When it comes to SEO, Google has a list of do’s and don’ts of rules on what a website should and shouldn’t do online in order to increase its ranking. Blackhat SEO is the name given to a set of practices that try to manipulate the system and rank very quickly. These practices bend or break the search engine’s rules to increase their site’s ranking.
Common Blackhat SEO practices include:
1. Keyword stuffing:
This involves unnecessarily overloading the website with keywords in the content and the Meta tags in order to get it to rank faster. For instance, if a website wants to rank for the keywords “San Diego SEO” here is how keyword stuffing would look like:
- In the title tag: “San Diego SEO – SEO San Diego – Best SEO in San Diego”
- In the H1 (headline tag) of the website: “San Diego SEO – SEO Company – San Diego SEO – SEO Services San Diego”
- In the content: Welcome to the best San Diego SEO Company. If you are looking for a reliable San Diego SEO for affordable SEO Services, then we are your preferred SEO choice”
While this blackhat technique used to work in the past, it’s not only ineffective now but can actually lead to severe Google penalties.
2. Buying links from other websites:
New updates on Google sniff out any unnatural link that your website may have such as a paid link on a website that appears as an unnatural attempt to gain rankings. Since Google also holds websites responsible for inbound links, if a website has an unnatural link or links to another website it should make attempts to get them removed. If they cannot be removed they should use the Google disavowal tool to remove them.
3. Private Blog Networks:
Private blogs networks or PBNS are a group of websites – sometimes thousands of them, which so-called seo experts control. They are used by blackhat seo companies to artificially increase the number of backlinks to their client’s website in order to achieve first page ranking in Google. Unfortunately, Private Blog networks are very common and you should ensure your seo company is not using one on your project. Here is an article on the risks of using a private blog networks: https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2374165/the-private-blog-network-purge-are-you-at-risk
This is the practice of hiding content from users, but showing it to the search engine in order to manipulate SEO rankings. Google can now seek out and penalize such websites using its Panda algorithm.
5. Doorway pages:
Doorway pages are web pages that are stuffed full of keywords and designed just to rank for SEO. They don’t offer much in terms of quality content or give value to the visitors to the page.
While these blackhat SEO practices can get results very quickly they are all spammy ways to try and rank a website. These shortcuts should be avoided as they can get your website penalized and sometimes they can lead a website to be entirely banned from Google’s index, which can be devastating for an online business. An seo strategy that revolves solely around ranking a website on the first page of Google and not offering any value to the visitor, it’ll most likely fail.
Any reputable SEO company should have no hesitation in disclosing their SEO strategies. If a company you are working with or considering to hire for your seo needs, insists on keeping their secret sauce secret, it should serve as a warning sign. When it comes to SEO, there is no secret sauce. Google recommends creating user-friendly websites with high quality content that offer value to the readers. If you can keep your readers happy, Google will reward you in the long run.