Stay Away From These Common SEO Black Hat Practices
A lot of new online marketers and businesses enter the SEO industry with on goal in mind: getting on the page 1 search results of Google, as quickly as possible.
There was a time when unethical tactics or what you may call Black Hat SEO practices were quite the norm to gain a top ranking in the search results. Yes, these techniques may offer you a short-term benefit of higher ranking, but normally you just destroy your chances of a long-term standing in the digital marketing world.
Saying that the practice of Black Hat tactics to promote your site is frowned upon by Google, would be a massive understatement. If Google bots figure out – and they DO figure it out – they can penalize you or even remove your website altogether.
If you are new to the world of Search Engine Optimization techniques, you might unknowingly fall victim to some unethical SEO practices. To prevent that, here are some of the most common Black Hat strategies that you need to avoid.
Stuffing your content with keywords
Once upon a time, in the Online Marketing land, when search engines weren’t so smart, marketers used to deceive them by stuffing their site content with keywords. The focus was on using as many keywords as possible, quality of the content be damned.
That’s obviously not the case now. In fact, if you try to do that now, just save yourself some time and dig a hole for your website right now. Because search engines heavily penalize these sorts of tactics.
What you need to do is take a strategic approach and find keywords that will bring you organic traffic. Tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush are great for this.
Creating duplicate content
If you see a blog post that’s relevant to your industry and is excellently written with the right keywords, do NOT copy it. Publishing duplicate content will a) get you penalized, and b) destroy your online reputation. Whether you are writing your company’s blog posts yourself, or you have hired writers, make sure that the content is not copied. Copyscape is a good tool to check for plagiarism.
Buying links from external sources
When outside sources (other websites and blogs) reference your content and post a link back to your blog post, it’s called an external link. The more external links you have, the higher your search engine ranking will be.
When online marketers figured it out (years ago), they started ‘buying’ external links placements on relevant blogs and websites. Then, of course, Google and other search engines found out about it and created algorithms that monitor and prevent it from happening.
The right way to get external links from outside sources is to reach out and ask them if they’d like to collaborate or let you write a guest post for them. Cultivating relationships with the thought leaders in your industry is a great way to generate referral traffic and sales leads.
We know how tempting Black Hat SEO strategies might seem, but in the long run, they can cost your website a lot in terms of reputation and ranking. It’s best to steer clear of them and focus on the right way to accomplish your goal.