What is Black Hat SEO and Why you should avoid it

SEO is an excellent tool that can boost your business exponentially. However, you need to understand that not all search engine optimization tactic are equally effective and ‘legal’. The so-called ‘black hat SEO’ is one of the tricks used by unscrupulous agencies that you really need to be aware of. Using it can see your company blacklisted by top search engines, and recovering from this blow to your brand would be almost impossible.

A Definition of Black Hat SEO

The ‘black hat’ type of SEO is a set of practices that violate the search engines’ terms of service to boost a website’s ranking. These tricks might seem to be effective, but only if they go under the radar. As the search engine companies are on a constant lookout for ‘cheaters’ and the improve their screening tools with every passing day, your chance of not getting caught for using black hat SEO is extremely small.

What Could Happen to Your Website for Implementing These SEO Practices?

The usual punishment for using black hat methods to boost your SEO ranking is being banned from the search engine and its affiliate websites. Considering that Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the leaders in this field and have the most advanced SEO monitoring tools, it’s highly likely that unethical practices will get you banned from these giants and all the sites they are affiliated with. There is no recovering from this blow and the road to effective online marketing would be virtually closed to you.

Types of Black Hat SEO Tactics

The search engines label the following SEO practices as ‘black hat’:

  • Hidden links or text
  • Doorway pages
  • Negative SEO (reporting your competitors)
  • Content automation
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Link schemes
  • Cloaking
  • Sneaky redirects
  • Link manipulations
  • Article spinning
  • Rich snippet markup spam
  • Automated Google queries
  • Pages, domains, and subdomains with duplicate content
  • Malicious pages (that contain viruses and other malware)

There are other practices that can see you banned from Google and other major search engines, so be sure to study their terms of service to know what to avoid.

Avoid Black Hat SEO for Effective Online Marketing

If you want your digital marketing campaign to succeed, black hat practices of any kind are definitely not for you. Pay attention to this when you interview a SEO company representative. Inquire what tactics they use to make sure that they won’t put your business at risk. Take your time to find a reliable white hat SEO agency and you’ll reap the benefits of their work fast.

by Stanley Lo

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