Creating SEO content for your target audience to consume and take action on is an important tactic for increasing website traffic. And, conversions. But, the key to boosting your traffic and your company’s revenue is to produce good SEO content. This is done through savvy and Google-approved search optimization techniques also called White Hat SEO. Beware of the dangers of opting for a quick SEO fix or using Black Hat techniques in SEO.
Sticking to White Hat link building techniques will prevent your site from getting blacklisted by Google and other search engines. It also ensures you won’t be issued major penalties or get ousted from the SERPs. While Black Hat SEO techniques may have worked years ago, they aren’t accepted by Google or the marketing community as a whole anymore. Black Hat SEO is not by any means an appropriate way of getting discovered online. Use these tactics today and you’ll hurt your business temporarily, as a given, and possibly permanently.
What are the Consequences of Black Hat SEO Techniques?
Once you get penalized for using Black Hat SEO techniques, it can be extremely difficult to recover. Instead of taking shortcuts that may lead to fast results, think about the long-term ramifications of lazy digital marketing. Some techniques that may propel you to the top of search engine results pages for specific keywords can leave you paying a steep price before you know what happened.
Unless you want to reduce your website’s rankings, and have Google filter it’s rankings to remove your website from search results or get banned from Google and other search engines altogether, forgo Black Hat SEO.
Avoid These Black Hat SEO Techniques at All Costs
There are specific SEO techniques that are considered Black Hat, or shady if you will, so it’s best to avoid them completely. The dangers to your website and your company if you don’t are tremendous.
Cloaking consists of setting up 2 different versions of your website, one that humans will read and 1 that exists only to get noticed by the search engines. Usually, marketers who create cloaked websites will use another Black Hat technique on those sites. They’ll stuff keywords onto the cloaked website’s pages, hoping the programs that distinguish sites for humans and sites for SERPs won’t discover the ruse.
Even though keyword stuffing was a widely accepted SEO practice in the past, it has become potentially the ultimate Black Hat SEO technique. Google doesn’t want users faced with pages of content that are unnatural and hard to read. This makes for a pretty horrible online experience, so prepare for a penalty if you keyword stuff. Keyword stuffing is any stuffing of keywords and keyword phrases into body copy, headlines, subheads, title tags and meta descriptions, site footers, comments, hidden text or other places within a website’s structure.
Black Hat Linking
Backlinks are an increasingly important part of SEO. The links pointing back to your website are actually one of the most critical ranking factors to search engines. But, because Google and other search engines give more authority to sites with a good number of quality backlinks, some marketers without true value to offer try to skirt their way around the system. They use Black Hat link building techniques in hopes of boosting search visibility. However, linking in “bad neighborhoods” (where your web content doesn’t belong), linking to spam sites, creating link farms (pages linked to each other for the sole purpose of raising rank score) and linking to adult content sites, among others, are tactics that result in disaster.
Improving Your SEO Situation through White Hat Link Building
We’ve mentioned just a few of the Black Hat SEO techniques to avoid. If you’ve suffered a penalty from Google for using any of these tactics in the past, there’s a chance you can correct your error and end up ranking well. Because backlinks are so vital to rank results, it’s possible to pursue, and act on, a smart link building strategy as part of a White Hat SEO campaign. Your efforts should include:
- Performing a backlink audit
- Complete removal of low-quality and Black Hat links
- Increase velocity of quality link building
- Keyword research to establish better anchor text
- Ensure proper redirects are put into place
- Create a link building campaign that targets domains with identified opportunities
- Set up alerts to monitor mentions and potential linking opportunities
- Analyze website for internal content hub linking