What is Black Hat SEO?
In Search Engine Optimization terminology, Black Hat SEO refers to the use of aggressive search engine optimization techniques and tactics that usually only focus on search engines and not a human audience. Furthermore, Black Hat SEO usually does not obey Search engine guidelines. Essentially, Black Hat SEO is the practice of taking existing content on the web and spinning it into new content as opposed to creating new, fresh, content from research. The purpose of doing this is to trick the search engines, rather than creating content that is readable by humans.
Black Hat SEO Examples
- Keyword Stuffing – a technique used by web designers to overload a page with certain keywords, so search engines mistake the content on the page as relevant and rank it higher in web searches
- Invisible text – a technique used to overload keywords onto a webpage, so they’re deemed relevant by search engines and ranked higher. One way search engines determine relevancy is by the number of times a keyword appears, so by adding additional keywords in the code, search engines deem the page more relevant, but the visitor cannot even see the additional text.
- Doorway pages – meant to capture the attention of search engines by containing keywords and phrases that each search engine will pick up. Doorways typically redirect the user to a second page they didn’t intend to visit in the first place. It is similar to a bait-and-switch strategy.
- Unrelated content – Adding unrelated content, text, or keywords to the page.
Search engines often penalize websites that contain utilize Black Hat SEO and have too much content that is not actually relevant. In the industry, Black Hat SEO is considered poor etiquette and bad practice and can even lead to having your web page banned from search results.