The current era demands that everyone focuses on making their website stand out in terms of optimization to rank on top. Since the algorithms of Google’s ranking system keep changing, it’s necessary for everyone to keep up with it. In the Middle East, for example, companies and websites are taking the search engines by storm, like with the SEO Dubai offers. However, some people are trying to adopt black hat SEO techniques that may seem to work, but are fruitless in the long run. So, let’s take a look at what Black Hat SEO is and why you should avoid it

What is Black Hat SEO?

Black Hat SEO techniques are the optimization techniques that people use to bypass crucial guidelines made mandatory by the search engines. The current SEO trends require you to focus on user experience and the content. This is something that black hat SEO tries to get around and gain visibility and ranking without complying by the rules.

What Can Search Engines Do to Punish Black Hat Techniques?

People bring up the legality and legitimacy of the issue by stating that there is no legal liability in terms of not following search engine guidelines. Some people even think that since Google doesn’t explicitly give guidelines to follow, they can use anything that works for them. In some cases, black hat SEO techniques seem to be working and bringing up pages on top. However, that doesn’t mean that search engines will let this go on. That’s because the people at Google are not relying on just a ranking algorithm to do everything for them. Crawlers can detect black hat techniques and user experience can tag your website to be displaying black hat symptoms.

Here’s a few things that can happen once your website is tagged for showing black hat SEO behavior:

  • It will significantly lower your ranking or even make your site disappear from the rankings altogether.
  • Even if you manage to rank on top, you won’t last till the next update. This is because search engines are constantly looking for loopholes and black hat definitions to include in their database.
  • User experience will ultimately be compromised and since your users won’t be satisfied, the ranking won’t matter.

Now that we have an idea of what will happen if you follow black hat SEO, let’s take a look at some common techniques you should avoid:

Publishing a Lot of Low-Quality Content:

There are a couple of things that search engines suggest for credibility. Two things come up as important in this regard, i.e. publishing a significant amount of content and publishing top-quality content. This is something that can get difficult for some of the people to adopt and they ultimately try to find a route around this. One of the things people do to cheat this algorithm is to publish a lot of low-quality content that can ultimately fool search engines, but for a while. Your low-quality content will eventually get flagged and get the ranking that it deserves. Therefore, this temporary boost that you get for having a lot of content will eventually amount to nothing.

Keyword Cannibalization:

Keyword stuffing or cannibalization is a very old technique that was a major problem for search engines. However, it’s safe to say that any website that uses such techniques will eventually get discredited. Keyword stuffing means to incorporate a ridiculous number of keywords in your low-quality content just to fool search engines.

One of the reasons that this gets through the first time around is because keywords are what users search for. Stuffed content instantly gets ranked on top because of the presence of the keyword. For a while, the search engine thinks that this content has nothing but content that is strictly relevant to the keyword searched. However, when the user realizes that the website contains nothing useful, they leave and thus, increase the bounce rate. Eventually, search engines end up demoting the site and eventually flagging it as inappropriate for future reference.

Cloaking:

This is another technique in which optimizers tend to use foregrounding and backgrounding techniques to show some content to users while showing something entirely else to the search engines. This is again, something that doesn’t go on for long since the user experience will ultimately reveal the reality to the search engines.

Paid Backlinks:

This is a technique which involves people paying sites to link to their site. Instead of getting high-quality backlinks through organic means such as writing creative and original posts; people tend to pay well-established sites to link to their site. This is something that is frowned upon by all search engines. Rather than taking the time to figure out how to do the best organic SEO and paid advertising, people take the easy way out.

Link Farms and Private Blog Networks:

One practice that is a little difficult to spot at first is the use of private blog networks created solely for the purpose of getting affiliated sites rankings. People use private networks or ‘farm’ links by creating websites that offer nothing but links to other sites. These are two techniques that are classified as Black Hat as well. Instead of trying to do social SEO, people try to go for easy loopholes and make links of their own.

Spamming Comment Sections:

People adopted this trend in the past but it still persists even today. This technique involves people commenting on different blogs all around the web with links to their sites in an effort to get attention and mentions. However, it’s highly unlikely that google considers them as quality links.

Negative SEO:

What’s the quickest way to get on top? By ousting your competitors, of course. This is the rule behind negative SEO in which people try to get their competitor sites penalized. By falsely blaming and accusing people of conducting black hat SEO, people try to improve website SEO ranking of their own. This is again something that can’t hope to go on for long.

Although these are some of the black hat SEO techniques, there are many more in use and even more to come. As search engines evolve, their use and abuse will evolve as well. However, as long as search engines thrive to be better, they’ll always find ways to catch culprits and do right by them.