What Is Black-Hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

What Is Black-Hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

While there are many types of search engine optimization, black hat techniques are a type that violates search engine guidelines and is designed to deceive users. This can result in penalties from the search engine and can cause your website to drop in rank or even disappear completely from search results pages altogether. 

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The term “black hat” comes from the film industry, where it is used to differentiate between good people and bad people. It also refers to people who engage in unethical or illegal behavior, which is a major problem for search engines and internet users. 

Google makes many algorithm updates that are designed to reward quality websites. They employ human Search Quality Evaluators who evaluate web pages on a set of criteria to help inform and train their algorithms. 

If you are trying to boost your search ranking with black hat techniques, you will likely experience a sudden and significant drop in traffic, and this can lead to a drop in conversions and revenue from that site as well. 

There are several different types of black hat SEO tactics, and the most common are keyword stuffing, link schemes, and doorway pages. These techniques all violate Google’s webmaster guidelines and can ultimately cause you to lose your search ranking. 

Hidden Text and Links

Another black hat technique is hiding text on a page to make it more difficult for search engines to read it. This can be done by changing the color of the text to match the background of the page or by adding tiny font sizes that only a screen reader can read. 

Doorway Pages

A doorway page is a webpage that funnels visitors to a different page that contains mostly similar content. These are often used by spammers and other people who want to build links to a destination page, but they can also be penalized by search engines if they don’t offer value in their own right. 

Syndication is another way of building links that can be a black hat technique, but this has been less common since the Google Panda update in 2011. The practice of syndicating your content to other websites was once popular, but Google has made it clear that this practice is no longer allowed and will result in your site being penalized for it. 

Structured Data

Using structured data is a great way to help define entities, actions, and relationships on a website. It can be helpful for improving user experience (UX), but black hat SEO is also a major contributor to Google’s Penguin update, which penalizes web pages that have poor content quality or too many ads. 

It’s also possible to use this tactic as a way of creating an invisible site, which can be a big issue for Google, as it can confuse search engine bots. 

The key to avoid this type of black hat SEO is to ensure that your website offers something of value to its users and doesn’t have too many ads on it. This will help prevent your web page from being penalized for poor user experience and encourage visitors to return.