25 Black Hat SEO Techniques | Blackhatworld
Before search engines started taking action and upgrading their algorithms to penalise websites utilising such Black Hat SEO Approaches, these techniques, tricks, tactics, or whatever you’d like to call them, may have worked in the early days of Black Hat SEO. Additionally, because search engines don’t enjoy being deceived, they took steps to ensure that the search results were as accurate and pristine as possible.
It can be challenging to use the right tactics to rank and generate organic traffic, but it’s the best course of action. Therefore, strive to avoid falling into the trap of using the following shady/black hat SEO techniques:
I OVER-OPTIMIZE WEBSITE
- Keyword Stuffing – Writing Thin Content or Using Keyword Stuffing Gets You Penalised by Google Panda
- Over-Optimized Alt Description – Practice the Keyword Stuffing in Your Alt Description Image
- Commercial Anchor Text on Internal Pages – Using Keyword-Rich Anchor Texts for Internal Links
- Irrelevant Keywords – Abusing Irrelevant Keywords Just to Rank Will Damage Your CTR
- Linking Over-Optimization – Trying to Over-Optimize the Inbound Links Will Ruin Your Link Profile
- Hidden/ Invisible Text and Links – Hiding Links and Text or Writing Tiny Text for the Sole Purpose to Build Links
- HTML Heading Over-Optimization – Using Multiple H1s on a Page
II. CONTENT SCAMS
- Copied Content – Writing Copied Content Will Hamper Your Ranking
- Content Automation – Using Automated Ways to Generate Content
- Bait and Switch – Fraudulently Using the Bait and Switch Technique to Trick Google
- Article Spinning – Crafting Manual or Automated Article Spinning
- Scraped Content – Hatching Scraped Content Is Not Only Forbidden but Also Illegal
- Cloaking – Using Cloaking Violates Google Guidelines, and You Risk Getting Penalised by Google Penguin
- Malicious Active Content – Building up Pages with Malicious Behaviour
- Clickbait – Fabricating Deceptive Headlines Will Decrease Your CTR
III. LINK MANIPULATION
- Web Rings – Building Web Rings to Get Traffic from Related Websites
- Guest Post Spam – Unrelated Guest Blogging Just to Generate Links
- Link Farm – Manipulating Your Link Profile by Increasing the Number of Inbound Links
- Link Bait and Switch – Revitalise Your Content into a Commercial One Using Link Bait and Switch Method
- Buying Reviews with Links by Offering “Free” Products – Manipulating the Practice of Sending Free Products in Exchange for Reviews with Links
- Link Exchange – Excessive Link Exchange Is Considered a Link Scheme and It Won’t Let Your Site Appear in SERP
- Blog Comment Spam – Comment Spamming to Get a Large Number of Backlinks Easily
- Shady Redirects – Using 301 Redirect with Link Exchange
- Commercial Anchor Text Keywords – Using Less or Not at All Non-Branded Keywords
- Spammy Footer Links – Loading the Footer of Your Website with Links Will Only Get You a Large Number of Unnatural Links
I OVER-OPTIMIZE WEBSITE
1. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is an outdated tactic that has seen better days. Prior to the year 2000, it was very common until Google realised that content with high keyword density isn’t always relevant to the user.
For instance, I guarantee you wouldn’t respond if someone asked the management of a business that sells chips if they had any chocolate chips. There are chocolate chips here. Because our clients prefer chocolate to basic chips and because chocolate is one of our best-selling products, choosing chocolate chips is the wiser choice. Consider chocolate chips. If you talk like that, you come across as insane. Who could genuinely speak that way, after all? Ever?
What do you think about the next page?
To you, does it appear natural? You can probably find a variety of online games on the website, but you don’t need to write that down a thousand times to realise it.
Since we’ve already discussed Google Panda, let’s look at the effects keyword stuffing can have on various websites. One webpage impacted by this algorithm is the one shown below:
Well, if you overuse keywords on your website, both you and your site may suffer as a result.
2. Over-Optimized Alt Description
The story continues with overly-optimised image alt text. This method, which is a little trickier than keyword stuffing, gets discovered by search engine crawlers even when you overstuff your photos with keywords instead of your text (content). Even because you can’t see them, that doesn’t mean they aren’t really dangerous.
To be clear, it is advised that you use photographs in your articles to make them more readable. Writing alt descriptions for your photographs is more crucial than ever, but don’t overdo it.
3. Commercial Anchor Text on Internal Pages
You can see from reading #1 and #2 that it is simple to stray from the correct course, which is white hat approach. A website that has been highly optimised or overly SEOed will clearly display an unnatural smiley face when using keyword-rich anchors for internal links.
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Google has created a “solution” called penalty for people looking for a quick way to rank at the top. Although some websites have high-quality material, they may not rank as highly as others, which may have weak, overly optimised content.
4. Irrelevant Keywords
Abusing irrelevant keywords to rank is another “pleasure” of the over-optimization game. Just to be clear, let’s assume you enjoy playing poker, but we know you’re bluffing. In that case, your visitors will do similarly when they visit your website and will flee like bats from hell. The CTR will also suffer.
According to SEO and SEM expert Michael Panuthos, sometimes your SEO specialist will overlook relevancy in their haste to get you on Google’s front page. You could not get any traffic if your SEO expert places you on the front page of Google for unrelated keywords. Relevance is crucial.
5. Linking Over-Optimization
Webmasters come up with a variety of duplicitous strategies to rank. This unethical SEO practice involves forcing internal links to “About us,” “Contact us,” “Products,” and other pages onto the homepage. Given that those pages already receive a significant amount of traffic, it is not only unnecessary but also impractical. Instead, deep links should be used to reinforce your internal links.
6. Hidden/Invisible Text and Links
There are many various sizes and shapes of text and links that are concealed solely for link development. Google has uncovered every tactic, including using CSS to place content off-screen, choosing a font that matches the background colour, changing the font size to 0, and burying links behind a single letter.
You’d be astonished to learn that beginners still employ this age-old trick.
Hidden text and links aren’t always detrimental to your website. For instance, utilising a script for Java or code for Flash files that describes an image in detail is permissible. The last two technologies will enhance how search engines see your website.
7. HTML Heading Over-Optimizing
A common strategy to affect on-site SEO is to use many H1 tags on a page. Making use of this black hat strategy makes your website appear crowded.
Take the website below as an example. It makes use of headings and the keyword “plumber.”
Even so, I urge you to make headlines, but keep in mind that there should only ever be one H1, and only one H2, and only one H3, etc. when absolutely essential.
II. CONTENT SCAMS
8. Copied Content
A sort of content that appears on multiple websites is copied content. Additionally, the material can be plagiarised (URLs). It merely makes it difficult for search engines to pick the right piece of information from all the duplicate content and display it, even if Google is already doing this. Because it is irrelevant to the user, it cannot display duplicate content.
Oh, for the good old SEO days, when duplicate content wouldn’t harm your website quite as much! These days, employing this tactic will negatively impact your rating in an instant. Additionally, you run a significant chance of having Google Panda penalise your website.
9. Content Automation
Using tools or scripts to create content automatically and post it on your website without any effort on your part is known as content automation. The automated content lacks any formatting and style, including graphics, HTML headings, paragraph spacing, alignment, and other elements, and it is written without consideration for the user.
I can give you a secure way to find inspiration for creating high-quality articles. You can use BrandMentions to get writing ideas, create organic traffic, and improve your ranking. Finding and searching for information or keywords to see what’s popular is entertaining and beneficial.
10. Bait and Switch
A deceptive strategy known as “bait and switch” entails modifying your content to help a page rank. The first stage is to create a page for Google using a specific combination of keywords, and after it starts to rank, the author replaces it with a different project or item. Users enter the website and see something quite different. This is a very clever idea, and whomever thought of this method was quite inventive. Using this stupid approach to trick Google may have worked well in the past, but it will now get you blacklisted, and if you “win the jackpot,” you may be sued.
Another webpage that employed the bait-and-switch tactic is the one below.
11. Article Spinning
It is the process of creating a (human or automated) method of rewriting content in order to generate “new” content and avoid falling under the “duplicate content” – umbrella. Because you don’t provide any value or pertinent information to the user, it is regarded as black hat. You might simply write the new information as an update if you learned anything new about a subject you previously addressed in an article. By doing this, you can improve that article’s ranking and promote it.
12. Scraped Content
Utilising programmes to steal content from other publishers and post it on your website is known as scraping. This approach is intriguing because it was the focus of various legal disputes involving violations of the original site owner’s copyright. In the United States and other jurisdictions, hatching scraped content is not only prohibited but also illegal. One such case was Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership v. Rogers, which was heard in Canada in 2011. Both sides apply to this. If you’ve been the victim of this crime, you can use tools to track down the perpetrators and file a complaint with the website hosting the stolen material.
I’m not providing you with any suggestions.
It is an unethical method of combining two pieces of content. The first is designed for users, while the second is written for search engines to rank and Googlebot to crawl. Cloaking is against Google’s guidelines, and doing so puts you at danger of Google Penguin penalties. That’s because it’s thought that cloaking is used to deceive search engine algorithms.
14. Malicious Active Content
The use of two pieces of content in this manner is dishonest. The first is created with Googlebot and ranking in mind, whereas the second is built with people in mind. You run the danger of receiving a Google Penguin penalty if you use cloaking, which is against Google’s guidelines. This is due to the widespread belief that cloaking is employed to deceive search engine algorithms.
A headline that draws your attention and is misleading is called clickbait because it’s only goal is to get you to click. The headline and the website’s content contradict each other. It employs phrases like “You won’t believe…”, “Important news regarding…”, “Shocking!! You need to watch this…” and other similar ones to lure you. Your CTR will drop as a result of this misleading strategy, and your site will suffer in the long term. People that employ clickbait frequently hope to make money based on the volume of clicks. This overly aggressive method is common in tabloids, where you may see it.
III. LINK MANIPULATION
16. Web Rings
A webring is a collection of websites that are linked to one another in a circular network in order to rank and receive traffic from similar websites. In 1994, before the advent of Google, Sage Well was the one to present with a script to create such an idea. You must have the webmaster’s consent before joining a webring. Even doing negative things got increasingly difficult.
17. GuestPost Spam
This method is employed by a lot of people to obtain backlinks. Avoid joining their group. They frequently send messages to bloggers asking them to post an irrelevant article with a link, often a dofollow link. Sending out calls for guest blogging on a website can lower its score if the website to which the requests are linked has poor user experience.
In all likelihood, if you are one of the bad guys, you will settle your obligation earlier than you anticipate. It will have an impact on both the website that accepted it and you, the guest blogger. A manual side-wide penalty for having an outbound link was applied to DocSheldon.com in 2014.
18. Link Farm
According to Scott Willoughby’s poem “Old McSpammer had a farm, e-i-e-i-oh, and on that farm he constructed some links, e-i-e-i-oh With a backlink here, and a backlink there, Here a link, there a link, Everywhere a link, link,” published on moz.com
In order to manipulate your link profile by raising the amount of inbound links, a link farm is a group of websites that are connected to one another, as the song describes. Due to Google’s perception of link farming as a spammy method of link building, it has a negative effect. The usage of link farms was widespread when Google Page Rank was important, but as time went on, Google evolved as well, and now this approach will result in penalties because the created links are seen as being artificial.
19. LinkBait and Switch
When your material is “revitalised” to become commercial, this tactic is used. Gaining links for one article while completely replacing it with an advertisement that has nothing to do with the original topic is the technique. Even if the content you were rated for was distinct, of high quality, and the links were natural, if you changed it to something else, it would be obvious that you were just trying to get traffic for no reason.
20. Buying Reviews with Links by Offering “Free” Products
People become more inventive—but not in a positive way—by trying new cheating techniques now that Google has discovered numerous ways to get rid of those who try to alter the legitimate SERP ranking process. And that is how the custom of delivering free goods in return for links and ratings came about. Don’t get me wrong; asking for reviews from customers is acceptable, but not with links. If you overuse this strategy, the search results may show you lower rather than higher. Not to mention the bogus reviews that are posted on your website with the express intent of gaining trust, which have the exact opposite effect if you are discovered, which happens the majority of the time.
21. Link Exchange
In order to rank in Google, two sites must agree to one another. Because this technique is regarded as a link scheme and will prevent your site from showing up in SERPs, I’ll ruin the surprise now so you won’t get tempted by it. When the good folks learn about this black hat SEO strategy, they take off like lightning.
22. Blog Comment Spam
It happens when you attempt to build links to your blog or website by leaving comments on various blogs and websites, whether or not the websites are pertinent to your niche or activity profile.
Typically, links leading to the homepage are used in this strategy. Black hat techniques include commenting solely for the purpose of quickly obtaining a big number of backlinks.
If you are a blogger who frequently gets spam comments of this nature, you can take action to stop it. You can delete them as soon as you receive them, but the proper course of action is to label the incoming comments as pending and waiting for approval in order to prevent putting links on your site that could get you in trouble.
23. Shady Redirects
Actually, 301 redirection is a wise move. If the original page has been relocated or altered, you can use it to redirect users from one URL to another. Sadly, over time, it started to be applied as a subpar SEO strategy. To preserve the link juice, webmasters take advantage of expired domains. The previous website is being redirected to their site. Using 301 redirects in this situation is a form of black hat SEO. If the expired domain is not pertinent, you could easily enter the grey area of SEO. Would it matter if I told you that this behaviour would result in a Google penalty? It ought to!
On websites that stream movies, a second dubious redirect is used. When you click “play” to watch a movie, you are taken to a variety of sites, most of which are unrelated.
301 redirects are a type of black hat SEO that is used to drive unnatural traffic to websites.
24. Commercial Anchor-Text Keywords
The keywords employed in commercial anchor text are those that produce monetary value. Less or no non-branded keywords on your website will indicate that your anchor text profile is not organic at all. To determine the proportion of brand vs. commercial terms and to categorise them, utilise the cognitiveSEO tool’s Anchor Text Distribution & Classifier.
An anchor text for a brand is thought to include the URL and brand name. This website has a profile of natural anchor text:
For instance, if your website is about website templates and your brand name is BRAND X, commercial anchor text is thought to include terms like “website template,” “best website template,” “free website templates,” and so on.
25. Spammy Footer Links
Because you write them with the sole intention of ranking and deceiving your way to the top, we refer to them as spammy, junky, or scammy footer links. The links are not written naturally in an article, demonstrating and outlining how you relate to the website you are linking to. Unfortunately, a lot of people engage in this activity, which ultimately results in rank loss. The worst that could happen is that you would be punished.
Putting a lot of links in your website’s footer will just result in a lot of artificial links, which can lower your rank.
In order to summarise, we will use a remark from Matt Cutts that reads, “The objective is that your links are natural; it is not to make your links appear natural’.” If you use some of these black hat SEO strategies, you might think you can get away with it, but sooner or later you could lose rank or traffic, hurt your reputation, receive a Google penalty, lose credibility and clients, or, worst of all, be sued. Become an expert in SEO for evergreen content. Up until then, treat Google well, and he’ll (probably) treat your website well as well.