What is "Black Hat" SEO?
I get asked by my clients all the time about black hat SEO. What exactly is it, is there such thing as "grey hat" SEO, and does Page 1 use black hat techniques? First and foremost, Page 1 Solutions will not participate in using black hat SEO techniques, and we make sure we are aware of the latest rules (and changes) so we stay within the boundaries of what's ethical and legal.
Black hat SEO is broadly defined as "techniques that are used to get high search rankings in an unethical manner". Black hat SEO will usually include one or more of the following: breaking search engine rules and regulations, creating a poor user experience, unethically presenting content in order to fool search engine spiders and users. Many SEO techniques that are now considered black hat used to be legit, but people abused the practices. Black hat SEO can definitely provide short term gains including increased traffic and search engine rankings, but the risks heavily outweigh the rewards. If found using black hat techniques, your site will be penalized by Google (or other search engines) which means that for a little short term gain, you will now have long term problems getting in the top 3-5 pages for the same search terms.
Although there are multitudes of black hat SEO techniques to avoid, below are some of the more popular ones:
Keyword stuffing: This means exactly what it sounds like; stuffing long lists of keywords (with no relevant other content) on pages of your site.
Invisible text: This includes adding lists of keywords in white text on a white background (or same colored text as the background) to attract more search engine spiders. Eventually the search engines will find out, and the site will be penalized.
Doorway pages: These are basically "fake" pages that the user will never see. They are designed specifically to trick the search engine spiders into ranking the site higher. As search algorithms are updated constantly, search engines spiders are becoming smarter and are either ignoring doorway pages, or banning them.
Cloaking: This is a method of presenting different information to the end user (humans) and the search engines. There are many many methods of using this strategy, so just keep in mind that you need to present the same info to both the human visitors and the search engines.
These are some of the most basic and widely used black hat techniques, but there are many, many more. As stated before, black hat SEO will more than likely get you short term rankings and gains, but you will be found out and penalized sooner or later. It's not worth it in the long run. You can read an article here about one of the most famous black hat SEO blunders in the last few years involving JC Penny.
If you have any questions about black hat SEO, or what SEO techniques Page 1 Solutinos utilizes, please contact your Internet Marketing Consultant today or call 800.368.9910 to learn more.