Black hat SEO tactics that are killing your search rankings

Firstly, what do I mean by ‘black hat’? These are search engine optimisation techniques used to get higher search rankings in an unethical manner. These practices might provide short-term gains in terms of rankings, but when you’re caught using such spammy techniques you’ll be penalised (and even banned) by search engines. Some companies may be prone to using these practices because they’re impatient and don’t see immediate results from their ‘white hat’ SEO  techniques. Remember, SEO is a marathon and not a sprint.

To avoid getting penalised by search engines, we have listed a few black hat tactics that you should be aware of.

Examples of black hat seo tactics:

  • Keyword stuffing – this is one of the most common methods and involves packing a long list of keywords onto a page. It is usually at the bottom of the page and in small text which does not make sense. There are no proper sentences, just a bunch of keywords stuffed together.
  • Hidden text – keywords are hidden within the website by making the text the same colour as the background. This text will be invisible to visitors but it’s within the website code so readable to the spiders that crawl and index pages.
  • Link farm spam – getting links back to your website from large spammy link farms that have no relevance to your website. These sites are built just to link to other sites and will not generate any quality traffic to your site.  The number of inbound links to your website can improve search rankings but only if it’s from a credible and authoritative site. Quality over quantity.
  • Doorway/Gateway pages – these are ‘fake’ pages added to a website to target a specific keyword(s) and provide little or no value to a visitor at all. Often, web visitors never actually see these pages because they are automatically redirected to the target page. They are designed to rank well in search results and lead people into the site through a spammy page, often stuffed with keywords and content that makes no sense.

In true halloween style, this infographic shows the main black hat SEO tactics and what effects they can have on your website rankings.

To avoid being penalised, concentrate on ethical ‘white hat’ SEO techniques and practices. These focus on long term search engine optimisation tactics such as consistently creating quality content that is relevant to your audience and building links to your site from from authoritative and credible websites.

What other black hat SEO tactics have you come across? Let us know in the comments area.


About Stuart Dinnie

Stuart has worked in the world of digital marketing for over 15 years. With his measured and planned approach, he has delivered robust digital strategies for construction companies to achieve real business growth. He now heads up the team at Pauley Creative as Managing Director and is leading his team & clients towards digital marketing excellence. He’s worked with over 100 construction clients; helping them on their digital transformation journey, providing sustainable strategies that return year on year incremental growth, delivering award-winning websites and adding value from board level to marketing assistant.

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