Black Hat SEO Techniques and Ways to Avoid Them
Every technique used in Digital Marketing has certain guidelines that have to be met to achieve desired results. However, in SEO, to increase search result rankings of a website for greater visibility, some SEO experts opt for the easy way out and apply strategies that are against the prescribed guidelines known as Black Hat SEO. Following such techniques can lead to penalties applied by search engines which can have severe consequences for the website and the SEO service provider. Hence it becomes essential to be aware of certain Black Hat SEO techniques which can help firms monitor the strategies applied by SEO experts to increase brand presence in the online market.
Search Engine Optimization is a vast minefield wherein several Search Engine guidelines have to be followed to ensure that various techniques used to increase search result rankings function as required, are adhered to. Certain techniques applied to increase rankings may have severe consequences on the entire strategy put in by SEO experts and such techniques can be classified under the term ‘Black hat SEO’. Carefully selecting the right online marketing agency in Mumbai can help you avoid the consequences.
Black hat SEO’s are techniques used to increase search result rankings through means that are against the prescribed guidelines specified for a search engine. The term ‘Black Hat’ originates from Western movies that indicate the difference between ‘bad guys’ and ‘good guys’ wherein good guys wore white hats and thus white hats in the SEO terminology is known as ‘White hat SEO’. In general, the techniques involving Black hat SEO are used to describe hackers, virus creators and individuals who perform unethical practices with computers.
As every platform in the digital world has certain prescribed methods, SEO have clearly framed policies that need to be followed. To ensure that the quality of a website is maintained, a high rank on search results is a must and to receive high rankings, SEO experts have to adhere to the current and changing trends as well as algorithm updates. However, there are instances where SEO experts try and manipulate prescribed guidelines to bring in organic traffic which may seem an easy way out in the short run but have severe consequences in the long run.
It is essential to identify certain unethical Black hat SEO practices to ensure that there is no harm caused in the ranking of a website and to understand the workings of SEO experts to prevent the malpractices that take place within Black hat SEO.
Buying links is an easy technique to deliver the required rankings by the customer. Once a link is bought, the quality of the content is taken care of and the anchor text, an important criterion for high rankings on Google, is selected according to the customer’s preference. As this makes it easy to manipulate search result rankings, it is considered as a technique related to Black hat SEO.
There are instances where a content posted on the website receives a comment with a promotional link that is irrelevant to the content posted. Such comments are known as spam comments and are posted to create free backlinks. This technique to gain backlinks is pointless as it violates the purpose of SEO. This is a well-known technique in Black hat SEO which is undertaken through several tools available that post such comments directly on website content.
Cut, copy, paste content
Content picked up from another source and pasted is considered as one of the most demeaning techniques in Black Hat SEO. As search engines prefer content that is unique, to save time and cost, SEO experts use this technique for a website to gain a higher ranking on Search Results. When search results show similar content taken from other sources, it is tracked and treated as a violation to search engine guidelines.
Cloaking is another technique for Black Hat SEO wherein a different content or URL is presented to the user than to the search engine spider. This technique is used to derive the desired ranks for targeted keywords. Additionally, the content provided to the end user is insignificant, which goes against the terms and conditions of Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Doorway pages, also known as jump pages or bridge pages are used to optimize keywords. Such pages are created to cheat search engines to divert the visitor from one search result to another irrelevant destination.
Consequences of Black hat SEO
Any illegal activity will have some severe consequences and similar is the case with Black hat SEO. Violating Search Engine Guidelines could lead to penalties that can last for weeks or several months until the matter is rectified. A key example of a Black hat SEO penalty is of a UK based florist called ‘Interflora’ who had to adhere a severe link related penalty in February 2013.
There have been cases wherein penalties had to be abolished manually if illegal activities were conducted due to buying links, irrelevant redirecting or cloaking. In such cases, the penalty can be lifted by Google after answering a series of questions such as, ‘What actions have been undertaken to solve the problem?’, ‘How such activity will never take place again?’ and a proof of the undertaken actions after which Google will decide whether to lift the penalty or not.
Apart from manual penalties, there can be algorithm penalties as well. This can take place if Google automatically finds a problem within the website such as cloaking, hidden text etc. and a penalty is applied which can be removed once the issue is rectified.
SEO Companies in Mumbai, India offer their SEO services to increase the online visibility of a firm and increase website rankings on Google which in turn can create a better name for the SEO service provider. Applying techniques that violate search engine guidelines leads to a negative impression for the firm as well as the SEO service provider. Hence identifying malpractices of SEO helps in avoiding unwanted consequences for the firm that aims to create a mark in the digital world and aid in selecting the digital marketing partner.