by Jessica Ainsworth | Guest Contributor | DIGITAL MARKETING
Are you involved in black hat SEO tactics?
The world of SEO is constantly evolving to keep up with Google's Webmaster Guidelines and rank higher on the search engine. Google updates its systems to meet best practices and standards that give websites a level playing field when it comes to SEO efforts.
However, there are plenty of people who do not play by the rules and instead, opt for black hat SEO tactics. These are called black hat because of their bad reputation, which is referenced to old cowboy movies, where bad guys always wore black hats.
Whether you are involved in black hat SEO tactics intentionally or unintentionally, Google heavily penalizes them, and it is best to avoid them.
6 Black Hat Tactics That Can Harm Your SEO
1. Purchasing Links
Google strictly prohibits the buying and selling of links but there are many people who buy high-quality links to improve their ranking and credibility. Google actively tracks unnatural patterns to identify bought links, and if you are caught, they may penalize certain pages or your entire site.
2. Link Scheme & Deceptive Links
Incentivizing links by offering discounts and free products is considered a link scheme by Google and unless you make them no-follow links, Google will severely penalize your pages, bringing down your rank. Moreover, using hidden links results in the same.
If you try to deceive Google by using links that have zero font size, same font color as the background or are hidden behind an image, Google will know, and you will face the consequences.
3. Comment Spamming
An old black hat SEO tactic that does not work anymore, leaving links in the comments section of websites is considered spamming by Google and is ineffective. Instead, it penalizes you for spamming and lowers your rank.
4. Undesired Backlinks
Another black hat SEO tactic is to link competitors' pages through undesirable websites with bad reputations, which helps bring their ranks down. Google knows of these malicious tactics and has a disavow links tool for you to use and remove undesired backlinks from your website.
5. Scrapping Content & Article Spinning
Plagiarizing someone else's content or duplicating it as your own to rank higher is a copyright violation. If your content is caught as duplicated or plagiarized, Google will penalize you and drop your rank.
Similarly, article spinning involves copying content and rewriting it, whether manually or by using software. This is done by changing sentence structures and using synonyms to 'spin' an original article and results in poor quality of online content, which is why it is penalized by Google.
Using an animated or flash page to conceal content or displaying dissimilar content to search engines and visitors on the same page is an old black hat SEO tactic that gets you penalized when caught.
Any black hat tactic is basically cheating and unethical in the world of SEO and digital marketing. More importantly, they bring temporary results and eventually get caught to jeopardize the rank and integrity of your website entirely.
As with everything else, it is always better to play by the rules and earn your SEO efforts rather than taking shortcuts and finding trouble.
If you want to learn more about black hat SEO tactics, what they are, how to avoid them, or learn all things digital marketing, please visit our website today.