Black Hat SEO consists of a range of practices that results in harming your website. Until recently, black hat SEO techniques were used widely to rank higher on SERPs. However, with search engines rolling out algorithm updates, websites who were using manipulative tactics, get penalized now. It is crucial to understand what is black hat search engine optimization and how it damages your site rankings.
Black hat SEO techniques are against the general and security policies of search engines. It includes practices such as buying or selling of links, keyword stuffing, negative SEO, click-baits, poor content or copied content, etc. Search engines work to return relevant and useful information to search for queries. Nowadays, search engines use the stringent measure to curb the evils of black hat CEO. Black Hat SEO or negative SEO is quite harmful in the long term.
Negative SEO is basically when someone deliberately tries to bring down their competitor’s search engine rankings by directing Black Hat techniques toward a competitor website. Since search engines have no way of knowing that a third party is publishing the links, they penalize the website that they are pointing to. Here’s what negative SEO tactics are usually comprised of:
● Pointing spammy, low quality links to a website
● Copying and pasting your website content all over the web to create duplicate content
● Creating fake social media profiles and spreading false information about the company
● Pointing links from unrelated websites and blog networks to a website
Google Penguin Update penalizes low-quality links or incredible link velocity.
HOW BLACK HAT SEO IS DONE
Repeated use of keywords in a piece of content is called keyword stuffing. Repeated use of the same keyword gives a bad experience to our users because as per search engines, and such material is considered to lower the quality of the material. Similarly, by using too many keywords and irrelevant keywords in the content, alt text images, anchor texts, and headings are some of the characteristics of black hat SEO.
It is a practice where content, that is presented to the web crawler is different from the material, that is given to the visitors. It is done with the aim to deceive the crawler so that the website can come in the top search results for a search query. But one day or the other, Google penalizes such websites by removing it from its search results.
Buying or selling links is considered to be a violation of Google’s rules. In case you sell or buy links, your site will be removed from Google’s index. When Google penalizes your website, all the links that you have purchased or sold will be of no value. Hence, it is always advised to build natural connections.
Writing or posting content that is of no value to the searcher’s query is a typical black hat SEO practice. Before the Google Panda algorithm update, search engines were not able to distinguish between original and copied content. But after the update, search engines can quickly figure out if the material is reproduced or irrelevant. Not only does quality content help your website rank higher, but it results in good user experience and builds credibility.
Clickbait is deceptive headlines written to catch a viewer’s interest and to get them to click on the links. Clickbait contains expressions like – you won’t believe it, it’s shocking, this will shock you, etc. Clickbait result in high bounce rates, decrease in rankings, and hence fall in credibility.
Negative SEO Tactics
Negative SEO aims to decrease the rankings and visibility of other websites. This is done by competing websites which are falsely reporting the competitor’s websites to get them penalized.
How to prevent
While some Black Hat users can utilize your search engine rankings, they can’t replace the belief and trust that your customers have built in you. For instance, someone may try and bring down the website search rankings of a site like ContentMarketingInstitute.com known for providing high-quality content on digital marketing, but will it disturb its reputation? There is Less probability for this.
Reputation is the same, whether it’s online or offline. In that it is earned with sweat and blood and takes a lot of time. Service to customers, public relations, social philanthropy and marketing, all serve to strengthen a company’s brand reputation. The rewards of all this are incredible in the long term. An audience that places its confidence in your business is not going to allow a negative review or product recall to cause them to abandon the company, especially when you respond to the issue thoughtfully and take responsibility towards resolving the problem. You can start taking some immediate steps today to build an online reputation based on a rock solid foundation. An effective online reputation management strategy will adopt a holistic approach, taking into account the organic search results, social media and a brand’s website. Here’s how to go about it:
1. First, create profiles on all major social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google My Business. Other channels such as Instagram, Pinterest and SnapChat can also be considered, depending on your target audience.
2. Next, proactively engage with people on these social channels. Don’t just leave your social media channels to gather digital dust. You should post interesting things that your audience can relate to and start to build a community.
3. Encourage satisfied customers to leave you positive reviews either on your site or on your social media channels. Facebook and LinkedIn make it very easy for people to leave reviews on business pages.
4. When a customer first purchases from your business, ask them to let you know of any problems before leaving a negative comment online.
5. If you do get a negative review, don’t ever blame the reviewer. Ask them what went wrong politely and how you can help them. Once the problem has been addressed, ask for feedback.
Although black hat SEO might give you good results in the short term, in the long run, it can harm your organization in many ways. A white hat SEO strategy is always better as it brings long term results, and it protects you from being penalised or de-listed.