If you’re new to the world of SEO, you may have heard the term “black hat SEO” thrown around. Black hat SEO refers to practices that are used to get a site higher in search engine rankings, but which go against the terms of service of the search engines.
While black hat SEO may give a website a short-term boost in rankings, it’s not a sustainable long-term strategy, and can even lead to the site being banned from the search engines altogether.
In this article, we’ll reveal four black hat SEO techniques that you should avoid if you want to stay on the right side of the search engines.
1. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is the process of filling in as many keywords as possible into your website’s content in order to rank for those keywords.
Not only is keyword stuffing ineffective, but it’s also penalized by Google and other search engines. So, if you’re using this technique, you could actually be harming your site’s chances of ranking in the search engines.
2. Hidden Text or Links
Hiding text or links on your website in an effort to manipulate the search engines is also a black hat SEO technique.
This can be done by making the text the same colour as the background, putting it behind an image, or using a CSS technique called “text-indent” to push the text off-screen.
Again, this is a tactic that will likely result in your site being penalized by the search engines.
3. Doorway Pages
Doorway pages are pages that are created for the sole purpose of ranking in search engines. They are often filled with Keyword stuffed content and have very little value to users.
Bounce rates on doorway pages are usually high, as users quickly realize they’re not what they’re looking for and leave. Google also doesn’t like doorway pages and may penalize sites that use them.
Cloaking is the act of showing different content to users and search engines. This is usually done by delivering a different HTML page to search engine crawlers than what is shown to users.
This can be done for malicious or deceptive purposes, such as showing a user one version of a page with content related to what they’re searching for but showing the search engine a different version of the page with keyword-stuffed content in an attempt to get the site to rank for those keywords.
Cloaking is a serious violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can result in your site being banned from the search engine altogether.
These are just a few of the many black hat SEO techniques that are out there. If you want to stay on the right side of the search engines, it’s important to avoid these techniques.
While they may give you a short-term boost in rankings, they’re not sustainable and can actually lead to your site being penalized by search engines.
So, what are some white hat SEO techniques that you can use? Check out our blog post on white hat SEO tips for more information.