Monday, June 4, 2012

Black Hat SEO Techniques That Can Hurt Your Website

What is Black Hat SEO?

Practitioners of search engine optimization have two ways to approach it: use white hat techniques or use black hat techniques. White hat SEO techniques are considered to be the good guys while black hat SEO techniques are considered to be the bad guys. This is because black hat SEO uses shady tactics to get results.

Users of black hat SEO often cheat and manipulate website and online variables to earn money quickly. Website owners and web developers usually avoid this practice because it can lead to unfavorable results. Google's system algorithms – Penguin and Panda – for indexing websites can spot these less than legitimate techniques, which in turn could result to lower rankings or worse, getting banned from the search engine.

Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid

There are numerous types of black hat SEO techniques and all of them should be avoided at all costs. Below are some of the most common black hat SEO tactics to watch out for.

Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is perhaps the most utilized black hat SEO technique. The of keywords is essential in a website's content, but they must be placed in the text in an organic manner. They need to be written naturally within the text because readers and Google's spiders can tell if the keywords are inserted just for the sake of having them.

Keyword density is also crucial. If a website has too many keywords, the spiders might think the website is a spam. One technique often used is to place all the keywords at the bottom of the page, usually within the author bio section.

Use of hidden text

Hidden texts, as their name imply, are words that are not visible to website visitors. Hidden texts usually have transparent font colors or font colors that blend in with the existing tone of the website's background. Others set the font size to zero to hide the text. Some seasoned web developers will create an image file of the same color as the text and set it as the background to hide the text.

Utilizing doorway pages

Doorway pages are simple web pages that web developers use to make their websites more popular. These web pages are targeted by specific keywords. Their main purpose is not for the benefit of human visitors, but for the spiders of search engines. Some web developers use doorway pages because they believe that these will get their websites higher rankings. However, since spiders are now more intuitive, doorway pages are often considered as spam.

Duplicates and mirror sites

Some web developers just copy web content from other existing websites and paste it on their own websites. To avoid detection, these duplicate or mirror websites will have a few tweaks in design or HTML coding. Their owners hope that their website will outrank the website with the original content.


There are plenty of ways to do spam. One way is to spam blog or utilizing blog generating software. Often, this software creates incoherent texts with keywords just for the sake of attracting visitors. Others comment spam to increase the number of inbound links in their website. Some use pingback spam where ping servers are notified several times per minute to tell them there is “new” content in the website.

This is just a short list of black hat SEO tactics. Website owners must be careful in creating their website's content so they can avoid being blacklisted by Google. They should not be concerned with quick returns in profits. Instead, it is better to think about the return of investment in the long run.

Article by Robert Kirk an SEO Consultant at RFK Solutions, an SEO Company based in Central Scotland they provide SEO services to clients throughout Scotland, and UK.

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