Should I Use Black Hat SEO Tricks to Rank My Site?
Why not? Other people are using black hat SEO tricks to rank their websites, right? Be in the know before you try to grow with Black Hat SEO.
You better have a pretty good understanding of black hat SEO before you try these tricks out on your own site.
Are people really still using black hat SEO tricks?
Um… Hells yes!
Because it still freakin works!
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a technique which focuses on increasing the search results increasing the visibility of your website.
What really, is the difference between white hat and black hat SEO?
They’re both techniques, strategies and ultimately tricks to get your website to rank higher in search, right?
WHAT IS BLACK HAT SEO AND WHY YOU SHOULD KNOW?
“Black hat SEO refers to a set of practices that are used to increase a site or page’s rank in search engines through means that violate the search engines’ terms of service.” (Wordstream)
“Black hat SEO tactics are ones that use deception, manipulation, and gimmicks to trick search engines into ranking a site higher than it otherwise would rank.” (Forbes)
“Black Hat search engine optimization is customarily defined as techniques that are used to get higher search rankings in an unethical manner.” (Lifewire)
Here’s the short and sweet summary of how Google defines black hat SEO;
Tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.
Google goes on to say, “A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
Of course you wouldn’t be doing it if search engines didn’t exist, but they do!
Consequently, business are continually exhausting every way to get their business in front of their customer, and that includes SEO.
I often hear some of the leading SEO companies describe Black Hat SEO in this way;
Black Hat SEO is a type of marketing technique which goes against the very principles of what an organic SEO stands for.
I think it’s much more likely that to an uninformed business owner that all SEO strategies probably look pretty darn gray. Ultimately they are looking at seo services that contribute to increasing the ranking of their website.
It’s not like SEO service providers who cross the line are labeling their services “black hat”.
And, sure, some black hat SEO tricks are pretty obvious and clearly go against the published principles of the terms of service prescribed by the search engines, but many… not so much.
COMMON METHODS USED IN BLACK HAT SEO
are pretty clearly spammy and schemey.
Therefore the following black hat SEO tricks should be avoided at all costs if you don’t want to bear the brunt of your website being blocked or banned.
- Doorway Pages – These are low quality pages that focus on improving the ranks of your website or blog post without any hassles.
- Content Automation – This is a method to create, manage and publish the content and it is widely utilized by hackers for automating illegal and false content on the websites.
- Hidden Text or Links – Hidden texts act as another measure to put in something that could hamper the smooth workings of your website.
- Keyword Stuffing – This method involves some of the keywords that are included in the meta-tags of the website pages. It is a common method for spamming and phishing content.
- Sneaky Redirects – This method is used for masking the actual location where the page is supposed to redirect you towards. This acts as a direct violation of the Google Webmaster guidelines and will lead to immediate site expulsion.
- Cloaking – This SEO technique takes you to the webpage which is completely unrelated than the site present in the web browser.
- Link Schemes – This method focuses on manipulating the site rankings of your website. It implicates and creates false content thereby controlling the PageRank – a site officially controlled by Google. Violating this comes under the ambit of directly violating the Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
- Link Manipulation – This method is primarily termed as a phishing attack that is used to mislead the user and takes them to an unknown website. It is used mainly by utilizing sub domains that actually creates a sort of look-alike of their website.
OK, so those are pretty obvious, but if you read the Google webmaster guidelines what are you left with for options?
Webmaster guidelines basically state, add value to your website and your user, oh and make sure your technical on-site SEO is in place and you’ll be rewarded.
If you’ve gone this route, I’ll bet you’re pretty sick of hearing, “if you just publish quality content your site will be rewarded.”
All SEO’s knows that’s BS.
You can publish awesome content to a brand new site and chances are it will still take years to build enough rankings to drive any kind of traffic.
At that point do you even care any more? Chances are you’ll be out of business too.
Black Hat SEO has been termed as a practice which is illegal and unfavorable on multiple counts.
However, if you own a website that’s been pretty much useless even though you’ve been putting in tons of hours to publishing content, just waiting for the payoff…
well, you can see how black hat SEO tricks that actually work to increase the ranking of your website in search could become pretty appealing.
Black Hat SEO Tricks are even appealing to ‘White Hat SEO’s”
What? This can’t be.
Yep, chances are that your white hat seo service provider is using black hat strategies in a gray kind of way.
Let’s take a look at one of the most common tactics;
PBN (Private Blog Networks)
Some of the biggest white hat SEO companies are using a variation of the “broken link building” technique to harness the equity of expired domains and redirecting their link juice to their money sites. This tactic removes the expired domain from the equation. It looks at bypassing the domain and getting the links to the expired domain to be redirected to your own website.
Is this ethical?
I don’t know – it seems a little sneaky to me, but it is effective and your chances of getting penalized are very slim.
Google has come down on a LOT of black hat SEO’s using PBN’s to build rankings.
PBN’s violate the critical terms of service which have been laid down and that could result in permanent expulsion of your sites from the domain. In simple terms, they would be banned permanently from functioning.
There are many SEO companies with the ability to still use PBN’s effectively; however as GotchSEO states,
Creating a quality PBN can be a serious time-suck. First, you have to find domains that are worthy of purchasing. About 95% of the domains are unqualified. And that’s being generous.
But if you’re interested, here’s a step by step guide on how to do it on BlackHatWorld.
Another very popular Black Hat SEO trick turned white hat ‘strategy’ is;
The Link Wheel and Tiered Link Building
If you’re outsourcing your SEO, there is a very good chance that your white hat SEO company is using link wheels in some form or another.
Like I mentioned earlier in this post, if you’re using SEO – you’re trying to manipulate rankings.
That being said, if you’re after rankings, you’re going to look at tactics that work and let’s face it a HUGE part of SEO is about the links.
If you’ve ever tried building links, and I mean enough of them to rank a site, you know how time consuming it is. Many SEO’s have to cut corners to do things in bulk, and we all know what happens when you cut corners.
Google targeted link wheels a few years ago, made infamous by black hat SEOs who used free Web 2.0 properties featuring low-quality, spun content that offered no value for the user with the sole purpose of building inbound links to boost rankings for the money site.
That, in turn, made the whole strategy vulnerable to the search engines’ scrutiny.
The fact is, this tactic is still valuable, effective and used by white hat SEOs.
Many web 2.0 sites and free blogging platforms are still relevant and valuable sources of content. SEOs who focus more on providing quality content on these site combined with ‘real’ authority sites produce great tiered linking strategies that work well for their clients.
Link building is an art form, and the simple fact is; you have to build layers of links to improve rankings.
Should I Report Suspected Black Hat SEO?
The only time it’s worth your time to report suspected black hat SEO is when it affects you.
Specifically, I’m talking about negative SEO.
Negative SEO is the exact opposite of what people try to do with search engine optimization.
This is where your competition knowingly uses black hat seo tactics to target your site.
There are quite a number of ways in which negative SEO techniques can lower your page rank, however, not all sudden and drastic drop in rankings are attributable to unscrupulous competitors; there could be many other reasons.
To learn more about negative SEO, click here.
HOW DO I REPORT BLACK HAT SEO?
If you suspect that you have been a victim of negative seo or your website has been hacked, injected with malicious content, harmful hacks and viruses, spam based links, etc.
You definitely should file a complaint.
The complaint basically consists of a webspam report which can be done through Google Webmaster Tools.
If the attacks include the presence of malicious hacks and viruses, then it is better to submit your website for a malware review. If there have been issues pertaining to negative SEO based campaigns particularly spam based links and that will cause issues in the future. To curb this problem, Google Webmaster Tools have provided a Disavow Links Tool that will help Google to remove these links out of your web page.
WHY SHOULD BLACK HAT SEO BE AVOIDED?
Black Hat SEO Tricks are an ongoing SEO practice that works incredibly well and is making a lot of people money. The drawback is that it goes against all ethical guidelines, can damage your business reputation, or lead to manual penalties and ultimately the blacklisting of your website.
Ultimately, if you want to rank you have to build links.
If it’s unclear whether Google frowns upon a particular practice—and if SEOs can reasonably debate both sides of the issue—then it’s likely that you have a grey hat situation on your hands.
All you can do is educate yourself as much as possible and do some cost-benefit analysis.
Is the prospect of new business worth the risk of lost traffic?
If you’re already not getting traffic, are you really losing anything?