What are Black Hat SEO Techniques and Why You Should Avoid Them

  • July 18, 2013
  • SEO
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When you start your own webpage or website, you will want to direct traffic to your website and one way to do it is SEO optimization. However, one of the last things you want to do is to adopt Black Hat SEO optimization. Black Hat SEO refers to an over aggressive strategy to gain attention from search engines. They tend to go against search engine optimization etiquette. This is a strategy that completely focuses on search engines and forgets about the target audience. It is used by amateurs, looking to make a quick buck on the internet. Many a times, Black Hat SEO is linked with spamming.

This is how you know your SEO professional is indulging in Black Hat SEO techniques:

–          Over Use of Key Words: Choosing the right key words is one way to make search engines select your articles and usually, articles contain no more than five key words. However, in Black Hat strategies, articles are stuffed to the brim with key words.

–          Hidden Content: The code of the website is overwhelmed with key words and the key word will be repeated over 6-7 times.

–          Meta Words and Descriptions: Whenever you have to post content on your website, you usually give a two line description and add a few tags. However, under Black Hat strategies, your description is a paragraph and your tags are many as possible and, many a time, not even completely relevant to the content.

–          Doorway or Gateway Pages: These are fake pages with one or two keys words. They work as re-direct pages.

–          Link Farming: Under Black Hat strategies, the website link is plastered all over the internet wherever possible and often on unrelated websites.

Why should you avoid them?

You may be thinking that as long as your website gains SEO optimization and subsequent traffic increase, why not adopt Black Hat SEO? Here are a few reasons not to:

–          Low Quality Content: When you are running a website that is following a Black Hat strategy, the quality of content you produce will turn out to be low. This is because you are so focused on adding keywords that you forget to write good sentences and the article does not end up doing justice to your brand.

–          Ignores Audience: You completely forget the audience and you do everything in your power to appeal to a machine (search engines). Your website should be aiming to please and give consumer satisfaction and the only way you can do this is by posting high quality work.

–          Bad Search Engine Rankings: Search engines are growing smarter and are able to recognize when a website is trying to use a Black Hat strategy. In turn, your website will get bad rankings and won’t even appear on searches!

At the end of the day, your brand name will just get a terrible reputation. Slowly, not only will searches engines avoid you, but so also will readers. Though,  you will find your traffic peak in the beginning, as you continue with the strategy, your traffic will fall back down. Understand that Black Hat SEO techniques in the end are just short cuts that do not help your company’s long term vision or success.

Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches. Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.

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