Everybody loves to sprint to win the race. Some sprint the clean way, some take the bad road. Talking of the digital world, SEO experts and result-oriented marketers know the importance of their website ranking number one on the SERP. A lot of on-page & off-page SEO efforts are undertaken to achieve that first page position.
Using proper techniques to rank and get organic traffic to the website is a disciplined and time consuming task, but that’s the best way to go about. Sadly, many digital marketers fall prey to the shady and quick high SEO ranking techniques, which only tank their rankings in return. Let’s shed some light on what exactly black hat SEO is and why digital marketers should avoid it.
In simple terms, black hat SEO is the use of those SEO practices and techniques that position the website atop the SERP while violating certain guidelines and policies of the search engines. In return, Google or any other search engine, penalizes or bans websites indulging in such forbidden methods. Instead of raising rankings, the website score and credibility is hurt, leading to its eventual downfall. Here are some black hat techniques to avoid. As they rightly say - slow but steady wins the race!
- Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is the technique of using more than 5-6- keywords in the website content to achieve higher rankings. Writing thin content and filling the content densely with keywords gets websites penalized by Google’s algorithm.
- Spam Comments
Often webmasters find comments pasted in the comment section of blogs. This is done to generate backlinks but do not actually help. Instead, the comment section becomes a breeding ground for low quality and spam links, leading to reduction in quality score, leaving genuine website visitors with an uncomfortable and bad user experience.
- Duplicate Content
As the name suggests, duplication of content does not only result in penalization, but also accounts for plagiarism. Search engines will always reward sites with unique content which is why duplication of content is one of the worst black hat SEO techniques. A canonical URL helps in indicating that the website content is original.
Cloaking is the method of serving a different result rather than the one requested by linking irrelevant keywords to the content. On the inside, it shows the crawler the correct HTML page. However, on the surface it serves the user with an irrelevant result. This helps in boosting the keyword rankings, but in the long run results in higher bounce rates, eventually leading to Google identifying the black hat SEO method in practice.
- Doorway Pages or Shady Redirects
This is yet another naughty SEO technique to fool users in reaching their desired destination. When users generate a query, the landing page they click on, leads them to hidden doorway pages that have no actual relevance to what they were looking for. The goal here again, is to rank higher for the desired keywords, but ends up costing the website its high score status.
- Invisible Text
As the name suggests, black hat SEO users place invisible texts in the form of keywords and URL, usually in white font on white backgrounds or in colours matching the webpage design. This is done so that when users click anywhere on the webpage, they accidentally click the hidden text and are taken to irrelevant content.
- Buying and Selling Links
Buying and selling links to drive traffic to websites is another ancient sales technique not privy to the digital world. This results in de-indexing of the website and significantly reduces the traffic in half (if one is lucky, Google doesn’t cut the website off its search engine).
- Typo-squatting or URL Hijacking
The name may sound complex but is actually easy to decipher. This simple means creating malicious domains similar to reputed brands’ names to create confusion in the minds of the users. This error is commonly counted as misspellings or unnoticed foreign spellings by search engines, before they get to the bottom of the dirty trick.
The above mentioned black hat SEO techniques will not only harm the website rankings, but it will take additional time and effort in building back the credibility of the website. Digital marketers should keep the sanctity of the internet maintained by creating a safe, reliable and transparent environment to ensure quality experience for their users.