12 Black Hat SEO Practices That You Must Avoid: As you know, from the point of legitimacy, SEO practices can be classified into two categories – White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO.
White Hat SEO practices are those SEO practices that are legitimate, that follow the guidelines of search engines and do not try to exploit the gaps or limitations in Google or any other search engines’ algorithm.
Black Hat SEO, on the other hand, are SEO practices that are illegitimate and do not follow the guidelines of search engines. Search engine algorithms, like anything else, have their limitations – loopholes and gaps. They are not as smart and sophisticated as humans are and hence, can be manipulated into believing that your page, even though it doesn’t contain any useful content, should be ranked.
Basically, Black Hat SEO practitioners do not care about users and their needs. They focus on shortcuts to get ranked in SERP.
12 Black Hat SEO Practices That You Must Avoid
Black Hat SEO should not be practiced at any cost. Even though, it might seem effective, it will, for sure, lead to serious consequences in the long term.
In this article, I will provide you with information about 12 Black Hat SEO practices that you must avoid:
1. Keyword Stuffing & Keyword Stacking
These two terms are used interchangeably and mean filling up the page’s content and/or meta tags with keywords and their variations in an attempt to manipulate rankings. Such overuse of keywords and placing the keywords all over the place makes the content look unnatural and meaningless.
Search engines have become smarter now and can identify if placements of keywords are unnatural.
2. Irrelevant Keywords
Using keywords that are not remotely related to your content is another Black Hat SEO practiced to get some extra traffic from search queries that were meant for something else.
This is a highly deceptive Black Hat SEO practice wherein different content or URLs are presented to search engines and users. What happens as a result of this is that the page ranks for a particular query but when users click on it, they land on something entirely different. Tricking users and search engines in any way is not going to help in the long run.
4. Comment Spamming
This is practiced in an attempt to get backlinks or inbound links, which is a very important aspect of Off-Page SEO. Although it doesn’t work as these links are ‘nofollow’ links and no link equity is transferred through them, it is still practiced by many. In comment spamming, irrelevant links are posted as comments along with useless texts which do not provide any insight.
5. Paid Links
As mentioned in the previous point, backlinks or inbound links are part of Off-Page SEO. Many websites manipulate this ranking factor by paying for backlinks. This means they pay other websites to link to them. This way they don’t have to worry about quality content. At the same time, they can decide on the anchor text used for the backlinks, which too helps in rankings.
6. URL Hijacking
Let’s say there is an website, example.com that is trusted and authoritative in a particular niche. If you register a domain, say exmple.com, that is, with a URL similar to the former one, in an attempt to misguide users, then it is called URL Hijacking. It is also known as Typosquatting.
7. Duplicate Content
When significant blocks of content are copied from other sources other domains, and pasted in a site as it is or almost similar, it is called duplicate content. Duplicate content can also happen within the same domain, across its different pages. However, in most cases, it happens unintentionally.
8. Hidden Text and Links
Many websites put certain texts in the color same as that of the background. These texts are not visible to the users. So, they don’t see anything unnatural on the page. However, search engines can detect these texts. Similarly, links and even text that are not legible are included by some sites, with the intention of manipulating rankings.
9. Article Spinning
This is almost similar to duplicate content wherein softwares are used to rephrase the content of a site. The rephrased content is then posted as a unique content. Even plagiarism checker tools cannot detect anything here.
10. Page Swapping
This is another ingenious practice. Some websites create content, publish and index them, and get them ranked. Later on, they change the entire content. So, users land on an entirely different content than what showed up in SERP.
11. Fake Clickbait
This is basically misguiding users with the title or headline. Here interesting titles to evoke curiosity in the minds of the users are used. Users click on the article and find that it talks about an entirely different thing.
12. Link Exchange
Many website owners exchange links, that is, let’s say, Site A and Site B come to an agreement that Site A will provide backlinks to Site B and similarly, Site B will give backlinks to Site A. Such arrangements do not help the users in the longrun and hence, it is not a good practice. It is for this reason two-way backlinks do not have the same value as one-way backlinks.
These are some of the common Black Hat SEO practices. If you are serious about blogging, you must not practice these methods of Search Engine Optimization. Black Hat SEO not only hampers rankings in the end, it can also result in your site being penalized by search engines. It is also unethical.
The right practices often take a long time to show results but there is no risk in that.
I hope this post on 12 Black Hat SEO practices that you must avoid helps you If you have any question, drop them below. I will get back to you soon.