Black hat techniques are the unethical techniques that go against search engine guidelines to achieve higher search ranking. It is not that easy to cheat the search engines as many black hat tricks promise. Google constantly improves its algorithms to provide better search results and to identify black hat techniques.
Google’s panda and penguin update are the best example. These algorithms are added for the sole purpose of penalizing sites that use black hat tactics. It is not possible to cheat search engines. Many people fall for these techniques and suffer penalties. Below are the most common black hat techniques.
1. Link Exchange
Basically, Link Exchange works on the policy – If you link my site, then I will link yours. Usually, beginners consider Link Exchanges as a mutual help and are not aware that it is considered as a black hat technique. Unnatural links are usually irrelevant and possess low quality. They can hamper your SEO efforts.
Links are the key factor to rank a website and are considered as a vote to site. A website should concentrate more on building natural links. Generating unique high-quality content is the best method to attract links naturally. Read Google guidelines for link building and follow them.
Cloaking is a practice that violates webmaster guidelines, and shows different content to web users and Google, to rank high on the certain keywords. For example, your web code tells Google that you provide news and show users a wide range of furniture instead. Such activity spoils web experience.
Google has officially announced cloaking as a black hat SEO technique. Sophisticated and advanced algorithms of Google can easily catch cloaking and penalize your website by lowering search ranking or ban it completely from the search engine.
3. Invisible Text
Invisible text, popularly known as hidden text or fake text, is used for spamming search engines. Here, in order to stuff extra keywords, texts are made invisible by using same color for the text and background. For example, purple text on a purple background can be invisible for any human being.
This method can trick humans but not Google bots. These search engine bots are equipped with an automated system, that goes through your source code, and traces every single detail of your website. Don’t use any tactics, which can risk your online presence.
4. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is a practice of overloading a content with keywords and making search engines believe the page is relevant for the particular keywords to attain a higher search engine ranking. This black hat technique can do more harm than good.
Search engines are well aware of such practices. They can penalize your website for keyword stuffing or remove it completely from the index. Write content keeping audience in mind and not solely for the search engines. Always remember that a content should look natural.
5. Page Swapping
Page swapping is also popularly known as Bait-and-Switch. It is a black hat SEO technique, where you get a page indexed & ranked, and then change the entire content to something else, which has commercial value.
The work of a search engine is to send users to the content which they are searching with the help of keywords. Page swapping takes a user to a page that is totally different. Search engine can aggressively penalize or ban your website for swapping of a page.
6. Buying Links
Paid links are usually irrelevant and have low quality. Nowadays, you can buy a bunch of links from the sites like Fiverr. Trust us, buying links is nothing but spending money on something, which is going to hurt you badly.
Search engines are smart. Google’s penguin update can catch a website when it gets a lots of links over a short period of time, even from relevant sites. Link building takes time. Be patient and focus on natural methods to avoid search engine penalties.
7. Duplicate Content
Wondering why we are mentioning duplication of a content as a black hat trick? That’s because even today, it is popular and people copy paste the content from others. The main goal of a search engine is to present unique and high-quality content, and that’s why copying content is rightfully considered as one of the worst black hat techniques. Moreover, stealing content is a waste of time. Search engine can catch duplicated content almost instantly.
8. Content Automation
Today we have plenty of tools and softwares to generate the content for any particular topic. The process of creating such content is called content automation. Content generated by such method may be unique, but it’s poor quality spoils the readability.
Hence, search engines do not entertain content automation and penalize websites, which uses any such content. It is sensible to hire a content writer, who can create unique and quality content to convey the correct message to your audience.
9. Doorway Pages
Ever experienced a search result taking you to some unexpected and irrelevant page? That is due to a doorway page. They are also known as jump page, gateway page and bridge page. Doorway Pages are the pages which are designed solely to attain higher search rank for specific keywords and send visitors from a chosen result to a different landing page. Search engine algorithms can easily pick doorway pages and penalize aggressively.
10. Comment Spamming
In order to generate bulk backlinks to your website in a very short period a black hatter uses special software to leave links in comments of various blogs with the intention to elevate search engine ranking. Just like every other black hat tactic, even comment spamming is identified by search engines. Doing honest and ethical commenting may take time, but it provides quality backlinks.
There are numerous black hat tactics, we have mentioned the most common ones. Most of the people opt these black hat strategies to attain higher search engine ranking in the shortest period of time for free. As a result of which they get penalized and spend money on penalty recovery.