What are black hat SEO techniques?

Every online marketer is busy with it nowadays: search engine optimization. Google applies different rules for this. If you violate this, Google will consider this to be deception and will penalise you. This is also known as black hat SEO. What are the dangers of black hat SEO and how do you prevent it? You read it in this article.

What is black hat SEO?

You can use different tactics to appear higher in search results. However, some of these tactics manipulate Google’s algorithm and thus violate search engine optimization guidelines. These guidelines consist partly of tips and partly of rules with forbidden techniques. For example, if you look at paragraph headings, Google recommends short and informative titles, but they want you to avoid the unnecessary overuse of keywords in titles.

If Google determines that you are violating the rules of the game, it is considered black hat SEO. These conditions are there to prevent users from seeing all non-relevant search results, but finding just what they are looking for.

Examples

You can apply search engine optimization in different areas: from content to links, to technical aspects like the speed of the website. Similarly, there are different forms of black hat SEO. A few examples:

  • Hidden Diversions. This means that you send visitors to a different page than the one they click on. When you hide that from Google and visitors come to a page they’re not expecting, it’s misleading.
  • Unnatural links. For example, if you put an unnecessary amount of hyperlinks in a paragraph, that is seen as excessive link exchanges.
  • Hidden paid links. When you pay other websites to link to your website, you must indicate this. The search engine assumes that links are earned based on quality and that is not the case when you pay for them.
  • Hidden text. Google bases search results on keywords. A white text full of keywords on a white background, is invisible to the website visitor, but allows a page to rank higher in Google. The same applies to text in font size 0 or behind an image. This is misleading and will be punished.

What are the consequences?

If Google’s algorithm considers your page to be black hat SEO, then the page may appear lower in the search results or be ignored altogether. Users of Google will not see anything of this, but as a website owner you will get a notification of this. You can fix this and report it to Google, but that takes time. In short: if you apply black hat SEO tactics you will appear lower or not at all in search results and you will have less website visitors. That, of course, is the opposite of what you want.

How do you prevent black hat SEO?

So take the guidelines about SEO into account in your attempts to score better in search engines. Algorithms recognize when you don’t and penalize black hat SEO. In Google’s SEO starter guide, you’ll find several good practices and things to avoid. If you stick to that, you can assume you’re fine.

Make sure you are aware of Google’s guidelines so you apply SEO properly. Do you want to score better in search engines in an honest way? See what we can do for your organization in terms of SEO!

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