Blackhat SEO: What Is It And Why Should It Be Avoided?

Blackhat SEO involves doing things that the search engines specifically tell you not to do in order to attain higher rankings. Blackhat SEO involves using certain techniques that the search engines frown upon in order to manipulate certain variables that are a factor in the search engine’s algorithm. Here are a few common techniques:

Cloaking

Cloaking involves showing one version of a page to a search engine and another version to a user. Cloaking would be utilized to show a version of a page that is completely optimized for certain terms, even though this page might not contain valuable content/ convert well for actual users. Google wants you to accurately represent the content of each page. This tactic is prohibited.

Keyword Stuffing

This involves plugging your target keyword into your content over and over in your content in order to manipulate keyword density. This can cause the content to not “read naturally.” Google wants you to create content for users, not robots, and thus this technique is frowned upon.

Link Exchange and Buying Programs

Links basically count as votes for your website. The more high quality votes you have, the higher your site will rank. Some people try to artificially manipulate the number of incoming links to make their website appear to be more important than it really is, which will increase its pagerank. This technique is forbidden.

Article Spinning

This technique uses software to create a bunch of different versions of an article to make it appear unique to search engine robots. It doesn’t create high quality content and therefore is a blackhat technique.

Why Not Use Blackhat Techniques?

Blackhat techniques can get your website ranked quickly and easily… and that’s why people use them. The downside is that unless you are extremely careful and really know what you’re doing, you are likely to get caught and tripped up by an algorithm update. This will cause your rankings to plummet. It’s typically better to use safe, long term techniques that won’t get you penalized. You will rest easier knowing that your rankings are unlikely to disappear overnight.