What is Blackhat SEO?
Blackhat SEO is a combination of disapproved practices that can boost a page’s ranking in a search engine results page. Some tactics that are commonly looked at as black hat SEO practices are the following:
- Hidden Text or Links
- Content Automation
- Reporting a Competitor (or Negative SEO)
- Doorway Pages
- Guest Posting Networks
- Link Manipulation (including buying links)
- Pages with malicious behavior, such as viruses, phishing, trojans, and other malware
- Automated Queries to Google
- Keyword Stuffing
- Sneaky Redirects
- Creating pages, domains, or subdomains with duplicate content
- Link Schemes
- Article Spinning
- Link Farms, Link Wheels or Link Networks
- Rich Snippet Markup Spam
When assessing whether a tactic is considered black hat SEO, ask this simple question:
Is what I’m doing adding value to the user or am I just doing it for search engines to see?
If the answer to the question is the action is not adding value to the user, it is probably black hat SEO.
How Blackhat SEO Does Harm
The first thing to understand about Blackhat SEO is that its use violates the terms of service of every major search engine and its affiliates. What does this mean? It means that if you are caught engaging in Blackhat SEO practices, your site could be banned from that search engine and get no traffic from keyword searches from that site or search engines associated with that site.
If the intention is to create a ranking that will sustain itself and continue to drive traffic to your site, Blackhat SEO tactics will not obtain that result. The use of Blackhat SEO tactics is for the short term and can be malicious and harmful. The best way to continuously get positive rankings for your business’s website is to employ acceptable SEO practices that are approved by the terms of service of all major search engines.
Understanding how damaging Blackhat SEO is should be essential to maintaining an upstanding reputation for your business, as well as ensuring that you don’t run into legal issues for copyright infringement. What many don’t realize that engaging in Blackhat SEO tactics to increase your ranking can ultimately do the exact opposite of what it’s intention is to do. If your site is banned from the search engine in its entirely, all of the effort used to drive a ranking was for naught, and you have to start from square one to rebuild traffic to your site.
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