One of the main purposes of creating a website is to gain exposure, but what happens if your site can't be found by your target audience? Of course, that goes against your expectations and big thanks for web technologies, there are some great platforms, like Hostinger, who can help you to deal with your SEO but you should also know unacceptable SEO side in that case if you take all SEO to your hands.
Is there any way to make your site stand out more? Fortunately you can by harnessing the power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO is an inseparable aspect of site promotion. It makes your website rank higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). This is obviously a good thing since it will generate higher website traffic.
Indeed, SEO is a guaranteed way to get a bigger audience, but did you know that there is an unethical way to implement SEO? It is called Black Hat SEO.
If you are curious, let us dig a little deeper.
What is Black Hat SEO?
The forbidden way of implementing SEO is called Black Hat SEO. It is regarded as bad because the main purpose of this method is to get the site ranks higher in SERP by any means necessary. Even if it has to mislead users and manipulate the search engine, in other words, violating the terms of search engines.
Using a quick way to rank higher and get more traffic might sound compelling. But if you’re found practicing this unethical method of SEO, your site will be penalized by the search engine. Either by lowering your site’s rank or completely eliminating your site’s existence in SERP.
How Is It Done?
There are a number of techniques that black hat SEO practioners can use.
1. Keyword Stuffing
If you find content which includes abundant keywords in the same paragraph, then you just witnessed the practice of keyword stuffing. The core concept of this practice is to place the target keyword as many times as possible in their content piece. Therefore, it will manipulate the search engine into placing them to an undeserved spot in the SERP, even in unrelated queries.
This method will seriously harm the reputation of the site. Because the quality of content will be decreased, the user experience will be lowered in return, and most importantly, the site will lose its credibility.
Google has announced a rule that placing irrelevant keywords for the intent of keyword stuffing will severely harm a site’s ranking.
2. Hidden Text and Links
Sometimes the keyword and links will be hidden to make it inconspicuous. So, the keyword or the link was included secretly either by putting white text on white background, setting the font size as small as possible, or hiding a link in a small character, such as a comma or a point.
The impact of putting keywords and links is disrupting the relevance of SERP. That’s why Google determines that hidden text and links are a violation of guidelines.
Have you ever found something on the search engine, clicked on the link which promised to solve your problems, then be disappointed by the results? Then you are a victim to the practice of cloaking.
The premise of cloaking is to show two different results to the search engine and the user. It is intended to deceive the search engine in order to get a high rank on a specific keyword. Thus, showing the users irrelevant content. Try cloaking and you will get high traffic of disappointed visitors and a big penalty from Google to boot.
4. Link Farms
As the name implies, the purpose of this practice is to farm backlinks. It is usually done by creating a website and then putting links to a particular site. This method was created because one of the factors considered by the search engine to rank a site higher is by the number of backlinks it has on the site.
Another trick to do it is by creating a public blog network that will put a link which links to the same site. To avoid this, search engines like Google update their algorithms so it can detect link farms when they show up.
5. Scraped Content
This method can be described in one word – plagiarism. It is the act of blatantly duplicating content and then putting it in your own site to gain more traffic. While it may sound easy to do, it could cause bigger problems, such as copyright infringement, unsustainable visitors, and losing credibility.
The only way is to always create unique and original content consistently to gain more organic visitors to your site. Furthermore, you can build a great reputation if your own content can solve your visitors’ problems.
Is Black Hat SEO Still Popular in 2019?
Black hat SEO’s impact nowadays is not as bad as it was several years ago. Constant refinement by search engines to make the search results as relevant as possible and updated algorithms are working in reducing the effects of black hat SEO. For example, Google frequently refines its algorithm to ensure that the search results will put quality above quantity.
Therefore, high-ranked sites will serve the most relevant results. In order to determine quality, the algorithm uses several indicators, such as the informative aspect of the content, relevance, and the page speed of the site.
Not only that, even earlier this year, Google started persuading site owners to use ethical ways to elevate their site’s rank by using ethical or white hat SEO methods.
Even though there has been a lot of preventive actions, black hat SEO still can’t be underestimated. Since there could be new methods to deceive the current system. However, the refinements of algorithm and punishment such as banning guilty websites hopefully can alleviate the impact.
Having a site with high traffic might be pleasing, but never let your site fall from grace by using black hat SEO. Though it can give you instant traffic with relative ease, it will surely harm your site in the long term. Maybe even short-term if the search engine finds out sooner than later.
If you want to gain sustainable traffic with a great reputation, just focus on giving informative original content. Believe me, it will be worth the effort.