One of the biggest benefits of SEO is helping businesses attract more organic traffic and increase their chances of reaching potential customers. However, the flip side of SEO is when marketers try to improve search results as quickly as possible by violating search engine algorithms – or Black Hat SEO for short.
1. Black Hat SEO – Best definition!
Basically, black hat SEO is the opposite of white hat SEO, if a tactic “meets” the following criteria, it is correctly classified as black hat SEO.
1.1. What is Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO is the action against the principles of search engines, hitting the holes of the algorithm to achieve high rankings on the rankings. These tactics will eventually result in a quick drop in rankings or even the site being permanently removed from the “info map”.
The term “black hat” is derived from Western films to distinguish “bad guys” from “good guys”, at this time good people often wear “white hats”. Until recent years, the term was more commonly used to refer to people who hack computers, create viruses, or engage in unethical actions in cyberspace.
1.2. Signs of Black Hat SEO
It is easy to see that the black hat SEO method often encounters some manifestations such as:
1.2.1 Violation of search engine guidelines
Black Hat techniques go against the search engine’s content ranking guidelines, and are sometimes even directly on the “SEO Techniques to Avoid” list.
1.2.2 Algorithm Manipulation
While white hat SEO tries to build website content to best respond to search query insights, black hat SEO relies on manipulating algorithms to improve rankings.
Simply put, if an SEO strategy is designed to make Google think that a website offers more value to users than it actually does – that is exactly a scam – and is black hat SEO. .
1.2.3 “Short-term victory”
The most popular Black Hat SEO strategies often focus on exploiting vulnerabilities in the Google algorithm, in order to quickly improve rankings without much effort.
Sometimes these tactics can produce results, but of course will be short-lived.
For example, one of the most notable changes was a 2012 Penguin algorithm update designed to target sites that buy links or use backlink spamming techniques.
When this update was released, thousands of websites that were previously on TOP thanks to spam links in forums, personal blogs, using poor quality satellite sites have witnessed a massive drop in rankings – almost lost all “achievements” they achieved.
Each Google algorithm update always comes with penalties for “Black Hat SEO”
Because Google, with its mission, is constantly improving the quality of its algorithms to provide the best results for searchers, and at the same time preventing webmasters from “scheming” to provide bad experiences. expect good ratings.
As a result, websites using a black hat strategy often “fall out of the top” every time there is a new algorithm update, making this a much more “short-term win” than white hat SEO.
2. The “immediate” benefits of black hat SEO
Until Google finds you (usually within the last 6 months), here’s all you can expect with black hat SEO:
2.1. Benefits for investors
The top benefit of Black Hat SEO technique can be mentioned is that it helps the website get high popularity, rank quickly in a short period of time and earn huge profits accordingly.
2.2. Benefits for mankind
Although black hat SEO is a terrible practice and businesses are advised to stay away. But if you think positively, it helps search engines grow more efficient and improve the quality of their services.
Black Hat SEO has become increasingly “sophisticated” over time, and so has Google. Black hat SEO attacks make Google realize they are not perfect, so Google will do its best to not fall behind the black hats.
Google constantly releases updates to aim for the best user experience.
After all, it is the users who benefit from this competition. We’ll get more and more relevant and better search results over time, through more major algorithm updates.
3. Risks “incalculable” from Black Hat SEO – 3 reasons to avoid using!
While black hat SEO is not illegal, it is directly violating webmaster guidelines set forth by search engines. This means, if you are into Black Hat SEO, you must be willing to take the risks as a penalty.
3.1. Risks of using Black Hat SEO tactics
Trying to manipulate Google’s algorithm will have serious consequences and sometimes go completely against the original purpose of SEO.
3.1.1. Google algorithm update
Google regularly updates its algorithm with the goal of bringing the best search results to users. And most major updates are to close the holes that black hat SEO exploits.
A prominent example was in August 2018, when Google launched the Medic algorithm and E.A.T standards to evaluate the content of the YMYL industry group (medicine, law, finance, …). At that time, a series of pages that were in the TOP 10 of the health industry had “disappeared” without a trace.
However, thanks to strict compliance with E-A-T rules, many websites have had a “spectacular makeover”, bringing the website status not only back to its original position but also outperforming its competitors in the same industry.
While these updates do not target specific website owners directly or “ban” them from search results, they can have a serious impact on the rankings of sites that use the search engine. black hat SEO techniques.
3.1.2 Manual penalty
For black hat SEO websites that don’t follow webmaster guidelines, there is also the risk of manual penalties by Google.
These penalties are put in place by Google’s review team, notifying owners that their site has been flagged for violating Google’s governance guidelines.
And unlike algorithm updates, once a website has been tagged manually, this means that the website will completely disappear from the search rankings.
3.2. 3 Reasons to Avoid Black Hat SEO
Although to achieve short-term success, you will defy the risks that may be encountered. But in addition to the penalties mentioned above, here are 3 reasons you won’t want to waste time on those negative techniques.
3.2.1 Causing a bad user experience
“It’s clear that Google doesn’t necessarily rank sites with the best SEO performance, but sometimes just sites that provide a satisfying user experience.” – According to Bastian Grimm
Black hat SEO method focuses on technical optimization for search engines but forgets the importance of UI / UX, thereby leading to poor user experiences and causing bounce rates. high page. Above all, it gradually makes the brand look spammy and unreliable in the eyes of users.
3.2.2 No lasting results
While it can take some time for Google to identify a website that is correctly engaging in black hat SEO, when this happens, a complete loss of traffic is inevitable.
Perhaps the worst thing about SEO is seeing traffic increase “artificially” and drop suddenly in a short time.
3.2.3 Vulnerable Websites
In Black Hat SEO campaigns, small details are often overlooked when making websites such as: security, access control, software vulnerabilities (server/infrastructure), authorization of services third party.
The hacked website not only causes data loss, loss of control, but also disrupts activities, directly affecting the business process.
4. 11 Black Hat SEO Techniques To Avoid
When you’re just starting out in the SEO world, it’s hard to tell which tactics you should and shouldn’t use.
In addition to the commonly used white hat SEO tactics, the higher level also requires an advanced SEO strategy, paying attention to every detail on the website.
However, make sure you are following the right advice. Because these days the tactics suggested on groups, blogs, social networks sound like advanced strategies, but in reality, it can lead you to more black hat SEO techniques.
To be sure, here are 11 tactics that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines that you should stay away from if you don’t want to get caught up in the “scandals” of black hat SEO:
4.1. Keyword stuffing (Spamdexing)
“Keyword stuffing,” as Google puts it, “is the act of repeating a keyword excessively in content to get search engines to rank the page for that target keyword phrase.”
photo davidmcbee.com: Irregular keyword allocation makes content duplicate and boring.
Trying to add multiple variations of a keyword that doesn’t add any value creates a bad user experience. This also causes your page to rank for irrelevant queries.
Instead of trying to fill your content with meaningless keywords and strings, create more useful and topic-focused content.
4.2. Hidden content (text, links)
Hidden text is text with the same color as the background placed off-screen or behind the image, using CSS to hide it from the user’s view, or even using a zero font size.
Spam a bunch of hidden links with exact keywords on WordPress themes.
This is a deceptive technique, search engine crawlers are now sophisticated enough to understand that you are trying to do keyword stuffing.
4.3. Sneaky Redirect
This type of redirect is the act of taking the user to a different URL than the one they originally clicked on, which is intended to generate traffic to unnatural websites.
Google’s governance guidelines also specifically list these sneaky redirects as a Black Hat SEO tactic that violates their guidelines.
4.4. Spam duplicate content, auto-generated
Creating quality content is not easy, so it is still one of the top 3 ranking factors of Google.
Another popular black hat SEO technique is to automatically generate spin content to rank for a large number of keywords. But unfortunately the Google Panda update in 2011 completely solved this problem.
4.5. Get Paid Links
Search engines like Google prohibit the buying and selling of links. They state on their website that “any link intended to manipulate PageRank or Google’s position rankings will be viewed as part of a link scheme and is a manifestation of our governance guidelines. Google’s website”.
They also stated that they will penalize both the buyer and seller of the links once this is discovered. This means you should avoid tactics like:
- Paid (sponsored) links do not contain rel=”nofollow” or rel=”sponsored” attributes
- Excessive link exchange
- Spam blog comments
- Forum spam
- Automated link building
- Spam folder, bookmarking site and web 2.0
- Site-wide footer or sidebar links
- Links that use exact anchor text
4.6. Abuse of Structured Data
While structured data helps identify online entities, actions, and relationships, one of the most common Black Hat SEO tactics these days is to abuse or mistype Schema.
This means that the webmaster is trying to use the Schema to provide incorrect information.
For example, someone trying to generate structured data to give their entire article a 5 star rating helps to increase their position on the SERP and earn a higher CTR.
Like all the other tactics on this list, this is a scam and should not be used.
4.7. Spam Comments on Blog
In fact, today Google has a set of algorithms to deal with this problem and websites have put links in the comments section as nofollow, helping search engines understand that there will be no power to follow this link.
The compliments are “civilized” to make the blog owner agree to display and achieve the purpose of backlinking of black hat SEOers.
If you own a public website, forum or community that allows comments, you need to take care to ensure that the comments section is not spammed by bots or users.
Search engines like Google will reduce rankings or remove spammy pages from the search results. Using anti-spam tools like Google’s free reCAPTCHA tool is also a way to reduce the risk of content spam from the comments section.
4.8. Links on Link Farms
Link Farms is a website or collection of websites developed solely for link building purposes. These links often point to websites that want to rank higher on search engines.
Forum page created with the purpose for users to create accounts and get links.
Search engines will often rank websites based on the number of backlinks and referring domains, black hat SEOs have exploited this and used Link Farms to increase the number of backlinks for their website.
However, Link Farms often have low quality content and contain too many links. It is too easy for tools like Google to detect and penalize these Web Link Farms, so you should also avoid using them, but instead try to get links naturally over time.
4.9. Doorway Pages trick
Doorway Pages (also known as gateway pages, bridge pages, jump pages, …) is a place created to act as an intermediary bridge, redirecting users from the first page of access to a website with other content, with purpose to get higher ranking for each specific query.
Creating doorway pages with the sole purpose of acting as a channel to another page is considered a violation of Google’s guidelines. In March 2015, Google launched a new Doorway Pages penalty algorithm specifically for this type of technique.
4.10. Negative SEO (Dirty SEO)
Negative SEO is the use of black hat SEO techniques for a competitor’s own website, then taking advantage of Google’s strict punishment and labeling fraud for competitors to bring down their rankings on the board. Search Results.
Some of the negative SEO attacks often manifest in different forms such as:
- “Shoot” hundreds, thousands of spammy backlinks to your website
- Duplicate your content and mass-create duplicates on the Internet
- Point links to your website with sensitive keywords (poker, online gambling, …)
- Create fake social media profiles and ruin your reputation
- All the above Black Hat SEO tips
Until now, Google has gotten smarter at identifying such attacks. But most of all, website owners also need to be vigilant and regularly conduct periodic website investigations and analysis of links and content on their pages to take timely measures.
4.11. Buy virtual traffic
This is one of the black hat SEO tricks applied in recent times. These virtual traffic does not come from real users, but from the use of automated programming tools.
The service to increase “Organic Traffic” is widely sold on the Internet.
When activated, these tools will periodically visit the website (seconds, hours, days) through manually pre-entered queries (keywords).
However, the SEO world does not work like that, one way or another once you have used fraudulent methods, specifically here is buying and selling virtual traffic, there are always potential risks such as:
- Falsify website development metrics. Causing the “illusion” of actual data, leading to inability to accurately analyze, report or plan for customers
- All virtual traffic does not bring you revenue, because this is a robot visit, does not lead to purchase visits, but the initial cost you spend to buy or run the tool cannot be recovered.
- Causes abnormality in the eyes of Google, when your website receives a suspiciously high amount of traffic from unnatural traffic sources. Google is getting smarter and constantly improving its algorithm, it’s not difficult to spot rankings manipulation behaviors. The final consequences will still directly hit the website’s rankings, even if it is penalized.
5. How to Report Black Hat SEO Tips
There are 3 reasons why you would want to report Black Hat SEO tricks:
Your website is attacked through malware or viruses from 3rd party applications, ask Google for a review after you have removed all the malicious code on the site.
Your site is the target of “dirty” SEO campaigns with spammy links, use Google’s Disavow tool to remove them.
Detecting competitors using black hat SEO tactics and without penalty, you can send spam reports to Google when you are confident that the website is ranking for paid links, spam links or by other websites. Other Black Hat SEO tips.
Overall, in the long run, Black Hat SEO (Black Hat SEO) methods are not worth the risk because of the losses and penalties your site will incur.
There are many ways to improve your position in the search results, but most importantly you must pay attention to overall safety, sustainability, creating real value for users and long-term value for business.
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