Black hat SEO is defined as techniques or processes that increase your search engine rankings via unethical practices. These techniques are generally considered the “evil” of SEO, and for many years these practioners have provided the search engine optimisation industry with negative reviews time and time again.
The most common techniques associated with Black Hat SEO are generally categorised into three main areas:
Techniques that break the strict guidelines and regulations set out by the main search engines i.e. Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Techniques that provide an extremely poor user experience.
The presentation of website content in two ways; one that is visible to users, and the other that is crawled by search engines.
This is the underlying problem associated with search engine optimisation, as there have never been any definitive rules and regulations surrounding SEO, and as the industry moves so quickly; it is sometimes very hard to remain on top of the sector unless you are an SEO consultant that spends hours and hours on the Internet – just like the Bough Digital Team.
For example, some now publicised black hat tactics were once labelled white hat, but as the industry has developed and search engines get more advanced; then techniques and processes should also be changed in accordance to these philosophies and developments. Therefore, there is still a mid-ground called “grey hat”, who are neither “white hat” (100% clean) or black hat (aka dodgy).
If you are even thinking of going down the black hat route, then Bough Digital would think again!! All websites should look to adopt a long-term SEO strategy that is associated with natural link building, high-quality content, and a first-class user experience rather than looking for quick short-term wins i.e. black hat tactics. The following infographic courtesy of http://visual.ly/nature-black-hat-seo highlights a good number of black hat SEO tactics that one can use on your website. Our advice is to make sure that you are not currently implementing any of these techniques, and if you are, look to correct your current practices immediately.
In addition to the factors labelled in the infographic, the table below will highlight some more techniques to avoid:
|BLACK HAT TECHNIQUES TO AVOID|
|Hidden Text||Hidden Text with CSS||Mass duplcaite content||Link Farms||Doorway Pages|
|301 Redirects||Multiple Exact Match Domains||Deliberate Misspellings||Blog Spam||Automatically generated keyword pages|
|Ad Only Pages||Keyword Stuffing||Cloaking||Brand Jacking||Invisible Links|
|Duplicate Scraping Projects||Paid Links||Site Hacking||Google Bowling||Link Buying|
Whether you decide to go down the white or black hat route is up to yourself as a webmaster. However, if you want long-term sustainable growth for your website, it is advisable to opt into the white hat option. If you do choose to implement the black-hat tactics highlighted in this post, and get penalised by Google in the future, then you only have yourself to blame.