SEO techniques must adhere to a set of rules established by the search engines. Nevertheless, there are those individuals (spammers) who like to cut corners to bring organic traffic to their sites. They do so by breaking the rules set by the search engines with practices commonly known as black hat.
Michael Brown, a top professional from Semalt, defines a few of them for you to stay safe:
1. Paid Links
Users get to buy links based on information such as how it ranks, and the traffic it receives, to get high rankings as well. It is quite easy to carry out as one will not have to deal with the link’s content quality after they are through with the transaction. Also, since search engines such as Google heavily rely on anchor texts to rank sites, customers can choose to purchase one based on their preferences.
2. Spam Comments
Their intended purpose is to create a free backlink to the spammer’s site and offer no SEO benefits. Open blogs without quality control are easy targets for spammy comments. It leaves a negative impression with the people visiting the site, which lowers their experience. They are then unable to leave any valuable comments since the blog appears to be unprofessional or neglected.
3. Duplicate Content
It is a “copy and paste” technique used to spread similar looking content across several domains. Search engines prefer unique content and duplication only hurts the site’s chance of ranking high. Users do not expect to find similar content on several links on a Google listing. It reduces their experience which is why it categorizes as black hat. Duplication can also occur on a single domain. Mostly, it is usually due to the lack of knowledge. Canonical tags help identify an original version of a post, making other copies invisible to the Google crawl bot.
4. Article Spinning
It is a form of duplication where marketers make alterations to a document to make it appear as if it is a new or unique to bypass plagiarism tools. It is gaining popularity, despite it fitting the context of plagiarized content.
Cloaking is a tactic used to deliver content or URLs to the user which is entirely different from what the search engine spiders index. It tricks the search engine to rank it high on the SERP while delivering irrelevant information to the visitor.
6. Doorway Pages
These are keyword-optimized landing pages which redirect users from a chosen result to another destination with unrelated information. They focus on ranking high for specific queries.
7. Keyword Stuffing
Here, website owners will stuff their content with a majority of the high-ranking keywords to increase their chances at being visible on the SERP, consequently driving as much organic traffic as possible. However, stuffing keywords make posts look unnatural and not user-friendly.
8. Invisible Text
The method involves putting a set of keywords on a white background, making them invisible to the visitor. It is only the search engines that get to find, crawl and index them.
People that resort to using black hat techniques disregard the high risk associated with them since they get discovered anyway. It results in penalties, or in the worst-case scenario, search engines ban the site from ever appearing on the SERP.