Today, malpractice in positioning techniques, such as the tricks behind Black Hat SEO, are practically non-existent. However, there was a time, when even Google did not have so much control over them that they served to position websites and content.
It was very common to hear about them, even to read recommendations on how to use them to deceive search engines and obtain fraudulent rewards.
Today, this is something you should avoid on your website at all costs. Its implementation can be very expensive, it can even throw away all the work you’ve done honestly to get higher positions in Google’s ranking.
Search engine penalties can be a major blow to your marketing team’s efforts. In addition to lowering your return on investment in your SEO strategy.
In this post, we are going to see what exactly is Black Hat SEO, what are the actions behind it and what effects it can have on your website.
Black Hat SEO: What is it?
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the famous shortcuts to get to the top of the search engines faster and earlier than your competition. Those shortcuts, whose origin is of dubious honesty and transparency, are what define Black Hat SEO.
In other words, we’re talking about tricks that seek to trick Google into giving them the reward of climbing the SERPs.
Later on, I’ll tell you about those Black Hat SEO tricks or actions. What we’ll see now is that Google has not gotten where it is by chance.
Google is the most consolidated search engine in the world because it has an algorithm that changes over time, in order to provide the best results in the searches that users make. As soon as it detects fraudulent actions that do not correspond to the quality and valuable content, it penalizes them. And believe me, it detects them.
White vs Black Hat SEO
The good news of all this is that just as there are bad practices that affect SEO in a negative way when they are discovered, there are also good practices that not only favour positioning but also influence in a positive way the prestige of the website and the quality of its work. This is called White Hat SEO.
Let’s see what the main differences are between White Hat vs:
Use of keywords
One of the parameters that search engines value most is the use of keywords. They must be repeated a certain number of times, according to the length of the text, in order for the content to be positioned.
These keywords must be included in a natural way, to make reading comprehension easier for the user. And that is precisely what White Hat SEO does.
However, Black Hat SEO only seeks to repeat the keyword an infinite number of times, forgetting about the reader. This is fortunately already penalized by Google. But until not long ago it was very easy to find texts that seemed to be written by robots.
How to get links
Those who bet on Black Hat SEO, are dedicated to buying links from domains with good authority to get a better position in the ranking. This practice is also not well seen or valued.
Those who are more faithful to Google’s quality and algorithm do link building, which could be said to be more in line with White Hat SEO, as it consists of getting inbound links in a natural way.
What Google values are that by getting those links your content is of quality. But, for that to be the case, you need to do a previous work of website analysis, backlinks from your competitors and building your own system.
Quality of content
As you can imagine, a practice that only cares about achieving good positioning even if it means sacrificing the compression of its texts, cannot generate quality content. This is what happens to those who practice Black Hat SEO.
But, on the contrary, those who put the user as the top priority, are aware of the importance of this and generate excellent quality content. This is what search engines value most, and therefore, websites that follow White Hat SEO guidelines not only satisfy the user, but also Google itself.
Effects of Black Hat SEO on your website
What are the consequences of Black Hat SEO actions on your website and your business? As expected, any mismanagement or bad activity has its side effects. In the case of the topic at hand, they are the following:
Google closely monitors all those websites suspected of committing negative actions on their content. For this search engine the first thing is the quality it offers to the user and, therefore, it is something that it carries very strictly.
As soon as it identifies websites that do not follow these guidelines, it penalizes them, impacting very negatively on their positioning. Normally, it takes them to much lower positions and barely visible from their ranking.
The bad reputation of the website
As a result of these penalties, your website will barely be visible or will be in very low positions in Google’s ranking. This will mean that fewer and fewer people will find you when entering a search term into the search engine. And, therefore, the reputation of your website and your business will drop significantly.
In addition, the search engines will classify you as SPAM and it will be very difficult for you to recover your status.
The detriment of the brand image
Finally, if you apply Black Hat SEO to your website, you can make users feel uncomfortable visiting it. The main reason for this is the lack of quality in the content and information you offer. This will make them not want to come back to it anymore.
On the other hand, if you lose visibility, your brand will be less and less recognized, unless you invest in other types of actions unrelated to SEO. And, as the last consequence, your brand image will be affected.
Black Hat SEO actions
We have talked about White Hat vs Black Hat SEO, about the effects that derive from this malpractice, and we only have to know what actions are behind all this. Here I explain the most relevant ones:
Action 1: Cloaking
This action consists of creating two types of content. One for the search engines and another for the user. In this way, we try to satisfy the requirements of both and gain points for both parties.
Cloaking translates to cover-up, because what it does is hide information from both sides.
Action 2: Keyword Stuffing
It consists of adding uncontrolled and excessive keywords throughout the text, regardless of whether it is readable or not. Here the user takes a back seat and the only relevant thing is to achieve a good position in Google’s ranking.
Stuffing means filling, and that is precisely what those who used or are using this tactic are doing.
This with the changes in the search engine algorithm is now practically impossible. Imagine if you did a search and found results that looked like they were written by robots. You would probably stop using it. And that is not the aim of Google.
Action 3: Hide Text
In this way, keywords are included without affecting the content. For example, if the background of the website is white, they add a list of keywords in the same colour to achieve positioning without the reader noticing.
Hiding the text is another of the maneuvers practiced by the most Black Hat SEO fans, camouflaging it with the background of the site.
Action 4: Buy links or do SPAM
Today, link buying remains one of the most widely used practices of Black Hat SEO. Doing it organically requires more work and effort.
On the other hand, there are those who choose to SPAM their own contents by filling them with links that go to the page they want to position.
Neither one action nor the other pleases Google. In fact, it closely monitors the whole gear of links and, when it detects that there has been an incorrect use, it penalises.
If you were carrying out any of these actions without knowing that it was a bad practice, nip it in the bud and opt for a natural positioning that complies with Google’s guidelines.