If you are new to the IM industry, black hat SEO techniques are unethical practices that try to unfairly manipulate search engine results. Google is insistent on cracking down on these tactics one by one and eliminating “spammy” sites from search engine results.
The dichotomy is that some SEO companies still use these techniques. Obviously I wouldn’t call the companies legitimate but you would be surprised by how shady the techniques can get.
Here are the top 4 black hat SEO techniques. Never engage in these practices…I repeat NEVER engage in these practices or your website will go away faster than you can blink.
1. Doorway Pages
Doorway pages are hidden from the viewer but set up to rank well in the search engines. These pages are often stuffed with keywords and illegible content, but to the basic website user the page looks completely normal. Most authentic SEO companies stay away from creating doorway pages. It is simply too risky and against Google’s terms.
2. Content Scraping
People who scrape content use software that generates content from other websites in the search results and steals it for their own gain. This action will get your site penalized immediately. Your content must be unique 100% of the time and valuable to your audience. If you are ever questioning tactics that are even remotely similar, just say no!
3. Hidden Links
Back in the day, the more links you had on a page the higher you ranked. This tactic does not really work anymore and is considered “spammy”. However, some people still use the hidden link trick and make the links the same color as the background so they are not noticeable. So the viewer sees plain text but the search engine sees links.
Stick to a good internal linking strategy where your main pages link to secondary pages and so on. You can also link out to reputable sites if the content calls for it. Also, external links should not be automated or unnatural. Black hat SEOs will use automated software to generate links. Links should be votes for your website as you build trust in your industry. For more reputable linking strategies, see this article: 5 Link Building Strategies You May Not Have Tried Yet
4. Keyword Stuffing
The more keywords the better, right? Wrong! Excessive keywords signal to Google you are manipulating the system. Your content should read naturally and sound like normal copy. How do you know if you are keyword stuffing? If you add any keywords back to the copy after you write it, you may want to re-read the copy to see if it sounds natural. If you want to add more keywords, you must write more copy along with it. A high percentage of keywords in relation to the copy length could get your site penalized. Don’t worry so much about keyword density percentages…just make sure the content reads well.
Stay away from any activities that are even close to these black hat techniques. Google consistently updates its algorithms to remove these sites from its index. You never have to worry about being penalized if you continue to generate unique, quality content and prioritize a valuable experience for your website users. In the internet marketing industry, quality always trumps quantity.