No matter what area of business we care to look at, there will always be those who want to take short cuts. In a lot of cases, those short cuts involve tactics that either go completely against the rules or worse, they are illegal.
This is true of SEO trends, where many business owners who wish to boost their rankings have to decide whether to come out on the side of the angel on one shoulder or the devil on the other.
If, unfortunately, it is the devil then what they are considering is known as black hat SEO. These are the actions that have been ruled by the search engines, and Google, in particular, as against the rules.
If they discover a website has been breaking these rules the sanctions range from a lowering of its ranking, through to the website being completely delisted.
When a website has been delisted, it effectively does not exist as far as Google is concerned, and the chances of them ever-changing that stances are low. If they do renege, it will only be after a lot of hard work from the website owner to clean up their website with regards to the black hat tactics which have been used.
One of the problems is that many website owners are not aware of what is black hat and what is white hat. This is complicated further by so-called grey hat SEO, which are tactics that sail close to the edge and might be regarded as ‘sharp’ but not necessarily outlawed.
To help you better understand what you definitely should avoid, here are some black hat tactics, that you absolutely must never be tempted to use.
This tactic is almost as old as SEO itself, and it is staggering that some people still try it in order to game the search engines. Google wised up to this years ago, so if you feel you have used too many keywords in your content, they will too. Edit your content and think of synonyms for your main keywords. You can use Thesaurus.com to find them.
Another black hat tactic that still goes on, is paying for backlinks. These invariably come from link farms and you should be aware that Google throws a lot of resources at trying to find these and to close them down. If your website has any paid links from a link farm that Google discovers, then expect your site to be delisted in short order.
A black hat and cloak. is the quintessential garb of the bad guy in a Charles Dickens novel, and in Google’s eyes cloaking IS bad! It is often used by hackers to hide one website behind another. The search engine crawls and ranks the legitimate website, but when someone clicks through the cloaked website appears.
Redirection is a tactic used by magicians, and whilst it might be fine to do it on a stage, using redirection online to fool the search engines is likely to make your website disappear if you get caught.
It works by ranking one page of a website but when someone clicks on the search results, they are redirected to a different page within the website. Redirects are used when the content is the destination page is poor quality, spammy, or relates to subject matter that Google would not usually rank highly.