SEO 6 Black Hat SEO Techniques That Marketers Still Use
Ranking #1 on Google is a very competitive game, and some SEOs want to win by any means necessary.
But sometimes SEOs cross a line and use unethical SEO strategies to win. Due to this, their rankings take a nosedive and going back to square one becomes a daunting task.
Such unethical SEO strategies that don’t abide by Google ranking guidelines is called black hat SEO, and following those can penalize your website.
So, here are 6 of the most popular black hat SEO techniques that marketers still use.
1. Keyword Stuffing
Optimizing your content with relevant keywords is the baseline of SEO. Still, some marketers over-optimize their content and stuff it with keywords with the hope of ranking higher in the SERPs.
Stuffing keywords in your content rather than strategically placing it is one of the major reasons behind a website receiving a Google penalty.
In the initial years, marketers slyly stuffed keywords in the content by hiding it. They used to change the colour of the keyword so that it matches with the page’s background and becomes invisible to the naked eye. However, they are perfectly visible to the crawlers. So, websites that followed such techniques gave an open invitation to Google’s penalty.
If you are following this strategy actively, you must stop right now.
Now, let me tell you what you need to do so that you can execute optimum keyword optimization and no longer get penalized by Google.
One simple answer: Keyword Density
After creating content and optimizing it with relevant keywords, check its keyword density.
Keyword density is the number of times (percentage) a keyword/phrase is used on a web page compared to the total number of words on it.
If you want to check the keyword density of your web page, here’s the formula:
Keyword Density = No. of times a keyword is used / Total no. of words in an article.
Make sure that your keyword density is 3% (maximum).
2. Duplicate Content
Google is quick to identify plagiarism, and once it does, the search engine de-indexes them immediately. So, if you are posting copied content on your website, it will get de-indexed sooner or later.
It would be best if you did not take this risk. It is better to run your content through online plagiarism checking tools to make sure that your content is original and not copied.
Still, there are exceptions, but that does not mean you can copy whole posts. You can copy parts of it and specify the original source or add canonical links; this way, your content will not get de-indexed.
3. Link Buying
Link building is an age-old SEO technique that Google still holds in high regards. Backlinks play a significant role in increasing a website’s authority and online credibility.
Sometimes to build a massive backlink profile and dominate the SERPs, website’s invest in one of the most frowned upon black hat SEO techniques: link buying.
Marketers hire an intermediary who then generates inbound links for them. However, those links are not always relevant to the website’s niche. In most cases, inbound links are even driven from low-quality websites or spammy content. Link buying affects your backlink profile and eventually, your online reputation, authority, and credibility.
Search for ‘link building strategy’ on Google, and you’ll find thousands of search results filled with old, new, and unique white hat SEO strategies to build quality backlinks. Also, remember to get rid of spammy inbound links from your website using backlink analysis tools so that they don’t hamper your SERP rankings and authority anymore.
Clickbait titles are a smart way to improve the CTR of your SERP result, drive more traffic, and acquire better rankings.
Clickbait means to bait the users in such a way that compels them to click on something; these can be titles, thumbnails, etc. But what happens if the user clicks on it and the information is not helpful at all and does not resolve the searcher’s query? Well, they bounce off of it and look for answers in the competition.
Higher the number of visitors who bounce-off of your website more will be its bounce rate. A high bounce rate can plummet your website’s rankings as well as its authority.
Creating clickbait titles is not a black hat SEO technique but misleading the searcher is. Only create relevant titles and thumbnails for your articles that are true and give the searcher the EXACT idea about its content. You can get creative with the titles and thumbnails and transform them into click baits, but NEVER compromise on the relevancy.
Cloaking is an advanced black hat SEO technique used by websites to trick not only the users but also the search engine bots. How? The website creates two different sets of information – one for the users and another for the bots.
Bots are careful about not indexing a website using cloaking. However, in some rare cases, they do get indexed but are removed in a day (approximately).
Here’s an example of cloaking:
You perform a search for ‘coffee beans’ and click on a search result. But it leads you to a page where you can download songs instead of a page on coffee beans.
6. Doorway & Gateway Pages
Pages that offer no value but are filled with keywords and CTAs are called doorway and gateway pages. Whenever a user clicks on such pages, they are led to a very landing page unrelated to the searched query.
Sometimes crawlers index such pages and rank them accidently because they are keyword-rich. However, when Google identifies such content, it penalizes the entire website.
BMW used doorway and gateway pages to rank higher on Google and drive more traffic. While it enjoyed momentary success in the top SERP, it all went down the drain when Google discovered that the website has been using doorway and gateway pages. So, what did Google do next? Well, the search engine de-indexed every page of bmw.de and reduced its authority to 0.
No matter what, marketers must not use black hat SEO techniques and manipulate traffic to their website. Using such techniques might get you the #1 position on Google quickly, but soon your website will get penalized before you could savour the victory.
Furthermore, Google changes the search algorithm 3200 times in a year, so now it can quickly identify website’s using black hat SEO techniques; therefore, my only advice is you should stop using black hat SEO techniques this instant.