The dangers of Black Hat SEO techniques

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The definition of Black Hat SEO can be very hard to pinpoint, especially if you’re not an expert in the area. Because of this, many people may try to use techniques that fall into this category without even realizing it – and that can lead to terrible consequences later on down the line. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what black hat techniques are and how they can impact your website and your business as a whole.

Avoid as much as you can

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing a website for Google search with the goal of earning higher web traffic levels and improving the visibility of the site. The goal is one: the highest possible ranking position. However, it is a long process that requires commitment, knowledge and tools. Black hat SEO is a collection of techniques against the guidelines set by search engines, and can result in penalties or even getting banned from the SERP altogether. It happens that these are unconscious actions resulting from the ignorance of administrators, but most of them can be shortcuts.

The most common examples of unethical techniques

The most common cases include:

  • hiding the content (using white text on a white background, locating the text behind the image, setting the font size to zero),
  • duplicate, low-quality content,
  • overusing keywords that disrupt the natural perception of content,
  • cloaking (creating two versions of the page, one for the user, the other for search engine robots),
  • SWL, or link exchange system,
  • 301 redirects from intercepted domains,
  • creating low-quality content,
  • hacking pages.

Consequences: filters and bans

The search engine uses the help of algorithms and web robots to detect illegal techniques. They are designed to search, analyze and evaluate web pages included in the Google index.

Google divides sanctions into two types. Filters are penalties imposed for a specific period of time – from a month, even up to several years. Its application means that the website can drop even by 70 positions in the ranking. They are imposed mainly due to the unnatural growth of external links with a specific anchor, unnatural links, the use of a link exchange system, spam.

However, the bans are much more serious. Their imposition results in exclusion from the search results. Although the website physically exists, it is impossible to find by Internet users. In extreme cases, you can even be removed from the index. These penalties are related to threatening Black Hat SEO practices, extorting money, promoting porn sites, etc.

How to check if I have been punished?

If you think you may have been a victim of Black Hat SEO, the first thing you should do is check your website’s traffic. If you see a sudden and significant drop in traffic, it’s possible that your site has been penalized. You can also check Google Search Console to see if there are any messages from Google about your site. If you do find evidence that your site has been penalized, the best course of action is to correct the offending behavior and submit a reconsideration request to Google.

The symptoms include being banned from search engines, decreased traffic, and lower conversion rates. In extreme cases, it can even get your website blacklisted, which will completely destroy your online presence. 

How to fix everything?

First, remove any items of questionable quality. The “request for re-inclusion” form in Google SiteMaps will help you with this. As for optimization, the best solution will be:

  • interface improvement,
  • improving internal and external linking,
  • removal of incorrect and broken links,
  • creating original content,
  • no keyword stuffing,
  • not copying content,
  • not spamming,
  • no redirect masking.

It happens that sometimes we lose control over our website – make sure your users do not engage in unethical activities. You can always contact Google: ask for an overview of the penalty imposed, describe the problems and comment on the results.

If you do not have the appropriate knowledge or tools and you are afraid that Black Hat techniques, consider working with a professional SEO services Meath. It has the appropriate competences to take care of your website in the eyes of Google. Appropriate protocols, certificates and programs are used for this.

Wrapping up

Overall, unethical techniques are extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Not only can they result in your site being banned from search engines, but they can also lead to your site being hacked or attacked. Plus, using black hat techniques can negatively impact your reputation and make it difficult for you to build trust with your audience. Always watch your back!

Main photo: Andrea Piacquadio/pexels.com

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