Black Hat SEO


What is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO, is a form of search engine optimization where a website uses ill practices in order to artificially improve their rankings for search queries. These practices often break service agreements and can lead to penalties.

What are some Black Hat SEO Techniques?

There is an extensive list of shady black hat SEO techniques that will get you flagged up by crawlers, below are some of them.

1. Injected backlinks

According to the startup Linxact with the mission to make Black Hat SEO transparent, some Black Hat SEOs exploit vulnerabilities in popular Content Mangement Systems (CMSs) like Wordpress to inject backlinks to their own websites or clients' websites.

To hide injected outbound links of their targets, they hide them with modified CSS code from the website owner. Such injected backlinks are often shortened to keep control over the link target even after an exploit has been fixed by an update. Such Black Hat SEOs can also be considered as Black Hat hackers.

2. Private Blog Networks (PBNs)

Private Blog Networks (PBNs) are very popular amongst Black Hat SEOs because they're very effective while keeping risks of a Google penalty low if done right. Beware of using this method because it still can get your website penalized.

This is especially the case with cheap PBN services that sell backlinks from their PBN sites to anyone which makes those PBNs basically public instead of private.

If you want to find out whether your website or your competitors websites have any PBN backlinks, you need to use a hidden backlink checker like Linxact, since most PBNs block ordinary backlink checkers such as Ahrefs, Majestic and Semrush etc.

3. Content Duplication and Article Spinning

In order to rank highly in SERPs, Google looks for original and quality content on web pages. Content which has been copied and pasted from another source will not achieve the same results, even if it may save time and money. 

Article spinning, also a form of plagiarism, is received the same way. This is a type of automated writing achieved by using content spinning programs. These programs change the arrangement of words in a sentence to give the illusion of unique content.

4. Keyword Stuffing

Integrating keywords into your content is essential for good SEO.

However, keyword stuffing, which means overloading text with an unnatural number of keywords, negatively affects your SEO. 

Black hat SEO - example of keyword stuffing technique

And don’t think that by hiding keywords within your text will fool Google’s crawlers. This technique will also be picked up on and flagged up.

5. Link Buying

Although including inbound links from high-quality sites boosts SERP ranking, purchasing links for your site is strictly prohibited.

While it may seem that buying links will boost your site’s legitimacy, it has the opposite effect and is easily detectable.

6. Doorway and Gateway Pages

Doorway and Gateway pages redirect a user to a different landing page once they have clicked on the link. These landing pages are usually unrelated to the searcher’s query but are dense in keywords. 

While this technique is slightly harder to discover, it is still visible to crawlers.

Why you should Avoid Black Hat SEO and what will Happen if you use it?

Black hat SEO techniques are against search engine’s terms of service, so websites using them will be penalised. This can come in the form of a Google Penalty, which will see the website fall in rankings, or being de-indexed altogether.

Additionally, black hat SEO practices are not long-term strategies, because they are easily detectable and loopholes are usually found and amended quickly.

Black hat SEO techniques can also have the opposite effect than intended. Gateway pages and keyword stuffing are off putting to the end user, meaning increased bounce rate.

What to do if you have Used Black Hat Tactics?

It’s always best to stay safe and use white hat SEO. But if you have used black hat SEO, here’s what to do.

  • Explain your actions to Google. Sometimes websites are victims of negative SEO.
  • Remove and ‘disavow’ any bad backlinks
  • Rethink your SEO strategy. Put in the time and effort to employ positive white hat SEO and you will gradually improve your rankings.

How Can We Help?

If you want help implementing the right SEO strategies within your own business then you can contact us - we’ll set you up with a team recommended by us to delve into the best way to send you forward.

Alternatively, you could always take a look at our training courses to set you apart from the rest without the need for any black hat practises.