Black Hat SEO: Do Your Google SEO Practices Embarrass Your Site?

Black hat SEO is seriously frowned upon by search engines like Google because it involves using unethical practices or underhand web search optimization to gain a higher keyword rank.  There are many different types of black hat SEO but, on the whole, they share the following characteristics.

Characteristics of black hat SEO

  • Using SEO practices that deliberately mislead search engines or website users.
  • Breaking search engine rules and guidelines in a way that constitutes poor web search optimization.
  • Using SEO practices that negatively impact on a user’s experience of a website or of the Google search engine.

One of the problems with black hat SEO techniques is that they used to be perfectly acceptable methods of providing incoming links to a website.  As a result of this, many people don’t know that they are actually doing something wrong when they use black hat techniques and can’t understand why their website ranks poorly or—in some cases—completely disappears from search engine results.

In addition to this, there are many companies out there who openly sell black hat SEO and innocent customers don’t know that they are paying for services that will actually damage their website and search engine rank as opposed to improve it.  Although initially the results of black hat may be positive, it is only a matter of time until a search engine discovers the unethical links and seriously penalizes your keyword rank.  Here’s some SEO practices you should avoid:

Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing happens when a web page is deliberately overloaded with a keyword or key phrase.  Many people mistakenly think that the more they use a keyword in their metatags or website copy, the higher the rank they will achieve. This is not the case and search engines penalize overuse of the same word, or bad SEO, as they believe that it is representative of poor content. If you are uncertain as to whether or not you have overused keywords consider purchasing our keyword rank report.  Each report comes with a full analysis of the keyword density used on your site and will tell you if you have overused, or underused, your target word or phrase in your web search optimization.

Hidden or invisible text

Some people want to include a lot of links on their site, or a list of words, but they don’t want to share this content with visitors to their site.  They therefore hide the links and text by making them the same color as the background.  While their reasons for doing this may not always be intended to deceive, it is always penalized by search engines when it is discovered and should therefore be avoided at all costs.

Doorway pages

Doorway pages are web pages that are created as a means of attracting search engines through targeting specific keywords.  They are also known as bridges, gateways or entry pages and are not intended for human eyes.  Many SEO firms use doorway pages and tell their customers that they have generated a large amount of traffic to their sites; the problem is that the visitors they have attracted are probably not real customers and the site owners will not see increased sales. If anything they will see an increased bounce rate, something that many people believe impacts your search rankings.  Google warns against the use of doorway pages: “If an SEO company creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or ‘throwaway’ domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google’s index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it’s best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to ‘help’ you.”

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