What is black hat SEO?

Black hat SEO

It’s cheating. 

Well, actually black Hat SEO is the practice of using techniques against SEO guidelines to rank higher on search engine result pages. These tactics are done primarily to help a website rank better without solving the need of the searcher. However, this often results in a penalty from Google.


Black hat SEO & the vanishing BMW

Some people who use black hat SEO techniques see extremely good results, almost like magic. However, the greatest magic black hat SEO has ever seen was the vanishing BMW.  

In 2006, Google found that BMW had been using black hat SEO techniques. BMW was then completely removed from the Google Index. This meant that for any user of Google’s search engine (almost everyone on the internet), BMW had essentially vanished from the internet.

BMW was later reincluded into the search engine but can you imagine how many potential sales they had lost during that time.

Besides BMW, there’ve been huge names like JC Penney and Forbes who have been caught and penalized severely for using black hat techniques. 

In short, don’t do it.


Are you using black hat SEO techniques?


Here’s the funny thing, while saying you didn’t know it was a black hat technique is the most commonly used and unconvincing argument, it actually it the case for a lot of people. There are so many SEO techniques out there that it can become difficult to tell which ones are wrong, especially if you’re just starting on your SEO journey.

So, to ensure you’re not following the wrong path, here’s a list of the most commonly used black hat SEO techniques:

  1. Keyword Stuffing
    The practice of stuffing your pages and content with irrelevant keywords in an attempt to rank better on SERPs. It’s pretty much repeating a keyword so many times that it doesn’t make any sense. Kind of like that friend who bought his new car and who keeps finding reasons to bring it up.
  2. Hidden Keywords
    The practice of placing keywords in places users will not see or changing the color of the text to match that of the background so it cannot be seen. For example, white text on a white background.
  3. Link Farms/ Buying Links
    This includes buying or seeking links from websites unrelated to your own in an attempt to boost your SEO score.
  4. Cloaking
    Showing one piece of content to users and another piece of content to search engine crawlers.
  5. Redirects
    This involves sending people to a different URL than they initially clicked on. For example, if Mercedes used redirected users from a car repair URL to their sales website. It’s a little like catfishing where you think you’re going on a date with a pretty lady who is actually a middle-aged man using a fake profile.


Just don’t do it

While quick results may always be tempting, don’t do it. It’s not worth it. Even if you don’t get caught, Google changes its algorithm every couple of months. Changes to the algorithm change the way Google ranks you, meaning investing time and energy into a black hat technique could work one day and become meaningless the next. 

Our recommendation is to invest in a long-term SEO strategy and be patient. SEO takes time, but it’ll pay off!


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