Black Hat SEO - What is it and Why is it best avoided?

Black Hat SEO – What is it and Why is it best avoided?

By Sadie on

black_hat_SEO

What is Black Hat SEO?

Black Hat SEO is technique used by not so ethical SEO consultants it can also be called spamdexing and consists of spamming and using dodgy techniques to improve your sites SEO positions.

Black Hat SEO is the opposite of White Hat SEO and consists of Search Engine Optimisation techniques that cause a site to appear higher in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) than the website’s content deserves. Search Engines create algorithms that look out for specific traits that would warrant a good user experience. Google needs to appeal to users by showing good, up to date user-friendly and relevant websites in the search results spamming and other black hat techniques mislead the search engines.

These black hat SEO techniques are against Google webmaster guideline and if you use too many of these techniques and get caught you will be penalised or even banned from Google’s index.

For example, adding comments to a blog or news site like this is encouraged, this is because it adds useful content to the site and generates a sense of community. A lot of Black Hat SEO’s will use bait-and-switch techniques to create doorway pages that would show people looking for information on finance but then links to content about business flights which isn’t relevant and compromises the user’s experience.

 

What counts as black hat SEO?

A few Black hat techniques that will get your site penalised or banned very quickly are:

  • Duplicate content- Copying content from other sites will do you no good so don’t bother, Google will reward sites that are unique and will not other if they think a site is duplicated.
  • Keyword, anchor text and domain name stuffing – this is when you mention your keywords a lot to be picked up by the search engines, this is not good for the user.
  • Hidden text or links – Content or links that cannot be seen by the user but can be read in the code by search engine robots are deliberately misleading the search engines, look out for things such as white text on a white background or any Java pop-ups that may have been disabled.
  • Link farms- Link farms will increase the number of links pointing to your site stay away as the chances are these link will get found out and stripped of all their strength. Some Manchester SEO companies are known for link farms so watch out. But not all SEO Companies are the same and many SEO’s in Manchester and the UK practice ethical, white hat techniques.
  • Link Tools- there are tools and applications that will generate links to your site, but you cannot get rid of these as they generate false links so you cannot apply to the webmaster to get them removed.
  • Auto-generated content- You get a lot of companies that will come up for their keyword and every region in the UK and sometimes further these have a duplicated homepage with only the location changing. This can be annoying if the user is looking for a builder in Bolton and the page that comes up belongs to a builder based in Glasgow.

These are just a few ways to get banned quickly. If you want to do well read Google Webmaster Guidelines and keep posted for updates on our blog. For more information please contact Falkon Digital.

About Sadie

Sadie is the head of online marketing and SEO. She likes the colour purple & crisps (especially monster munch).

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Comments (4)
  1. Kaz

    How can you tell if someone is using black hat techniques for your site?
    I am with an SEO company in Manchester and they charge £89 a month and I don’t know what they are doing?

    Reply
    1. Sadie

      hi Kaz
      Not all SEO companies are reputable and will use black hat techniques which may or may not be found out by Google. Speak to your SEO company and get them to go through what they have done for the money, it may be that they are working hard ethically as white hat techniques can take a few months to see results. You have every right to find out where your money is being used. £89 is very cheap for an SEO campaign so depending on your keywords you may need to up your spend.
      Also you may find this video useful in determining whether the manchester SEO company you are with are reputable:
      Shady SEO Salesman!
      If you need any more help please get in touch.
      Sadie

      Reply

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