What Is Black Hat SEO? A Definition for beginners.

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black-hat-seo-strategiesWhat Is Black Hat SEO? A Definition for beginners.

Black hat SEO refers to some practices that are used to increases a site or page’s rank in search engines through signals that violate the search engines’ terms of service. The term “black hat” originated in Traditional western movies to distinguish the “bad guys” from the “good men,” who wore white hats (see white cap SEO). Lately, it’s utilized more commonly to explain computer hackers, virus creators, and those who carry out unethical actions with computers.Black Hat SEO

-What Black Hat SEO is

-Tactics and techniques that qualify as Black Hat SEO

-How to report Black Hat SEO

-How Black Hat SEO can affect your and you website

It’s crucial to realize that implementing Black Hat SEO strategies and tactics can get your site banned from search engines, excluding you from the number one traffic referral source on the Internet. All SEO’s need a proper understanding of Black Hat SEO and its consequences. There is a thin line between what is black hat, gray hat and white hat seo services.

What Is Black Hat SEO, Anyway?

Black Hat SEO is most commonly defined as a disapproved practice that could increase a page’s ranking in a search engine result page (SERP). These practices are against the search engine’s terms of service and can result in the site being banned from the search affiliate and engine sites. A list of tactics and strategies employed by black hat SEO practitioners have been openly denounced on Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and Bing’s Webmaster Guidelines.

“Is the work that I’m doing adding value to the user or am I just doing this for search engines to see? ” is a litmus test on whether an SEO tactic would go against a search engine’s webmaster guideline. If no value is added to the user, but rankings are likely to increase, then your decisions are highly likely to be black hat. The same test can be applied to to paid search practices to determine whether an activity is considered black hat ppc.

Recognized Black Hat SEO Tactics

If you want to stay above board with Google and other search engines, the following SEO tactics are considered black hat and should not be exercised at all:

Content Automation

Doorway Pages

Hidden Text or Links

Keyword Stuffing

Reporting a Competitor (or Negative SEO)

Sneaky Redirects


Link Schemes

Guest Posting Networks

Link Manipulation (including buying links)

Article Spinning

Link Farms, Link Wheels or Link Networks

Rich Snippet Markup Spam

Automated Queries to Google

Creating pages, subdomains, or domains with duplicate content

Pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing, viruses, trojans, and other malware

How To Report Black Hat SEO

There are two reason why you may report black hat SEO. Either your website has been attacked through a malicious hack, virus or negative SEO campaign of spammy links, or you see spammy web results on a competitive keyword your website is ranking on. For the latter, you may file a webspam report through Google Webmaster Tools. Please use this tool with discretion. SPAM does not stand for search positions above mine! Falsely reporting web spam could be considered black hat SEO.

In the event that your website has been attacked through a malicioushack and virus, or malware, request for a malware review after you’ve removed the malicious code.

In the event that your website is the target of a negative SEO campaign of spammy links, use the Disavow Links Tool in Google Webmaster Tools after you’ve tried to contact webmasters whom are pointing these links to your website to have them removed.

Why Should You Avoid Black Hat SEO?

Black Hat SEO tactics can get your website banned from Google and other search engines.

Though there may be some short-term success through increased traffic to your site, Google penalties are getting more and more sophisticated and can have devastating effects on your traffic and rankings. With hundreds of millions of users searching on Google per day, can you really afford to be de-indexed?

Are Black Hat SEO Techniques For You?

It depends: Are you trying to build a long-lasting business? Many people use some of these techniques when used cautiously and with the understanding of the future issues it may cause to your website. Most people who do this tend to over do it which is often why they get caught. A site with 1,000,000 links pointing to it but get 100 visitors a month and just opened yesterday would be very suspicious.

If your answer is yes, you should avoid Black Hat SEO at all costs. Rather, you should look for alternative means of improving your search engine rankings such as white hat techniques.

Original concept from WordStream.

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