Blogging is a long journey. Ultimately, a blogger’s goal is to get a massive amount of traffic consistently. This takes a while to build, and some bloggers just can’t wait.
The solution? Black Hat SEO.
What many people do not know, however, is that Black Hat SEO can do more harm than good. While it can boost your traffic, the ultimate consequence is that search engines will ban you.
Today, you will learn the top 7 Black Hat SEO techniques that will sabotage your website’s search rankings.
- Paid Backlinks
- Keyword Stuffing
- Article Spinning
- Bait and Switch
- Duplicate Content
- Comment Spamming
Before we explore these 7 tactics, it is important that we define black hat SEO. Black hats in movies refers to people who wear literal black hats. These hats symbolize evil, while the good guys wear white hats.
Black Hat SEO refers to activities that aim to fool the search engines.
Online, your rankings will boost to the top of the search pages if you do a good job of providing valuable content. Your content must also use keywords, and the content must justify why these keywords were used.
On top of that, you need credibility, which search engines will know if your pages are being shared, and you also need a lot of content for search engines to finally mark your website as an authority.
All of these things take time, effort, and money—something that lazy people are not prepared to give or do. So, what they do is try to fool search engines.
But search engines are no fools. These machines will know what you are trying to do, and you will be punished.
What is a backlink? It is a text or image from another website that links back to your web pages. Lots of backlinks tell Google that you are popular, that people are using your website as a source of information.
Sadly, some people cannot accept the fact that their content is not good enough, and this is why no one is backlinking to them.
As a result, they buy backlinks. They buy backlinks from freelance marketplaces. They pay money, and in exchange, the recipient of the money will create links back to the payer’s website. This is going to tank your site because Google knows how to identify paid backlinks.
Keywords are important. However, what Google values more is content. Over the years, the Google algorithm has improved drastically. Today, it only uses keywords as a basis of how to index your web page, but not really how to rank it.
Keyword stuffing is an activity where you put so many keywords in your content to such an extent that it loses value. The content now becomes unnatural, and the reader does not get anything useful from it.
Google pays more attention to your user’s behavior, like how long a site visitor stayed on that page. The longer it is, the better.
If your keyword is “how to create a blog,” the reader expects that you teach him how to do it. And if you supply great content, he will stay on it for a while.
Google knows this. If you just do keyword stuffing, your site visitor is going to leave, and Google will think that your content is full of keywords, but it is not useful. Therefore, your website is going to tank.
A clickbait is a headline that promises one thing and then delivers another. It also refers to any catchy title that is deceptive.
Both Google and Facebook are de-prioritizing these types of content. Most of these headlines have words like “shocking”, “you won’t believe this”, or anything that sounds like a tabloid.
The thing with these websites is that they mostly earn from ads. They want as many people to click their links as possible. Once the site visitor is there, they are bombarded with ads, and the site earns money.
The thing is, it is not sustainable. People will remember who you are and you will damage your click-through-rate. And once nobody clicks your links anymore, you are dead in the water.
Article spinning is an action where the same content is re-written and then published again. People can do this by manually re-writing the content, or using a software called an article spinner.
People are not stupid. People know if your content is a rehash of an old one. And if they do find this out, they will leave your website and damage how Google sees you.
The best practice is to simply add some things to your content, or write a totally new one.
Bait and Switch
Bait and switch are different from clickbait. In bait and switch, the black hat practitioner writes an awesome content to rank in the search engines.
Once that content is now ranking, he will change many parts of the content to something spammy, like an ad.
For example, you may rank your original page as “7 Best Things to Do in Denver”. Once this has ranked, you will change your content to offer bitcoin.
As you can see, if a person searches for activities to do in Denver, he is expecting to read something about tourist spots there. So he clicks your link and finds out that the content is about bitcoin.
Naturally, he will leave in less than 10 seconds, and this is going to affect your bounce rate and session time. Both of which are important to SERPs.
Duplicate content is copied content. As you can see, Google does not like people who pirate content. Writing a blog is a tough thing to do, so many people resort to copying content and publishing it on their website.
They think that Google only cares about keywords and content quality. What they do not know is that Google indexes the date and time that each web page is published.
If it finds your content to be a duplicate and was published at a later date, it will not rank your page.
Comment spamming is where a person goes to so many blogs and then places comments there that includes his own link.
This is spam because Google knows that you are not really adding value, but you are just advertising your own site for free. If you really are serious about promoting your website, then you have to pay Google for ads.
Besides, comments on blogs are supposed to start a conversation or provide your own opinion. Google and other search engines see no reason for you to leave links there.
These are the top 7 Black Hat SEO techniques that will sabotage your website’s search rankings. There are so many more, like cloaking, invisible links, scraping, web rings, etc.
These seven are the most commonly practiced ones and the most commonly preached method to increase your traffic. They are also the easiest to do.
The truth is simple: traffic comes to you because you add value to your blog posts that people can appreciate and learn answers to their questions.
You can either do a good job with hard work or be lazy and do black hat. At first, you may see a traffic boost but then eventually this is not sustainable, and search engines will see through you and block you.
And if this happens, all your money goes down the drain. It will take a long while before SERPs can trust you again, if ever at all.