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8 Black Hat SEO Techniques That Are Killing Your SEO

Search Optimization

To continue delivering people the most useful results, Google has to update its algorithms every now and then. While it’s a move that will undoubtedly benefit Google users, it can get frustrating for webmasters, SEO professionals, online stores, and digital marketers.

That’s why many of them take a shortcut: Black hat SEO.

As a Miami SEO company, we totally understand why they turn to black hat SEO. It’s the fastest way to increase your site’s search engine ranking without having to follow Google’s guidelines.

Unfortunately for these black hat practitioners, Google can now easily identify whenever they’re using any of the tactics. Getting caught means getting penalties that will negatively impact their SEO. Despite this, others continue to break the rules, trying their best to go undetected.

It’s important to note that not everyone who uses black hat SEO is doing it intentionally. Some might have no clue at all that they’re actually committing a Google crime.

The question is, could you be one of them?

Well, you’re about to find out in this article!

Before we do that, however, let’s have a brief discussion about black hat SEO. What is it? Why should you avoid it at all costs?

What Is Black Hat SEO?

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In a nutshell, black hat SEO refers to tactics people use to rank a website by violating search engine guidelines. Practitioners apply such techniques in an attempt to manipulate search engine algorithms to boost their site’s rankings.

Google and Bing have come up with their own set of guidelines, with a list of all the SEO practices that go against their terms. Sites or pages that follow these unethical practices will suffer from consequences as soon as bots recognize them.

Why Should You Avoid Black Hat SEO?

As tempting as it may be, using black hat techniques is definitely a big no-no if you’re looking to fast-track your site’s organic success. With many risks involved in practicing them, it’s no wonder most SEO companies and digital marketers choose to avoid them.

Then again, there will always be a percentage of people who’ll want to cheat the system through these hacks. It’s time to stop if you’re guilty of such, even if it’s done inadvertently.

We tell you, it’s not gonna be worth it. It will only backfire.

Sure, you may have increased your rankings and traffic with black hat methods, but once bots discover that you’re manipulating search engines, it’s game over for you. Expect to get penalized.

You’ll find your site eventually losing search rankings, visibility, and traffic. Worst case scenario? You will lose your website forever.

8 Black Hat SEO Techniques You Should Avoid (Or Stop Doing Now)

Again, not everyone is aware that they might be committing an SEO criminal act. Especially if you’re just getting started in SEO, it’s difficult to know which tactics to use and which to avoid.

That’s why it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with black hat SEO. While you might’ve already read various search engine optimization tactics on other blogs or social media groups, you gotta be sure that those are 100% white hat tactics.  

There’s no better way to get that reassurance and peace of mind than by consulting with a Miami SEO company that has years of experience working with different businesses across the country. When it comes to SEO best practices, we know what’s right and what’s wrong.

That being said, here are eight of the most common black hat tricks that kill SEO:

1. Keyword Stuffing

Back then, SEO was about using the right keywords.

Marketers took advantage by using the same main keywords excessively. These keywords would be overused throughout the page to maximize its visibility and traffic. This is called keyword stuffing.

Even if the content no longer made sense, their page ended up ranking well. It’s safe to say that anyone can get away with it. A block of keywords was all it took to get a good ranking.

Fast forward to the present, search engines have become so smart that they can quickly find out if someone’s manipulating them with repeated keywords. Google is now focused on delivering high-quality results, which means your content should only include semantically-linked keywords.

So, if you’re someone who stuffs keywords occasionally, it’s time you stop the habit and up your content writing game. Otherwise, you’ll be getting nothing but a bad outcome.

2. Duplicate Content

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It’s no question that creating compelling content can get frustrating at times, especially if you’re running out of ideas or you have limited time. Out of desperation, many marketers attempt to copy content from another site or page. For others, it’s from being plain lazy.

Duplicate content is a popular black hat technique that works by automatically generating content to rank for several keywords without any effort to create useful content.

A good example is a website that has a multitude of location pages that are using the same content. The only thing that’s different is the name of the place.  

Plagiarism is never good. Google agrees.

3. Article Spinning

Similar to duplicate content, article spinning involves copying and re-writing content. People do this by changing sentence structure, replacing words with their synonyms, or re-writing text entirely while communicating the exact message as the source.

Article spinning can be done manually or with software. Most black hat practitioners usually choose the latter, as it’s faster, time-saving, and more convenient. The program simply takes the copied source and rephrases it for later use as a new post.

Regardless of which article spinning method you use, you’re bound to get in hot water with Google. Why? Spun articles tend to degrade the quality of the Internet, and Google certainly doesn’t want to make a bad name for itself.

4. Hidden Text

Also referred to as invisible text, hidden text is any text that is made in the same color as the background.  

It is used for one main reason: To include as many keywords or keyword phrases on a page as possible.

This deceptive SEO tactic is another grounds for a penalty. Google’s advanced algorithm can actually tell the difference between keywords within the body of a paragraph and keywords hidden in the background.

Search engine bots are becoming more and more sophisticated each passing day. They will know right away if you’re trying to cram in keywords, no matter how hidden they may be.

5. Paid Links

Not only can high-quality links drive traffic to your site, but they can also put you as a trusted source in the eyes of Google. The only thing is, you have to work hard to earn them.

That’s the reason why businesses aiming for instant results take the easy route of buying links. Does Google approve of this? Absolutely not.

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Apparently, you can’t outsmart Google when it comes to links anymore. Bots are now able to track links that are likely to have been bought and those that have been earned.

Aside from buying links, be sure to stay away from these tactics:

  • Automated link building
  • Excessive link exchanges
  • Guest posting campaigns
  • Links that use exact match or commercial anchor text
  • Forum spam
  • Blog comment spam
  • Site-wide footer or sidebar links

So, what happens if you get caught red-handed? You’ll get a manual or an automatic penalty that will directly impact certain pages, or worse, your whole website.

6. Cloaking

A classic black hat tactic that has been used for years, cloaking is a deceptive process of presenting different content or URLs to human users and search engine crawlers.

It violates Google’s guidelines for one simple reason: It provides the audience with different results than what they had in mind. It’s an obvious attempt to rank a page based on content created for search engines while directing users somewhere else.

One such example is displaying a page of HTML text to search engines, while humans can only see flash images.  Another is showing keywords in the content ONLY when the crawlers are requesting the page, not human visitors.

Once Google learns that you’re cloaking behind their back, don’t be surprised to get your site blacklisted. There have been instances where websites that engaged in the illegal tactic were permanently banned. Don’t be one of them.

7. Overused Anchor Text

It’s only fitting to match your page’s title whenever you share a link to it since it’s the title that gives users an idea of what the page is all about. Plus, consistency can mean relevancy.

For Google, however, it tells a different story. They’ll automatically assume that you’re just being a lazy spammer, which leads you to getting slapped with a penalty.

To prevent this from happening, you should keep your anchor text as brief as possible. It should also be unique, relevant to the linked-to page, and free of keyword stuffing.

8. Doorway Pages

Also known as gateway pages or bridge pages, doorway pages are designed to rank for certain keywords, only to redirect users to other pages.

Usually, these landing pages have little to no value. Their sole purpose is to trick the search engines and redirect a visitor from a chosen result to another unknown destination.

As you may already have gotten the hint by now, Google doesn’t like it when websites deceive humans, ultimately punishing them by hurting their SEO.

Looking for a Miami SEO Company That Never Uses Black Hat SEO?

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Seems like you’re at the right place!

At Digital Resource, we say “no” to cheating and “yes” to honest, hard work.

While there’s no denying that black hat SEO can get you immediate results, these results are only short-lived. Worse, using these manipulative practices will leave a devastating impact on your site.

By working with us, you are guaranteed a solid SEO plan without a single black hat tactic in it. We’ve been in the business for so long already that we know how to please Google with the sites we optimize. Contact us today to learn more!

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