What is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO refers to search engine optimization techniques that are unethical and don’t follow the guidelines that Google (or any other search engine) has in place. Black hat SEO is essentially a way to cheat the system in order to achieve higher search engine results page rankings. These techniques are a violation of search engine’s terms of service, and when discovered will result in the website being shot down the search rankings or removed altogether. In contrast, “white hat” SEO refers to all of the good, ethical search engine optimization practices that Google rewards with higher search rankings rather than punishes. 

What Are Black Hat SEO Practices?

Black hat SEO is the all-encompassing term for any search engine optimization practice that violates a search engine’s terms of service in order to achieve higher search rankings – kind of like a get-rich-quick scheme for SEO. There are many black hat SEO techniques, but some are much more commonly used than others.

Link Farming

One common black hat SEO practice is link farming. Link farming is when a website pays another website to publish a large amount of inbound links to their site, because the number of backlinks are one of the criteria that search engines use to determine rankings. Another common black hat SEO practice is keyword stuffing.

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is when a website publishes a page that is overloaded with a phrase they are trying to rank highly for, but in a non-organic way. For example, keyword stuffing would be if a website wanted to rank for first aid kits and they wrote a piece of content where they jammed the phrase “first aid kit” into it as many times as possible rather than writing a unique, useful blog about them.

Hidden Text/Links

One more commonly used black hat SEO practice is using hidden text or links. This is when a website puts white text over a white background, for example, so that the user can’t see the spammy content but the automated search engine will see it and rank the site for those hidden words or links.

Other black hat SEO practices include content automation, link manipulation, duplicate content, rich snippet markup spam, phishing, viruses, trojans, and many more.

Why Is Black Hat SEO Bad?

Not only is black hat SEO unethical to users and other websites who are trying to improve their SEO organically, but Google punishes websites that practice black hat SEO. This means that if (or when) your website is caught using black hat SEO techniques, Google will send your website to the very back of the search engine results pages or remove it completely. This can be detrimental to your website and your business because it will all but eliminate your organic search presence, making it extremely difficult to acquire new customers in today’s day and age where search results are so important. 

Contact Boston Web Marketing to Learn More 

If you have any more questions about search engine optimization or need help achieving higher search rankings for your business, contact our SEO specialists at Boston Web Marketing. Give us a call at (857) 526-0096 or fill out the contact form on our website to learn more!

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