What is Black Hat Social Media?

We all know about Black Hat SEO, right? Well, Black Hat tactics are beginning to quickly emerge on social media sites; not only are they affecting social media sites themselves, but users, and businesses who are using these sites as a marketing platform.

Black Hat Social Media, similar to Black Hat SEO, are methods and tactics that are outside of social media websites’ guidelines, and used to gain some sort of advantage or competitive edge.

Checkout some of the examples of this illegal internet activity:

  • Using click farms to buy fake likes, or more YouTube subscribers.
  • Sharing unsafe hyperlinks that pose security threats
  • Automatically following and unfollowing accounts using a program.
  • Creating a fake social media account to like, share, comment and advertise information
  • Writing fake reviews; this applies to writing positive reviews for your business, and negative reviews for your competitors.
  • Creating profiles for your competitors, and posting negative comments.

Due to the rising influence of social media sites, Black Hat Social Media can pose serious threats to SEO and search results. Google will crawl businesses that have a lot of activity on social media sites, meaning content, reviews, and followers, more frequently, which will help their business and site improve their search results. So how is Google going to determine if a social media site has purchased likes, or if they acquired these likes by playing by the rules?

So those who are playing by the rules, what are they to do to fight these spammers? There are a few things we can do, to limit and check the power of these black hat users:

  • Mark items as spam; most social media sites have the option of allowing you to mark things that you are sketchy as spam.
  • Make a legal claim to social media sites; most sites have an option where you can report a page or a status to their legal department. This can be very effective if you have a legitimate claim.
  • Report spam on Google; you can do this by using the webspam reporting form on Google.

Google was able to stop Black Hat SEO in its tracks; can the same be said about Black Hat Social Media? We can only hope! Right now it is in its early stages, we should nip it in the bud while we still can!

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