First thing first, what is Black hat SEO?
Black hat SEO is a practice to get higher ranking on search results. The techniques include using private link networks, stuffing keywords and cloaking that often end up in a penalty. Earlier this technique might have worked but now engines take strict actions against them and penalize the websites. The search engines take measure to keep the results accurate for users to avoid being tricked.
Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO
Black hat SEO tries to manipulate the search engines to get a higher ranking.
White hat SEO is an ethical way of ranking higher on search engines by providing good user experience and relevant content.
Why you should avoid Black Hat SEO?
There are two foremost reasons to avoid using Black hat SEO.
- It creates a bad user experience. This doesn’t help in the long-term development of the company
- If caught, the search engines will block your website traffic.
If you are new to the SEO space, then the main aim of search engines is to offer the best results to the user without any spam.
They conduct this via manual or algorithm action to penalize website engaged in black hat SEO.
The algorithms have become more sophisticated with time which means you need to take measures to avoid black hat SEO.
You need to look out for these signs to avoid black hat SEO:
1. Look For Paid Links
Google ranks sites based on their popularity.
The domain authority of a site increase with more websites connects.
You need to avoid purchasing link with products or money. You do not require any SEO tools to see if a website is buying links. All you need to do is look at the hyperlink, if the text is not in connection with the link then there are high chances of it being purchased.
Secondly, if you see the page has all arbitrarily text, there are the highest chances of it being paid links.
To perform a refined search, you can use SEO tools to find the paid links. The SEO tools will create a complete link profile of the website- telling you about the backlinks and origin of these backlinks.
2. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
This is one of the most common methods of black hat SEO.
Keyword stuffing is when a keyword comes excessive times on a website to rank higher in Google search.
Do you have come across a keyword that sounds unnatural?
This is called keyword stuffing.
At times it gets difficult to spot keyword stuffing as Google changes its portion of text that could be included in keyword.
Some of the ways to look for keyword stuffing are:
- Look for locations like Meta description, title, and introduction
- Does it appear at any place that seems unimportant?
- Is any keyword used without any content several times?
How to avoid such practice?
It is recommended to go for optimal keyword method. If you think that you have used any particular keyword several times then you are most probably right
3. Spot the Hidden Hyperlinks
You don’t come across this kind of black hat SEO often. The users can’t see these kinds of links easily. The search engine spiders consider them when ranking.
- Text is placed behind an image
- Links are off-screen
- Linking just a part of a text
- Text with different font size
- Taking a white background for white text
You can use an SEO tool to check the entire profile. This way you can have a complete website link list along with the ones that can’t be seen.
4. Trick Redirects and Cloaking
Redirects: Have you ever clicked on a site but directed to a different site? This is referred to as trick redirect. This is done to bring traffic to a particular page by bringing content from a different page. This is mostly done on the mobile variation of a website.
Cloaking: Cloaking is when search engine spiders see HTML and the users see images or Flash. This is usually done by hackers to avoid showing the hacked website. User can’t identify such websites. But luckily enough, Google has become smarter with every upgrade to find such material.
5. Personal Blog Networks
Personal blog network can help you build backlinks through blog sites. They can be utilized to make domain authority for one another or increasing ranking of any one particular site. Google with its upgrade is penalizing private blog networks especially if the connected networks share the following info:
- Identical IP Addresses
- Same material
- Same owners
- Shared servers
SEO can easily reveal such kind of black hat SEO as it’s simple to spot them through the above points.
Google algorithms can help business that will work to rank relevant keywords and can punish the ones leveraging black hat practices.
With every upgrade, Google charges more for these practices.
All in all, the best method is to develop quality content and follow Google’s guidelines to rank higher on the search engine.