ways.   It can lead to a lower search ranking or even make a site completely disappear from the search results. Because Black Hat SEO techniques explicitly go against the terms of service of the search engine, search engines can penalize and even prohibit sites from appearing on their search results pages if they participate in these tactics.   It only creates short-term results (if any). Because black hat strategies exploit gaps in search patterns, the results obtained through tactics will disappear once the gap is resolved.

This happens continuously since the search engines are always looking for and solving the gaps that people use to control the system.   Create a poor, annoying or deceptive experience for audiences. Many black hat tactics create a bad user experience, which can cause users to leave a page. It can also make a brand look spammy and unreliable.  

If you want to get long-term search visibility and build trust with users, avoid it. Follow only the best ethical and sustainable practices for SEO.  

9 Black Hat SEO Techniques

  To avoid upsetting search engines and users, focus on white hat SEO techniques and avoid the following black hat SEO tactics:  

1. Publish poor quality content

  Search engines prefer websites that have a lot of high-quality content. Because high-quality content is neither easy nor cheap to create, many black hat marketers are trying to beat the system by publishing a lot of low quality content.   Instead of this black hat tactic, create for readers a relevant and valuable SEO content that meets the research intent.  

2. Fill in keywords and duplicate content

  Keyword stuffing is about using a keyword excessively in your content to try to get search engines to rank the page for the target term. Duplicate content publishes the same content on multiple pages of a website for the purpose of attracting search engines. These two tactics generally go against search engine guidelines.   Instead of stuffing keywords and duplicating content, use keyword optimization best practices and a duplicate content checker to make sure your pages send the right signals to search engines.  

3. Cloaking

It is a Black Hat SEO technique that is used to get search engines to rank the content of a specific search term unrelated to the context of the web page. Cloaking shows content to users while showing different content to search engines.  


Read More: 05 Secrets of a Professional SEO Writer  


4. Use of misleading redirects

The fake redirects are another black hat trick used to deceive audiences and search engines. A redirect link is created to direct users and search engines to different pages. Otherwise, a higher quality page is redirected to a poor quality page in order to improve search rankings for poor quality pages.  

5. Purchase Backlinks

Linking many high-quality sites to your site is an off-page SEO technique that can improve search rankings. Instead of organically generating high-quality backlinks, black hat marketers can pay websites to link to their site.  

6. Using link pools and private blog networks

Link farming and private blogging networks are two other ways in which black hats are trying to create links quickly and inorganically. In this situation, marketing uses or pays to use a network of websites created solely to link to sites that wish to improve their ranking in searches.  

7. Spamming Blog Comments

As part of another attempt to get links to his website, a marketer using a black hat SEO can comment on dozens and dozens of blog posts with a link to his website.  

8. Abuse of structured data

Structured data or schema markup is code added to a web page to tell search engines what rich information to display on search result pages. Black Hat SEO manipulates structured data so that search engines display false information in search results.  

9. Referencing negative or falsely reported on competing sites

  Negative SEO is a tactic used to give the impression that a competing site engages in Black Hat SEO. The purpose of this tactic is to penalize competitors by search engines. To give the impression that another site engages in Black Hat SEO, or falsely claims that it does so and signals it to the search engine are two of Black Hat’s unsavory tactics.  

When (and how) to report it?

  It is sometimes appropriate to report a website that defies search engine guidelines. For example, you may want to file a report if you see:  

  • Sites Engaging in Black Hat SEO Tactics Listed Above
  • A spammy result at the top of the list for a keyword
  • Another blog is engaging in negative SEO tactics against you
  • Another website falsely reported you

  Submit a complaint via the Google Webspam report or disallow backlinks with the Google tool to tell the search engine that a poor quality site creates a malicious link with yours. You can also report Black Hat SEO tactics via the Bing Content Removal feature. Avoid black hat strategies and also make sure you have not accidentally participated in any bad practice. Use the Alexa Site Audit and the SEO Checker on the page to scan your site for possible Black Hat SEO problems. Reports indicate problems related to content quality, duplicate content, and redirects. Focus on developing a white hat SEO plan that gives your brand long term SEO results and lasting brand credibility. Learn White Hat’s best practices by practicing White Hat SEO and get tools to help you set up your strategy by signing up some premium advanced tools.