What is Black Hat and how can this strategy harm your website? – WAU
Black Hat SEO is a set of page optimization strategies aimed at gaining better positions in the search engines in a quick, but ethically questionable way. Practices like cloacking, keyword stuffing and comment spam are the main ways to make Black Hat.
Within an increasingly competitive environment, who doesn’t want quick results with big gains? Some techniques may even help you achieve these goals, however, they are not the most suitable for reasons such as lack of ethics and also their performance and quality in the long run.
One of them is Black Hat SEO, which is also a set of techniques aimed at optimizing a page in search engines, however, with quite questionable and disapproved methods Google. Unlike what the best SEO practices indicate, these actions go exactly the opposite way.
How about, then, check out this full article on the subject and make sure you don’t use any of these practices in the future? Read on!
- What is Black Hat SEO?
- What is the difference between White, Gray and Black Hat SEO?
- Why not make Black Hat?
- How does Google penalize Black Hat SEO?
- What are the main techniques used
- 3 alternatives to Black Hat SEO that really generate results
What is Black Hat SEO?
To generate organic traffic and achieve a better position in the SERPs, SEO techniques are widely used. There are, however, more questionable – and ineffective, long-term ways of achieving this. One of them is Black Hat SEO: a set of actions to trick Google’s algorithms in search of better ranking.
As well as the use of correct keywords, the increase in the authority of a page and an efficient link building make a page rank among the first results in a search engine, some people started to circumvent this system and adopt practices ethically questionable in pursuit of the same goal.
Black Hat SEO practices go in the opposite direction from what Google recommends, especially quality content and a positive user experience. These techniques aim exclusively the top of a search results, placing your pages at any cost in the main positions, with little – if any – planning.
Black Hat SEO represents any action that aims to manipulate the rules and best practices stipulated by Google – or even Bing – in search of better ranking. Results can be relevant and often arrive quickly, however, the price to pay is high and it can definitely damage all your Marketing work.
What is the difference between White, Gray and Black Hat SEO?
Now you know what it is, but you may not have understood the reason for that name, right? The Black Hat (black hat) is a reference to the western movies of the past, in which villains were usually identified by the color of their hat, while the “good guys” used the accessory in white.
This idea, however, was not restricted to films without colors from the past and is also used within Digital Marketing. Therefore, in addition to Black Hat SEO, there are also White Hat and Gray Hat, that is, the white and gray hat. The first term you already know, but how about knowing more about the other two?
White Hat SEO
Practices that seek to optimize the performance of a page according to Google’s guidelines and rules are considered White Hat SEO. That is, those that put the user first, such as the production of relevant content on blogs, engagement on social networks and even the adoption of a responsive design.
The white hat, therefore, belongs to the “good guys” who try to improve the performance and ranking of their pages in the correct way, following the rules of the game and not harming any of their competitors. Simply offering the best user experience possible within your Marketing plan.
Gray Hat SEO
Have you heard of the expression gray zone? It happens when a situation or a certain action is not expressly bad or good, it is doubtful. Gray Hat SEO, therefore, happens when a practice for performance optimization it is not considered good, however, it cannot be defined as bad either.
It represents planning that usually follows the best SEO practices, but ends up using Black Hat in specific situations, in search of some quicker results. Very common, for example, when we talk about sending email marketing without permission to receive or comment on posts aimed at link building.
Why not make Black Hat?
The first reason for not using Black Hat SEO within your Content Marketing strategy is simple: you are not thinking about the user, that is, you are not producing material relevant to your persona. Thus, you end up being unfair who you want to convince to become your consumer.
Furthermore, you are also not being honest with your competitors. Of course, everyone is competing for users’ attention and resources, however, you need to play fair and try to outdo other competitors with honest techniques and, mainly, offering a superior service and / or product to the potential customer.
Black Hat SEO can even generate returns quickly, placing, for example, your brand among the first results in a search, however, it does not do this by offering relevant content to its users. Which implies directly in the timeline: it works in the short term and has little relevance in the medium and long terms.
Therefore, it is not feasible to plan solid actions aiming, for example, customer loyalty. You can even generate more traffic by attracting visitors to your position, but fails to build a solid relationship with users, who tend not to stay on a page after realizing that the content is not as relevant.
Consequently, the bounce rate tends to increase. Think of the following example: you click on a page precisely because it appears among the first results, access and find repeated keywords and content that is not relevant or attractive. What do you do? Leave this site immediately.
Another important point to remember when we talk about reasons for not wearing the black hat in search of better ranking is Google. Yes, the most popular search engine in the world does not approve of this type of practice and, when it identifies, it can undermine all of your Digital Marketing planning and actions at once.
How does Google penalize Black Hat SEO?
The penalties that can be applied by Google vary in weight. However, punishments generally imply a drop in ranking positions, a reduction in PageRank, a reduction in organic search traffic and a restriction in the positioning of new content and publications. In addition to the punishments, there is also the possibility of banning.
To make it even easier to understand how Google works in these cases and how the dreaded “manual actions” work, check out the Google Webmasters video:
If you have suffered any punishment that you consider unfair, the only alternative will be to optimize the site with quality content and pay attention to the changes you make. Thus, Google will remove the page from your list, considering that you do not normally use Black Hat practices, since the site as a whole is taken into account.
That is, if there are not a significant number of irregularities, Google recognizes that it was a mistake and backs up. Furthermore, the only alternative for reversing a punishment is to identify problems and immediately correct them.
What are the main techniques used
Before avoiding a practice or action, the first step is to get to know it. Therefore, we separate the main techniques of Black Hat SEO so that you know exactly what you should not do in the work of optimizing pages. Check out!
These are pages that are characterized by using optimized keywords only to ensure good positioning. When the victim accesses the page, he is automatically redirected to another page with malicious content.
It is a tactic similar to the one mentioned above, however, in this case, the direct target is not the users, but the robots, highlighted in the third topic.
The sites are optimized to present to the indexers a different content than what will be presented to the user, that is, for the search engines it is something beautiful and for the users a inconvenience; a kind of “cute, but ordinary”.
A structure is formed consisting of a main website – the one that aims to be accessed – and other websites created only to direct the user to the main website. For example, we create the main site (A), some sites with links that point to the main (B), sites that point to B (C) and so on.
With this, the traffic generated will always be constant so that the main site is eminent, which weighs heavily on Google’s criteria, making the main site always get a great position in the ranking.
The use of this strategy consists of making the search engines point out that the page has certain content, but that the user is faced with a different one.
There are also cases where a desktop user is directed to a common page and the mobile user is redirected to a spam page.
These are websites whose content is nothing more than links to other pages. Therefore, you create backlinks and, in theory, you can increase the relevance of your site. Instead of wasting time doing this, it is much better to produce relevant content and even invest, for example, in Guest Posts.
The keywords used in the optimization are of great relevance, however the content of the page is not consistent. These keywords range from celebrity names to Internet memes / catchwords.
Identifying this is very simple, as you do not need to read much of the content to see that the words are simply embedded in the text without any meaning. They are often found on footers – and it is very easy to come across this, by the way.
How many times have you not seen repeated comments to exhaustion on any of the many social networks, blogs or pages? This serves to generate backlinks, posting automatically, but does little help, for example, in creating the authority of a page.
Many people try to circumvent Google with hidden content, using the font size 0 or the same color as the background, making it not appear to the user when accessing the site, however, being counted by the search engines.
Copying content over the Internet, in addition to being morally questionable, is easily identifiable by Google and liable to punishment if content from other sites is published on its pages repeatedly. This technique ends up being ineffective, since the searcher ends up privileging the oldest publication in its ranking.
This option ends up leaving the digital sphere a little and can be done in the physical world as well. Paying for a portal to place your link on content, for example, is viewed negatively by Google. However, it is something more difficult to be detected, but it is possible through the analysis of the meaning of that link.
Black Hat SEO alternatives that really deliver results
Black Hat SEO can affect the performance of your pages and, without a doubt, that’s not what you want, right? Therefore, we have listed three alternatives to the black hat method so that you can generate good results in a clean way. Check out!
Accesses via mobile devices are increasingly common today and it is necessary to think about the users who access their pages through smartphones and tablets. Therefore, ensure that your page is Mobile Friendly and has a responsive design, extremely valued by Google.
Creativity in choosing keywords
Using the right keywords can also help your ranking. One tip is to keep an eye on the “related searches” that Google itself provides at the end of any search. There, you can identify potential terms to be used on your blog or website, for example.
Invest in Meta Descriptions
It is not enough to rank well, it is necessary to convince the user to click on your page and an excellent way to do this is through the Meta Description. With it, you have one more chance to show the visitor that your page has the content offered and increases the chances of receiving a click.
Black Hat SEO, therefore, can even generate positive results for a page, however, the quality of the obtained is far from ideal, not guaranteeing the real efficiency of these achievements. In addition, they are practices that can impair your performance in the long run and even end the chances of your site appearing on Google.
In this article, we talked about some of the Black Hat SEO practices that you should avoid right? But we are not going to let you down and just say what not to do, so we have separated some tips – clean and fair – that can optimize the performance of your pages. Check out the 12 SEO tricks to index and rank your content faster!