Some of us have heard or read about “black hat” techniques used for search engine optimization.
This refers to sneaky optimization tactics that webmasters use to boost their sites’ rankings in search results. These black hat tactics go against Google’s webmaster guidelines, and anyone caught using these tactics will be penalized by Google, dumping their site to the bottom of the search results.
The following list includes some of the most common rule-breaking black hat techniques used today. Make sure to take note of what these techniques are, and avoid using them.
Don’t Use Unrelated Keywords
Ensure the keywords you are using are relative to your website and/or business. While it may be tempting to use highly searched (but irrelevant) keywords for the sake of gaining more traffic, this tactic has been proven to be a waste of time. Even if you gain more visitors from this, you won’t gain any sales from it because visitors were expecting to see something else and will likely just leave your website anyway. Search engines will not always catch this right away, but when they do, your ranking will be penalized for it.
Avoid Article Spinning
New content on a regular basis is excellent for SEO. Search engines love it. However, because it’s such a time-consuming task, website owners will try and get around this by “spinning” their articles to give the illusion of fresh content. Article spinning is done by taking one article and producing multiple versions of it by changing some of its words, which is commonly done using some sort of spinning software. The idea is to trick the search engines into thinking it’s fresh content. The problem is that these spinners often produce horribly written content that doesn’t provide any new information to users.
Buying Links is Not Worth It
It’s common SEO knowledge that search engines will look at inbound links as a signal for ranking. Generally speaking, the more inbound links there are to your page, the more relevant your website is. So it’s not surprising that people will opt to purchase links in order to give their website a boost, instead of earning them through the proper channels. But, the problem is that inbound links must be natural, and search engines will look at the content of these sites linking back to you. If it’s not relevant to your website/content, then it will have a negative impact on your SEO. In addition, purchased links are usually done in bulk, and obtaining 100 inbound links in one day is not likely and not natural. Search engines will take notice of this, and your ranking will suffer.
While there are always new tricks for gaining an illegitimate SEO advantage, search engines are becoming smarter, too. So it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be caught. The short term gain is not worth the long term consequences, so make sure to keep that white hat on and play by the rules.
For more information on good SEO practices, visit https://www.semrush.com/blog/best/