SEO is a great tool to drive traffic to your site. It’s a one-time investment after which people start flowing to your website thus helping you drive sales. However, has this ever happened to you that you have tried many tactics that should be correct according to SEO and still not gained anything in rankings after months? Well, you might be using some bad SEO tactics or even some black hat SEO tricks.
These tactics consume your time and ultimately amount to nothing or may even result in you losing your spot in the rankings in most (if not all) cases. Thus it is strongly advisable not to use such SEO techniques. After going through this post, you will be able to identify which tactics you shouldn’t use and drive off any digital marketer who might be trying to use these with you.
This post will cover all the various black hat SEO techniques that you should avoid related to keywords, links ads and the entire content in general. Let’s dive deeper into these ineffective SEO tricks.
What Happens When You Use Black Hat SEO Tactics?
As discussed above, some tactics are frowned upon while others that violate the terms of usage are Black Hat SEO tactics. Using these can lead to some severe penalties. Let’s explore these penalties in detail.
Your website gets penalized
After a certain amount of usage of these tactics, Google and other search engines start to filter you out of the searches. This means that even if your content is better than everyone out there, you will not reach the top of the page just because you used these underhanded tricks.
The more you use them, the more the penalties increase. First, you get demoted, then your website slowly stops ranking for those specific keywords and more.
Your website may no longer appear in the search results
If the search engines find that you have still not learned your lesson after all the penalties, they straight up ban your website from the search engines. This means that no matter how hard you try you will not be able to find your site on Google.
You could still try and get others to visit your site through links. However, getting your website banned from the search engines means you cannot work on your SEO, and you won’t get any organic traffic.
Black Hat SEO Tactics Using Keywords
The whole basis of SEO is to ensure that your website comes as the top results for certain phrases or words, otherwise known as keywords. Inappropriate use of these words can often lead to penalties.
Unnecessarily adding keywords everywhere
This particular practice is known as keyword stuffing. As Google uses the keywords density of a post to check if the content is relevant to a user or not, some marketers have a terrible habit of unnecessarily adding keywords at areas where they don’t belong.
Unfortunately, Google is quite smart, and that is why it understands that you are trying to only optimize the article for Google and not trying to provide any real content for the user. Thus, it penalizes you for over-optimizing and reduces your ranking compared to other websites with similar content.
Focusing on multiple irrelevant keywords
Another mistake that people do to attract more traffic is that they rank for irrelevant keywords. Imagine that the article is about stylish cars, suddenly the writers try to rank the article for keywords like “fastest cars” or something of the sort.
Again, here Google understands that you are just trying to trick and not provide anything of value to its users and thus penalizes you further by dropping you in the rankings.
How Links Are Often Used Incorrectly
The field where most marketers intentionally or unintentionally go wrong is when it comes to links. Several black hat SEO techniques make use of links to try and trick the web crawlers into ranking them higher. Unfortunately, the search engines have evolved to spot these fakes and thus reduce their points.
Placing irrelevant links
The most common misleading tactic used is to put in irrelevant links in the content. Similar to using Irrelevant keywords, the link and the keyword will differ significantly.
Using a network of blogs
Another mistake made by larger marketers is to use blog networks to link back to their own money making website. This can be a good idea when done correctly, but when done incorrectly it can lead to penalties.
When Google notices that many sites are pointing to the same URL (which may or may not be a relevant link), it suspects that the target website is part of this network of sites which are trying to help this one site rank higher.
Again, this technique is frowned upon, and thus Google is forced to take measures against your ranking.
Linking to penalized websites
Remember how your mother used to ask you not to hang around with a bad crowd? It is the same for these websites. If you try and link to the penalized website, then by association our website is also following some dubious techniques to get higher rankings. This then leads to a loss in rankings for your site.
Unfortunately, it hard to identify which websites have been penalized and which have not. This is where professionals come in as they have the tools to find this out.
Using misleading anchor text for links
Anchor texts are the words that are used for the link – essentially the phrase you click on to go to a link. Google monitors these anchor texts quite carefully and if used correctly can be a powerful tool to improve your search ranking.
Unfortunately, some poor marketers try and trick the users by using different anchor texts to lead them to an entirely different site. Imagine clicking on a link that suggests you can learn new business strategies, but then clicking on it and then going to a dating website.
Adding too many outgoing links
Inbound links from shady websites can damage the rankings of your site, but so can outgoing links. Remember not to overpopulate your content with outgoing links. More importantly, remember to use the “nofollow” tags for your links. This lets the search engine know that your link shouldn’t affect the target site’s status.
If the search engine spots multiple outgoing links from your site – too many to be realistic – and none of them with “nofollow” tags, then it suspects your website as a link farm or paid directory. This results in penalty once again.
Cloaking your links
Cloaked links are similar to closed text. The link would appear like something else to the user and differently to the web crawler. It may also be well blended with the surrounding or images. You might have sometimes seen when you go to the site and accidentally click on “nowhere” a link opens up.
These are the cloaked links that will get your website into trouble if you start using them.
How Advertisements Can Actually Kill Your SEO Efforts
Advertisements are the best way for websites to start earning money. Unfortunately, many sites get greedy and misuse these websites and in the process end up damaging their SEO ranking. Here are a few common mistakes made by marketers trying to maximize profits.
Using too many ads
While Google doesn’t mind if the website has advertisements or not, in fact, it supports it with the Google Adwords feature. They have strict policies on how you can use the advertisements. One of these policies includes not to use too many ads on the same web page.
If you are using Google Adwords, you might lose access to the service while on the other hand if you are using some other service, you might lose some ranking positions.
Covering your text with ads
Often you must have seen that there are ads over the content of the website. This blocks your view and makes it harder for you to access the content. Again, Google has strict policies against this and thus doesn’t allow users to do so without incurring a penalty and confiscating their use of Google Adwords.
You must be wondering how some of the top websites still have an advert overlapping the content when you first land on these websites. Simply put, these adverts can be removed easily by closing them. Google applies these strict policies to ads that you cannot remove in the same way.
Black Hat Tactics Using Content As a Whole
When talking about content, there are a lot of dubious methods that you can use to try and rank higher in the search engine rankings. While some of them are rather easy to do, others might require the help of a software engineer.
Copying someone else’s content
The most common mistake performed by amateurs to rank better is to directly take content from the top ranking pages and using it without crediting them. This causes two problems. The first one is that Google realizes your content is plagiarised and gives it a penalty of a few rankings.
The second problem that arises with this is that you might face legal action from the site you copied it from, especially if you are trying to use their content for making a profit.
Always remember, if you ever take any content – blog posts, data, images, or even videos, don’t forget to credit the source. While it may not improve your search rankings too much, you should at least be safe from any legal problems.
Using cloaked words and keywords
Sometimes some smart marketers use the software developers use text that appears one way to the user and another way to the web crawler (used by search engines to index websites). So, for example, the user might read something like “Fresh Seafood,” but the crawler reads “Buy Fish Bait” or something along the lines of a different keyword since it has been written in the website’s code that way.
This technique is used to target multiple keywords for the same piece of content. In some cases, the text might appear to be something else while in other cases it might be cleverly blended with the background.
Google easily recognizes this black hat SEO technique and penalizes the whole website for it.
Slowing down the website
Though this is not something that a marketer would do intentionally, this happens as a result of trying to optimize their website using other techniques.
The most common reason for this would be to increase the amount of media on the page and make them all high-quality media. This makes the site take a long time to load.
Google takes into account the amount of time that a website requires to be loaded. Thus, if you have a slow site, you will lose a considerable amount of rankings.
Wrapping It Up
Performing SEO to improve the traffic flow to your website is a great practice. Unfortunately, it might take some time for the web crawler to take notice of your site and rank it accordingly. It might take even more time for you to set up the links correctly and promote your posts enough.
That is why the shortcuts of black hat SEO seems very appealing to get results quickly. However, you must remember that these results are temporary and will ultimately lead to a loss in rankings.
Don’t take unnecessary risks with your SEO when so much of your business depends on it for the long-term. Let us worry about setting up your site’s SEO the right way while you take care of tasks that only you can do for your business. Click here to schedule an appointment with us. Let’s talk and put together a marketing strategy that will take your business to the next level.