In the world of search engine optimization, we refer to Black Hat SEO as the techniques and tactics that focus on obtaining a better ranking in an unethical way (since websites do not normally add value to the user) fooling search engines and exploiting the weaknesses of their algorithm.
In the case of Google, he is the one who establishes the guidelines for webmasters , what type of SEO is allowed and what is not. Google can create new rules (updates) at any time and if they are not respected we can be penalized and disappear from your results.
At Grown Up Digital, we follow Google’s guidelines because you can’t go around playing dirty for your clients’ business. With knowledge, dedication and perseverance, good results can be achieved without having to resort to any of the 24 Black Hat SEO practices that you are going to read below.
These are some of the Black Hat SEO practices:
1) Keyword Stuffing
It is about frequently repeating the keyword within the text of our website with the sole intention of ranking for it.
2) Spinned Content(Spinning)
Modify existing articles on the network with automatic software, and then change the words for synonyms, thus obtaining dozens of “original” copies but of low quality.
3) Hidden Text
A very old technique, basically it is about hiding text or keywords with the same background color, with a very reduced size or moving it to a fucking point that is not perceived by the user.
4) Spam Comments on Blogs
Putting worthless comments on blogs manually or automatically with the sole intention of getting links to our website.
It is about showing content to search engines and another to users. The page that is shown to the search engines is over-optimized with the keywords that are interested in positioning.
4) Buy expired domains
It is about buying domains that have expired but that still retain the authority to set up a new website or redirect it to where we are interested.
5) Link spam
Create hundreds of low-quality blogs and websites for link building purposes to other websites to improve their indexing and positioning, creating a great pyramid of links.
6) Buying and selling links
Buy and sell links on high PageRank or Domain Authority websites to gain notoriety and improve rankings. It is a practice that will never stop as long as the algorithm continues to give so much importance to being referenced by other authority pages.
7) Page hijacking
It is about hijacking a page creating a very similar copy to make the search engine believe that the copy is the original and gain positions in the rankings.
8) Negative SEO
It consists of the use of various techniques to harm the competition, either by speaking ill of them, with massive sending of poor quality backlinks or sending them SPAM, among others. All this, so that they end up losing positions in the long term.
9) Mass mailing (SPAM)
Mass mailing with emails consented to by users is not bad in itself, but if lists with thousands of emails obtained in a dubious way are used, to send mass emails commercially, yes. The objective is to be able to capture a part of these users, for our own benefit.
10) abuse guest posts
Getting quality backlinks is a process that should be built naturally. Publishing articles on other blogs in the sector can be useful to make ourselves known but we should not base our link building strategy solely on guest posts. The generation of backlinks must be diverse, otherwise we risk a penalty.
11) Send products in exchange for a link.
Many online stores use this technique among bloggers to get links. Basically it is a hidden way to buy links, although they leave freedom when writing the review.
12) Agreed exchanges of backlinks.
The exchange of links between blogs was a technique widely used 10 years ago and it really worked until Google decided to cut their losses with this practice because webmasters based their link building strategy on this practice.
13) Create automatic websites.
This is a practice that continues to be done today, but Google has greatly improved its algorithm to the point of totally penalizing these websites and making them disappear from its index.
14) Buy prominent positions in directories.
There are directories that offer to put on your home page a prominent website from among all the websites they have in their directory. It is a way to get a backlink from the home of a website, which should provide a lot of authority, but Google knows perfectly well that this location is paid.
15) Deceptive Clickbait.
The clickbait refers to the creation of sensational titles such as “You will not believe what happened to this woman when she called a locksmith.” This type of headlines became very fashionable 7 years ago and they worked very well especially on Facebook. However, users ended up getting tired of this practice and so did Google.
16) Using Rich Snippets inappropriately.
The use of stars in search results is reserved for certain types of websites such as online stores. There was a time when webmasters used them to stand out in the SERPs when their websites were simply informational blogs. Google finally improved its algorithm to stop showing them on these types of sites.
17) Creation of PBNs or Private Blog Networks.
PBNs became fashionable 4 years ago and consists of the same webmaster creating blogs on different IPs and hosting and then linking the websites that he wants to position from his blog network. Google fine-tuned its algorithm to be able to detect patterns and penalize all sites related to those webmasters.
18) Abuse of links in the footer of a website.
Some webmasters use the footer of their website to link to their websites of the type: “Web positioning in Mallorca”, “Web positioning in Barcelona” … and they repeat this link with all the Spanish provinces. These links go to very poor websites where only the province is changed in the text.
19) Tools to leave automatic comments.
There are tools that, thanks to the use of proxies, leave thousands of spam comments on WordPress websites. Surely you have received some comment in English of this type. This is one of the causes that we have to put an antispam plugin.
20) Change the content of the post when it is ranked
This is another technique that blackhateros used before. They created a magnificent post that ends up positioning itself in the first positions. Then they changed the content of the article to another type of more commercial content to make money with affiliates. However, the user experience changes and the post ends up disappearing.
21) 301 redirects to sell traffic.
This is a very common practice on movie download sites that have hundreds of thousands of hits a day. They sell traffic to other webmasters thanks to a 301 redirect that they do somewhere on their website. They also usually put links to their clients’ websites in the “Download” buttons.
22) Abuse of the keyword in the anchors of the backlinks.
Some people make excessive spam from the moment they buy the domain when buying, for example, plumberensalamanca.es. After this they start buying backlinks and all the anchors are of the “Plumber in Salamanca” type. This carries a sure penalty sooner or later.
Many of these techniques are out of date and quickly spotted by search engines, but they were effective in their day.
23) Negative SEO towards the competition.
This is a deplorable technique that borders on illegality. It consists of creating links to your competition from websites that are already penalized, that is, they carry out some of the practices that we are listing here but on behalf of their competition. Google has stated many times that its algorithm knows how to detect this type of practice.
24) Automatic queries to Google and manipulation of the CTR
There are tools, some of them even physical (they are like a router) that are dedicated to making automatic queries for the keyword you want to position to automatically click on your result. These queries are made from different geolocated IPs to make them difficult for Google to detect.
It can be said that all of us who work in SEO, are dedicated to manipulating search results and it is not a bad thing as long as we do not deviate from Google’s guidelines.
The problem is that Google wants to be able to show the best results for the user, that is their business, and ours is to improve the positioning of our clients. In this case, it is advisable to use techniques that are within Google’s guidelines. Without forgetting that you have to experiment and play against the algorithm, well, if we don’t look for the limits, how are we going to know them?
Of course, always on test sites so as not to sink anyone’s business.