SEO or Search Engine Optimization is an imperative part of today’s world of digital marketing. To improve search engine rankings of your page, SEO is the key task to perform. Though SEO has its own lawful policies and restrictions still it is the most misconstrued terms in the domain of online marketing. There are many people who follow all sort of illegal practices to outsmart search engines and bring organic traffic to their website.
Violating the rules and following the illegal activities to gain good results in short period of time is the dark side of SEO which is well known as Black Hat SEO Techniques. One should put a break on such techniques any else it will affect your website by penalizing it.
To make your business grow by enhancing your search engine ranking, it is wise to strictly avoid some of these Black Hat SEO techniques.
1. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is the most adapted technique followed by marketers to rank their page high in search engines. Once you are cognizant of the highly targeted and searched keywords you often try to add those keywords as often as possible.
Well, this is not the appropriate way to improve your rank. Make your content look natural by inserting relevant keywords. Stuffing unnecessary and off the topic keywords, ultimately makes your content annoying confusing to the readers and some may even abandon your website page.
Search engines algorithms have become more competent and they effective these days. They easily notice if the keyword is exaggeratedly optimized and can charge the penalty for the same. Search engine crawlers are more interested in your site’s content. It may hurt your website up to a large extent if found overly optimized.
Furthermore, along with the keyword stuffing in your content, make sure to shuffle off overstuffing your meta tags and meta descriptions with the keyword or keyword phrases as well. As an alternative, you can nourish your content with LSI keywords or Long Tail Keywords which will make your content to look more natural and unique.
2. Duplicate Content / Content Theft
Content is the soul of search engine optimization and to upsurge, the ranking of page one must focus on uniqueness and creativity of the content. But very often, marketers use duplicate and copied content to rank their website. Using duplicate content is well known as plagiarism which is strictly prohibited in the field of internet marketing. There are many applications available online for plagiarism check which you can use to detect the imitative write-up.
Search engines have a preference for exclusive content only and consequently, duplicated part across different websites is heeded as one of the worst black hat techniques. Search engines index the original content only once and in consequence, all such copied content goes to waste. Google has its own content filter algorithm, well known as Google Panda Update, which stops the working of sites that hold poor quality, duplicate or irrelevant content. To protect your website from any kind of penalty and harm, it is judicious to use only original content or use proper URL Canonicalization.
Cloaking is the broadly used Black Hat SEO techniques which simply mean to clown Google by screening entirely different content to the search engines crawlers and different content to the viewers. This SEO method is considered unreliable as it tricks search engines so as to get the preferred ranks for target keywords. Though it is against the Google Webmaster Guidelines, people still serve users with irrelevant results.
Search engines use their search algorithms to trace such black hat activities, and if spotted, such websites are imperiled to a penalty which can ultimately put the complete ban or de-index your website.
4. Hidden Text and Links
Hidden or invisible text in any content is interleaved in order to make it readable only for search engine crawlers. It is unreadable to normal users. This hidden text insertion is done so as to integrate additional or extraneous keywords to lift the search engine ranking. There are many different ways to incorporate invisible texts and links. It can be easily compassed by making the font size of the text to zero and turning the text background to white, by using CSS to make the text appear off-screen, or by hiding a link by only attributing it to a single character. All these come under the examples of the black hat which can be detected by automated search engine algorithms.
Thus, before any search engine traces any of such texts or links on your page and you get penalized for it, it is sensible to make your source code and logs free from such hidden content.
5. Doorway Pages or Gateway Pages
Black Hat SEO also consist an important technique known as Doorway pages or Gateway pages. It is another trick to fool search engine spiders. This is a method in which webmasters design pages which are rich in keywords but poor in content part. Such pages contain lots of keywords, but lack of actual and quality information. They primarily lead emphasis on calls-to-action and link that direct the users through to a landing page. It is a most common method of redirecting.
These pages are designed for search engines and not for the end users. The end user never gets these pages because they are spontaneously redirected to the target page. In the year 2015, a new doorway page penalty algorithm was launched by Google, particularly for this type of Black Hat SEO technique.
6. Link Exchange
Backlinks and inbound links are considered as the great technique to rank your page. This method is absolutely right when you post the relevant content to create the hyperlink. This inbound links thus created should look natural and appropriate. But nowadays people are diverting from the search engine policy and exchanging or purchasing the link to get more traffic. In order to achieve traffic to their website, they even forget to take care of relevancy. One should take care of the things that if the source of the links is not pertinent to your page then it can negatively affect your website.
You can easily get such sites and directories that offer links exchange. But in the end, you will be left with the penalty and your website may get smashed. Similarly, Google and other search engines also oppose the reciprocal links and link farming. According to Google Penguin Update, it can detect irrelevant and bad links posted by you and penalize for it. So, it’s better to avoid these methods in order to get the backlink!
7. Article Spinning
Article spinning is the method of molding same content in many different ways. It is a broadly used technique to generate new content in order to build a large number of backlinks. There are many applications available that provide a spin content just to avoid the identical content issue. Everyone is aware of the fact that updating the website on regular basis is an imperative task to rank high and thus for the same reason, people often use software that rewrites the single article in the form of many different new articles. But the new articles thus formed are useless and don’t provide any new information to readers.
Article Spinning is weighed as one of black hat SEO techniques because you provide fresh but irrelevant information for the readers. Rather than spinning the article it is tactful to write the new and appropriate content that gives proper knowledge of the topic.
8. Spam Comments
Posting your links to social media platform is the right thing you are doing but if you are constantly posting the comments along with your page links without any relevant information then you are simply leaving spam comments. Also, to accept the spam comments on your pages lead to drop your search rankings. This is because you are giving a platform to the links that are completely immaterial to your website.
Spam Comments are insignificant messages and extraneous promotional links are taken after to make free backlinks. As a part of site optimization, you must avoid creating and accepting such spam comments before these make your website to get penalized.
9. Parasite Hosting
Parasite hosting is the method that encompasses hosting a website on another person’s server or computer for the purpose of SEO. To gain access to a site by creating a web page on it and introducing it with tons of keywords and links that indicate to the commercial page is an illegal method.
Marketers set up a parasite hosting to yield benefit of the authoritative domains from Google. Consequently, they can get traffic to their site and money from those who want to buy. It is very difficult to detect such hijacked websites without cautious and unfailing security measures. But if you get caught, then it can be the biggest loss to your site.
10. Bait-and-Switch or Page Swapping
Page swapping and bait-and-switch technique are often used by webmasters to make fool to search engines. In this technique, people change the page information which is already indexed or ordered with good search engine ranking. This method is simply used to first rank the site by some relevant information and then changes the whole niche of the site with different contents.
Page swapping technique lands visitors on this page while searching for the prior keywords though there is nothing left similar to their search. This strategy happens when you change your content into a marketable one. But make sure search engines penalize those who cheat visitors. If any search engine finds that you are doing page swapping then your site will definitely be penalized. Try to keep your work organic by avoiding such Black Hat SEO techniques.
Ankita is a content marketing expert engaged in writing for SEO Solutions Expert and learning more about the digital marketing. She got her degree in masters of engineering. With the depth of knowledge in the digital marketing arena, Ankita likes to solve any queries regarding Search Engine Marketing.