Black hat SEO sounds enticing, perhaps even a little intriguing. Unscrupulous marketers will look for devious ways to “get ahead” in the game, often resorting to what is called “black hat” tactics in order to achieve more traffic or a better page ranking. While it may have been effective at one time, black hat SEO is severely frowned upon by Google – and search engines definitely CAN detect it when webmasters use cheating tactics to try to outperform other marketers. While they may not know it immediately, it won’t be long until you find that your website has dropped off the face of the earth if you employ these underhanded techniques.
Generally speaking, black hat SEO techniques break search engine regulations and rules. While they may be effective for a short time, those who employ these unethical tactics will get caught. These techniques generally create a poor user experience and present content in a way that is outside the norm when search engine spiders “crawl” a website. For example, when black hat SEO first became popular, webmasters would put their chosen keywords on their pages hundreds of times, often changing the color of the text so that it matched the page background color, which made the keywords virtually invisible to the reader, but visible to the search engines. Google and other search engines quickly picked up on this ploy.
Some of the most common black hat SEO techniques include keyword stuffing, invisible text (as mentioned above), and doorway pages. Those who use these techniques believe they are intelligent and can “outsmart” the search engines, but this is rarely the case. Why take a chance and put your business in jeopardy?
Because black hat SEO tactics do work temporarily, it is very tempting for webmasters to use these techniques. However, it’s just a matter of time until sites that utilize these tactics get banned – so is it worth the risk? For long-term success, no. While you may experience initial success, as soon as Google picks up on the devious tactics you are using, your website may be banned forever, which means your website will never be found by someone using your keywords in a search for products or information.
In essence, black hat SEO is cheating, a sort of trickery used on both people and search engines. However, as search engines become smarter and know how to detect these tricks, those employing these dishonest tactics are being punished, which really is justice when you think about it. Remember, what goes around comes around. For a sustainable online business that allows you to experience long-term success, steer clear of black hat SEO tactics.