To achieve higher Search engine rankings, a lot of SEO practitioners started employing a lot of different unethical SEO tactics that are widely known as “Black hat SEO” but what is Black hat SEO and what are some of the black hat SEO tactics that are being used these days?
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat SEO is the term used to describe the use of unethical SEO methods to manipulate search engine algorithms to gain high rankings.
Is Black hat SEO illegal for search engines?
The use of black hat SEO techniques is prohibited by search engines and once detected it will cause a huge drop in search rankings and a possibility of a permanent removal of the affected website.
Keywords stuffing is one of the most commonly used tactics nowadays, as SEO users would over mention a specific keyword that they are trying to rank on their website to get noticed by search engines. Here is an example of “keywords stuffing” for a website that is trying to rank for “used cars in Dubai”:
Check out our website for used cars in Dubai, we have the best used cars in Dubai and our company has been known to provide high quality used cars in Dubai.
we can easily notice that it looks unnatural, and the author is trying too hard to over optimize this keyword just to get the search engine’s attention, It is true that search engines like Google consider a set of keywords as a metric to rank different websites yet search engines are going to be more topic focused than keywords focused as the main concern now is a good user’s experience and quality content that fulfils a specific search intent.
Cloaking is a technique for deceiving search engines by producing two separate web pages or pieces of content, one of which will be read by search engine bots and the other by end users. An example of cloaking is when you search for something specific on Google and click on a search result and then see something completely different.
Here is a video by Google search central which Explains cloaking in detail:
Another tactic is spammy redirects, where some website owners redirect people from different websites that they own just to get backlink
An example of spammy redirects is when a user clicks on link on a page, and it redirects to an irrelevant website (like spammy trading or pornography websites)
Bait & Switch
This is One of the most creative ways to manipulate search engines which involves changing the content of an already highly ranked page to something totally different which forces the new content to web users when they search for the originally ranked content.
Black hat SEO practitioners usually follow this tactic by ranking a page for a keyword with high search volume that is not as competitive to rank and then switch their content to what they want users to finally see (Bait & Switch)
Hidden texts on a website
Embedding hidden text into a web page is one of the basic black hat SEO tactics, similar to keywords stuffing, a hidden text that may include stuffed keywords, links or references is inserted into the page’s header, footer or is coloured with the same colour as the page’s background to stay unseen.
Private Blog Network (PBN)
Private blog network or PBN is basically the use of a network of different websites that are owned by the same person in order to get backlinks to your websites, people who own these Private blog network usually charge some fees in exchange of publishing a blog for your website on their private network which shows search engines that your website is getting backlinks from different unique domains, however, this tactic has become easily detected by search engines so if you are using similar techniques to get backlinks you should consider other relative and authentic ways of getting backlinks.
Search engines, particularly Google, are becoming increasingly strict with their algorithm updates in order to combat black hat SEO practices and provide the best user experience. If you are using any SEO black hat tactics, you should stop using them immediately, even if you are seeing some short-term results. It will most likely harm you in the long run and may result in your website being permanently removed from search engines.