When hiring an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) company, make sure that they stick to white hat SEO instead of black hat SEO techniques. This will ensure that you won’t get your website blacklisted off of Google and search engines or suffer major penalties.
Why Black Hat SEO Techniques Important on White Hat Sites?
Black hat SEO are techniques and methods that are not widely accepted by the online marketing community and can hurt your website temporarily or even permanently. Once you get penalties, it may be difficult to recover. Black hat SEO is often times shortcuts or laziness in marketing your website. Some techniques offer great, quick results that boost you to the top for certain keywords but you may end up paying the price later. Be aware of black hat techniques so you don’t break the white hat SEO guidelines.
Top 9 Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid
- Doorway Pages
- Redirect Pages
- Duplicate Content or Websites
- Code Swapping
- Linking to Unrelated Sites or “Bad Neighborhoods”
- Link Farms
Black Hat SEO Consequences
- Google can filter the rankings
- Reduce your site’s rankings
- Just ban the whole site
Setting up 2 different versions of a website: 1 for humans and 1 for search engines. Keyword stuffing occurs on the cloaked page. One white hat reason to cloak is targeted advertising. Users view one style of a web page created by a system of IP address identification. In other words, programs can distinguish if you’re human or not and deliver you the human page or search engine page. Not your average Harry Potter invisibility cloak.
Keyword Stuffing: The Ultimate Black Hat SEO
Keyword stuffing can take many different forms in black hat SEO. It could be unnaturally adding in too many keywords on your website, literally stuffing too many keywords in the body copy text, or it can be simply listing keywords on the page or in the header or footer of the site. You can also keyword stuff in multiple places on the website.
Keyword Stuffing Locations:
- Meta tags
- In picture alt tags
- Title tags
- Hidden text
- Body Copy
Black Hat SEO with Hidden Text
Text with keywords can be hidden in the background of the site by matching the text color to the background color. Another way to hide text is to make it a very small 1 point font. Search engines have gotten smarter over the years and can usually detect this quite easily.
Pages created just to rank in search engines prominently. These pages are usually poorly designed and can be auto generated by programs. These pages can also have duplicate content or paragraphs of worthless text.
Black Hat SEO & Redirecting Pages
Ever visit a website and see it flash for a second and redirect to another page quickly? Sometimes, that can be a redirect landing page that stuffs keywords. These pages are created to rank highly in search engines but not cause penalties to the actual site. Very sneaky redirect pages are when you click on a result from Google yet it brings you to a page that has nothing to do with the search results.
Duplicate Content Duplicate Content
Switching out keywords on different versions of the same website can lead to major penalties. The same content on every page with only the keywords changed, like a template. Or it could be copied and pasted content from other sites as black hat SEO. Right now, search engines have a hard time knowing the original author and date of who had the original content. There are actions you can take to protect your original online content.
Using a certain type of code for a text-only web page to try and rank high for that certain page. After you get to the first page, the code is switched into a human visitor friendly page. However, when the search engine uses its little robots to crawl your site again, it will definitely see that you switched out the code.
Avoid Bad Neighborhoods
Backlinks are all a part of SEO. However, for black hat SEO, if you link to a ton of bad links in a “bad neighborhood” then your rankings can tank. Good pages to link to will have a page rank and are definitely indexed by Google.
Definitely don’t link to:
- spam sites
- adult content sites
- gambling web pages
- link farms
- Low page rank sites
Black Hat Link Farms
A number of sites that are interlinked to each other for the purpose of ranking higher on search engines. They also try to raise page rank score as a black hat SEO technique. Technically, they don’t go against Google’s policy of simply not deceiving users or presenting different content to search engines and humans.
Now What Do I Do....
Reporting Your Competitors
A few resources on black hat SEO violation guidelines and how to report competitors:
- Raise a thread on Google Groups https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!home;lang=en