If you ever had to deal with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and already know a thing or two about the subject, you know it is a continuous process that requires a lot of attention and rarely shows results until weeks, or even months later. If you haven´t heard of SEO or need to quickly refresh your memory, check out our previous article.
However, don´t be tempted to hasten the natural process of your site gaining trust with search engines.
Techniques that seek to bypass or eliminate this process altogether are nicknamed “Black Hat” and every responsible website administrator will avoid them. Why?
Because the inevitable penalties are far more severe than the short-term benefits. Failure to comply with the guidelines, and continued use of Black Hat SEO can get your site removed from search engine indexers! That is why the use of black hat techniques has been narrowed down mostly to cybercriminals seeking to promote their fake sites, according to Forcepoint. Let´s take a look at the three most common Black Hat techniques found on the internet.
Keywords are the cornerstone of communication between you and search engines. By assigning keywords to each page of your website, you can clearly explain what topics/products it contains. Keyword stuffing is an act of overusing these keywords anywhere on the page, so they appear more relevant for the given topic. You can also find fraudulent websites that use names of physical locations close to where their business operates. This is also one of very few tactics that people may commit without explicitly intending to use it for an unfair advantage. Mostly, though, any SEO optimization tool such as MOZ or SEMrush will warn you about overusing content.
A different approach aiming for the same result is publishing thin content. Content can be defined as thin if it does not convey any new relevant information to the user. Don’t get anxious, though; search engines have gotten much better at recognizing original content and will not penalize you for writing about popular topics.
A major reason some websites are under a threat of being flagged as having thin content is due to reusing materials found on the internet, so be careful not to make the same mistake! If you find yourself lacking on a certain topic, there is nothing wrong with leveraging someone else´s expertise, but always properly reference your sources and make sure you are not just putting a new coat on someone else´s original work.
The backbone of classic Black Hat SEO tactics, “backlinking” is a natural process that occurs when a website mentions another website. The usual reasons for doing so is referencing, recommendations, or simply having similar interests or products. When someone mentions your content online and links it, your website gains more credibility with search engines. The more famous the domain, the better, but the problem with backlinks is that quantity can overcome quality.
It does not matter how many times you link someone from your site; only incoming backlinks generate credibility. It was not long after we learned how domain authority is achieved until people started creating backlink farms – a series of websites owned by an individual or a group that exist for the sole purpose of increasing their own domain authority, and furthermore, selling the backlinks from these domains to people looking for a quick (albeit unethical) boost in their website visibility.
If you are a returning visitor of our blog, you may already know how to use keywords to your advantage. The objective of today´s article was to highlight that if you are not thorough when optimizing your site, and you´re willing to cut corners, you can easily set yourself up for failure in the long run. If you find these blogs helpful, stay tuned for our next piece: (topic here)! And as with the last post, I am including a few more links to tools that make SEO optimization easier!
When creating your content, you can use WhiteSpark to check how well your website fares and which pages are the most popular. You can also
use its integrated citation finder. Don´t be discouraged by the short mandatory sign-up process, it is worth trying out.
One of my personal favorites, this website gives you great insight into what people are looking for with your given query. Note, however, that there is a daily limit for searches made for non-premium users.
There is a fair chance you heard a mention of this site if you ever looked up content distribution and increasing traffic volume on your websites. The services provided range from free to premium (paid), but even the basic package is worth checking out.