17 Black Hat SEO Practices to Avoid

Black hat SEO is a practice that goes against search engine guidelines, used to get a site to have a higher ranking in the search engine results page (SERPs). These unethical tactics don't solve the search engine's purpose and often end up in a search engine penalty. Black hat techniques include keyword stuffing, cloaking, and using private link networks. Keyword stuffing is the practice of filling a web page with keywords or numbers so that the search engine thinks the page is relevant to the search.

Usually, these keywords are irrelevant to the actual site. Sometimes, these keywords are hidden from being seen by the user, but the search engine scans them. Keyword stuffing can lead to poor user experience and ultimately damage your site's ranking. Cloaking refers to the technique of showing different content to crawlers than what is shown to users.

One form of cloaking is to use several keywords, titles, and descriptions that are completely different from what your content is actually about. There is a high probability that if a search engine determines that the site is hiding something, it will be banned. Link farms are a group of websites that use hyperlinks to connect with each other in the pure interest of trying to increase their rankings. Ultimately, these links won't provide traffic to your site, but they are used to trick the search engine into seeing that the site links to many other sites.

This method could be used because, based on the number of links and their quality, search engines can calculate the popularity of your website, hence its position in the rankings on the search engine results page. Article spinning is a technique in which website owners publish a single version of relevant content on their site by rewriting existing articles and replacing parts to gain a slightly different perspective on the topic. The spinning of the article reduces the quality of the original item no matter how it is made. Turning items also limits where you can place your items in the future.

Black hat techniques are quite risky to practice because they are usually detected sooner or later. Consequently, a website may be banned or penalized. Being banned is rare because it means the definitive removal of a particular website from the SERPs. Penalty is a much more common consequence of practicing negative SEO and involves lowering the ranking of a website.Private blog networks (PBN) used to be commonplace for sellers looking for a quick supply of links to a new or underperforming web property.

PBNs are a community of high-authority websites created for the sole purpose of creating links and promoting sponsored content. These websites are often ridiculed as “link farms” because they are configured to exploit Google's PageRank algorithm.Jamming your articles with as many keywords as possible is no longer an effective strategy to rank. WordPress and Content Management System (CMS) plugins, such as Yoast SEO and All in One SEO, can help detect keyword stuffing before submitting an article. The last thing you want is to produce an article that reads unnaturally or as spam; this is a common reason why Google imparts PageRank penalties.While no one knows for sure what keyword density is most favored by Google's PageRank algorithm, many SEO professionals point to 1-2% of their article consisting of the keyword they're trying to rank for.

If the title or headline of your article has to do with, for example, how to add gold or silver investments to your retirement savings account, don't mislead them by having the content discuss an unrelated topic, such as investing in the stock market.Baiting and switching with your readers is called “content cloaking”, and it can make your domain suffer a severe penalty. Google strongly penalizes black hat tactics, whether done consciously or not.Here are 17 black hat practices you should avoid because they can give you an algorithmic or manual penalty:

  • If you've been adding footer links with commercial anchor text at scale to manipulate results, it's likely that Google can identify them and penalize you for it.
  • They used to be much more prevalent in the 90s and early 2000s, particularly among fan pages of different TV shows, movies, musicians, etc.
  • Buying links means paying another website to link to your website.
  • Keyword stuffing is the practice of repeating the same keywords (or similar phrases) in your content to manipulate rankings.
  • The antidote to keyword stuffing is comprehensive content.
  • Of course, Google thinks it's totally OK to have ads on your website, as long as they follow Ad Policies.
  • To avoid turning ads into a black hat technique, always distribute them throughout your page and never have too many.
  • If your users are overwhelmed by ads, Google is likely to bookmark your site.
  • Countless sites and blogs will charge SEO marketers money for placing content and links on their site.
  • These two reasons are enough to effectively manipulate search engine rankings; this SEO technique is classified as a serious black hat.
  • I think one of the things that people are always worried about is everything related to machine learning and that Google's algorithms will go as far as automatically understanding each website; no one will need SEO anymore.
  • When it comes to search marketing there are generally two ways of doing things; white hat SEO and black hat SEO.
  • Negative SEO is a clandestine technique for trying to sabotage the ranking of a competitor's website or web page.
  • White hat SEO is the name given for those marketers who stick with “rules” of online marketing using best practice methods and strategies.
  • If you're reading this you probably already believe in value of search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Black Hat SEO controlled Google's algorithms and used them give fake rankings sites.
That doesn't lead direct SEO benefits but people could share your content end up linking you,...


When it comes down it all comes down following best practices when optimizing website for search engines. Jamming articles with keywords no longer effective strategy rank; comprehensive content key success here. Buying links paying another website link yours also frowned upon by Google; same goes keyword stuffing repeating same keywords content manipulate rankings.

Lastly cloaking showing different content crawlers than what shown users also considered black hat technique should avoided all costs.

Roberta Claunch
Roberta Claunch

Hardcore internet fan. Avid internet fanatic. Freelance zombie fanatic. . Subtly charming music trailblazer. Devoted bacon fanatic.

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