These days, the tough competition has given rise to unethical SEO practices to drive results that take a lot of time for ethical SEO practices to bring. The name given to unethical SEO practices is Black Hat SEO. It is similar to Black Hat hacking in a way that both consist of unethical practices.
Knowing about different Black Hat SEO techniques is essential to be wary of them. So, let’s tell you about some common Black Hat SEO techniques.
Black Hat SEO Techniques
The most used technique to rank higher in search results is keyword stuffing. It is when websites use a keyword multiple times without any context. Keywords are meant to be used when they fit naturally in the text. Using it unnecessarily is spam, and search engines will know about this unethical practice.
We’ve highlighted in previous blogs the importance of high-quality content. The websites that practice Black Hat SEO don’t care about the content’s quality. All they care about is their website being full of content.
In the pursuit of filling a website with content, some people even go to the length of copying it from other websites. Make sure you don’t indulge in this Black Hat SEO practice.
The tough competition these days means that people can go to any length to make their website visible. We talked about backlinks in a previous blog. We also talked about it is necessary to work and get genuine backlinks. But some people want to avoid the effort altogether and instead prefer buying backlinks.
Yes, buying backlinks is a thing. There are so many websites that sell backlinks for as low as $50. The price can go up depending upon a website’s DA (Domain Authority). That’s because websites with high DA have more traffic, which means there’s a higher chance of people reaching your website through backlinks.
This easy route is preferred by many. But search engines don’t appreciate when websites buy links. They want websites to have genuine links from relevant websites, meaning if your website is about shoes, you cannot create backlinks from dating websites. That’s because there’s no link between the two.
Duplicate Content on your Website’s Pages
Another common Black Hat SEO practice is putting the same content on multiple pages of your website. This is considered the absolute worst of all the unethical SEO practices because it doesn’t provide anything to the users.
Imagine you see a website’s Meta description and Meta title and immediately feel that website could have the answer to your queries. But once you open that website, you see the same content on all the pages. The website that seemed excellent at first is a poor website that made you click because it offered some value.
Google is strict with its SEO rules and doesn’t want any websites to have the same content on all the pages. Obviously, Google won’t let a website rank higher when that website hasn’t worked and put in the effort.
We highlighted how websites buy links so that they don’t have to work on creating genuine backlinks. A question may arise in your mind, “What about the websites that sell backlinks?”. The websites that sell backlinks practice Black Hat SEO technique.
It is equally wrong to sell backlinks as it is to buy them. Even some famous companies were caught indulging in this unethical practice. The simple reason companies sell links is because they earn a lot of money from it. And famous websites never have to worry whether they’d find any website interested in buying backlinks or not.
The process of buying and selling backlinks benefits both the buyer and the seller. But search engines don’t appreciate this practice. They’ve stressed a lot about creating genuine backlinks.
You may have seen spam comments on many websites. Those comments don’t relate to the content of the page. These comments do self-promotion by putting in links in the comments.
Example- A website that writes blogs about improving your writing skills may have some comments where you’ll see people promoting their sports goods by adding links that lead to that website. The spammer who comments is always at a risk of getting caught.
Moreover, the comments are not made by real people. Some bots can do the work, which is why it is recommended to use blocking plugins. If you don’t want to use plugins, you can read all the comments and delete the ones you know are spam comments.
Redirecting to Different Pages
Many websites that practice Black Hat SEO techniques use this common tactic of sending users to a website where they didn’t want to go.
But how does that happen?
It’s a technique to redirect users to different websites by providing them genuine links. With this method, websites direct traffic to the pages they want more traffic on. More traffic naturally increases their chances of ranking higher in the search results.
But it is an unethical practice because it exploits the trust of users. Moreover, the links they’re redirected to are also spam websites.
Cloaking means when users and search engines see different content of the same page. For example- a search engine may see a page with text and images and rank that website based on that. But when a user visits that page, it can be full of spammy advertisements and links.
Cloaking helps websites that have nothing to offer but still those websites rank because of their sneaky tactics.
Earlier, it was difficult for search engines to identify websites that practiced cloaking. But now, with Artificial Intelligence (AI), search engines identify cloaking and more such tactics fairly easily.
Risks of Black Hat SEO Techniques
Now that we’ve talked about some common Black Hat SEO techniques, it is time to know the risk these techniques pose.
Getting Penalty from Search Engines
Search engines are strict about the techniques they want websites to follow. So, if you think you can counter rules created by them, you really have to rethink. The search engines have a lot of power that you don’t have any idea about.
It’s a matter of time before you get caught. And when you do get caught, you’ll have to pay a hefty price. The price will not only be in terms of money. It will also be directly linked with your website’s visibility in the search results.
Your Efforts Will Go Down The Drain
As we highlighted in the previous point that you’d have to pay a hefty price, you’ll also have to live with the regret of going the wrong path for short-lived success. Once you get caught, everything you did apart from Black Hat SEO practices won’t matter anymore. That’s because search engines know you use unethical techniques to rank higher.
You’ll have to start from the beginning. And that’s going to hurt after knowing you have to build from the ground up.
You Become a Spammer
All the Black Hat SEO techniques fall under spamming. And we believe no one likes getting labeled as a spammer. You sure don’t want to be notorious because you practice Black Hat SEO techniques.
Moreover, you won’t be able to practice White Hat SEO techniques if people already know you indulged in unethical SEO practices. It is extremely difficult to tell people that you can be trusted this time.
So, if you don’t want the title of a spammer, be sure to stay away from unethical SEO techniques from the get-go.
You May Get Banned
Google and other search engines don’t take unethical SEO practices lightly. If they feel you’ve broken too many rules, they may just ban your website. And that would mean you’ll lose everything- the audience, the rankings, the reputation.
We all know that starting from scratch is not always possible because a lot goes into creating and making a website famous and trustworthy. The competition is ever-increasing, and it will only get more challenging in the future. So, think about it before trying Black Hat SEO techniques.
The results you get from Black Hat SEO techniques are short-lived, meaning you may be at the top of search results today, but you may not even be on the first page after a month.
Why would you risk it all for temporary results?
Give time to your website. Put in effort daily and keep an eye on the latest search engine requirements because they’ll help you determine which techniques are ethical and which are unethical. As Rome wasn’t built in a day, similarly, your website can’t appear on the top of search results immediately.
Your Website Gets Deindexed
Black Hat SEO Practices can also get your website deindexed from the search engines. Your website won’t appear anywhere on the internet. It won’t if you write the exact keywords your website earlier ranked for.
Search engines severely punish websites that practice unethical SEO practices. They do it so that more websites do not repeat such mistakes in the future. When websites practice Black Hat SEO techniques, the work and effort of genuine websites doesn’t get the attention they worked hard for. Search engines want to keep a fair environment where websites that follow search engines’ guidelines are given an advantage.
Advancements in search engines and their ability to identify Black Hat SEO techniques have helped create a fair environment. This fair environment is a significant advantage for websites that practice White Hat SEO techniques (ethical practices).
The Black Hat SEO techniques and their risks are enough to let websites know why they must practice ethical SEO techniques. If you continue to ignore the risks, your website can suffer in unimaginable ways.
So, stay away from Black Hat SEO techniques for fast growth and resort to ethical SEO techniques.