The Dark Side of SEO: Black Hat Techniques
If you’ve done any research regarding search engine optimization, you’ve probably heard about “black hat SEO”. In black hat SEO, individuals (or firms) try to exploit search engines where they are weak in order to appear higher in search engine result pages (SERPs).
Of course, search engines like Google and Bing are constantly updating their algorithms to combat black hat methods. However, in rare cases, it’s possible to cheat your way to the top. But be warned – black hat SEO offers short-term rewards and long-term punishments.
As we talk about black hat SEO, you may be thinking that you’re completely in the clear. After all, most of us don’t want to cheat the system to get on top. However, be warned: even those of us who could be considered “white hats” are at risk of embracing black hat tactics. Not on purpose, of course. But even so, there’s still a risk. Why? Because search engine algorithms are complicated. There can be a very fine line between what’s permissible and what isn’t.
How do you stay on top of it all? Consistently research best practices for Google, Bing, and other search engines. By keeping up with updates on each, you’ll be able to ensure that you don’t embrace any black hat techniques.
What are some of the most common black hat techniques that can be utilized by mistake? We’ve found several, including:
- Keyword Stuffing
- Irrelevant or Dishonest Backlinking
- Automatically Generated Content
Even though you might not be intending to violate any best practice, it’s easy to make a mistake every now and then. There’s a thin line between keyword stuffing and keyword “sprinkling” for instance, and it’s best to do some research on how much is too much.As search engines continue to get more and more intelligent, our theory is that two things will always drive the best results: relevant content and trustworthiness. While the most effective ways to be relevant and trustworthy may change over time, you can rest assured that it’s always in your best interest to create content that considers users first. If your content can be considered as genuinely valuable to your target audience, you’ll always score points for relevancy. If third parties continually point to you on the web as a reliable, honest source, you’ll always be known as trustworthy.
If all of this talk about black hat and white hat SEO bores or terrifies you, then we are here for you. At FeedbackWrench, we focus on building trustworthy, relevant web presences for our clients. We continually research white hat techniques and black hat practices alike so that we can align your site with your best interests for long-term results. For more on this topic, check out our blog post about the two ingredients important to local SEO.