Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid / by Logan Lenz

Black hat SEO refers to the ways in which you can manipulate the search engines in order to get a website to climb up the rankings.  Whilst it may sound like something beneficial for your site, it is in fact, unethical.  And, if Google, or any of the other search engines, catch you performing black hat SEO on your site, it won’t take long for them to delist it.  Because a lot of what is now classed as black hat used to be legitimate, however, a lot of webmasters are unaware that they are actually at risk of being penalised.  To help ensure this won’t happen, we have described the top black hat SEO techniques that you will want to avoid.  Keep reading to find out more.

Keyword Stuffing

In the past, many webmasters would stuff keywords into their content, believing this to be a great way to improve their search engine ranking.  And, when Google was in its infancy, these tricks worked.  However, keyword stuffing is now seen as an unnatural way of improving your search engine position, and as such it is classed as a black hat technique.  Those new to SEO, however, may be including too many keywords in their content without even realising it.  The safe way to optimise content, is to focus on just one keyword.  This ensures that the content is relevant, easily readable, and easily crawlable by the search engines.

Hidden Text

Without bombarding you with technical information, let’s just say there is a type of hidden code that webmasters use to build a site.  When doing this, a webmaster will include tags that are hidden to people that view the site, but perfectly visible to the search engine spiders.  Whilst it’s perfectly fine to add relevant information in these tags, it’s not okay to fill them full of keywords with the intention of boosting SEO.  The same goes for hiding text on pages.  A few years ago, it was common for webmasters to place keywords on a page, and make them the same colour as the background, in effect hiding them.  Although your visitors won’t see the text, the search engines will, and you will get penalised for it.

Link Schemes

Link schemes have been one of the most talked about issues over the past couple of years.  We all know that links play a huge part in how a search engine ranks a website, but it’s important to remember that these links have to be built naturally.  This means that you can’t pay another website owner for a do-follow link back to your site, you can’t participate in a link exchange, and you can’t spam other sites with links back to your website.  Instead of participating in schemes like this, take the time to get to know the owners of other websites, and build links naturally.  Google isn’t stupid, and they will see through any unethical link building.

The bottom line is: you need to tailor your website to your visitors, not the search engines.  If you keep your visitors happy, you will keep Google happy too.