Black Hat SEO techniques that hurt your site

Do you know what Black Hat SEO is? In short, it is a set of prohibited practices that lead search engines to find relevant content on your ecommerce website, even if you do not have it. These practices can hurt you a lot, in extreme cases search engines can penalize your online store.

Patience brings roses. And in the case of search engine optimization, this is doubly true. However, some optimization magicians use black hat techniques to deceive search engines, better positions and move up faster. However, such circumvention usually has a short-term effect. And as soon as the site treated in this way shot up, it quickly snorts down. What “black” techniques to watch out for?

Cloaking

Cloaking is one of the oldest black hat practices we still encounter today. The point is that the web server works with two different versions of the page. One version is intended for users, the other for search engines. Therefore, the server displays the content of one page based on the visitor’s IP address. For example, if an IP matches a bot from Google (GoogleBot), it will display a page with the potential to get the best possible rank in search engines. However, this page is unusable for users, so it will show them a user-friendly version of the page. Don’t risk the search engines coming at you. There is a risk of penalty for cloaking.

Keyword Stuffing

It’s about wallpapering with keywords. These can be found in the meta tags, headings and body of the page to an unhealthy extent. The text on the page is often difficult to read and not usable. This “keyed” content looks unnatural, and search engines are affected by these changes. Therefore, when creating an e-shop, treat keywords meaningfully and process unique and high-quality descriptions of categories and products.

Hidden content

Also one of the oldest types of Black Hat SEO. Typically, at the bottom of a page, there is extensive text with keywords for that page in the same color as the background. So users don’t see the text, while search engines do. However, even this technique is forbidden, although we will not come across it so much.

Reference farms

Link farms are interconnected sites for the purpose of creating backlinks. These can be different sites belonging to, for example, one owner, which are connected in order to increase the ranking. There are also various SEO bars, exchange programs or other links from website A to B to C and then to website A. More or less no traffic flows through these links, and in addition to the fact that the link farm does not help you, there is also a risk of penalties.

Doorway page

The Doorway page aims to deceive search engines much like cloaking. In practice, this is a site created specifically for robots. The goal is to rank high in search engines. From such a page, it either redirects to another landing page or contains an unmistakable ad that encourages clicks. As with cloaking, in the case of a doorway site, it is possible to succeed in the short term and improve ranking. But this is another manipulative practice, which search engines penalize.

Comment spam

This technique must be done clearly and efficiently, otherwise it is no longer very effective, because search engines do not attach as much weight to the links in the comments as in the past. The ability to include the URL of your page in a comment is definitely obvious if your comment really helps to solve the problem. However, some abuse this possibility and the contributions are often irrelevant. Today, most blogs indicate no-links by default in comments. This means that search engines like Google do not follow the link. However, even nofollow links have their merits. They are somewhat desirable because they help create a natural link profile for your site. So even such links have their value.

Misuse of structured data

Structured data is now a common part of e-shops, restaurants and food blogs. While they don’t affect the ranking of the page itself, they can make a search result more attractive and increase your clickthrough rate. Some also abuse this otherwise beneficial function. This is done by providing data to search engines that should confuse them. For example, in Black Hat SEO, a creator rates their site with five stars on a fake review site and adds structured data to make their site stand out.

What to say in conclusion

There are countless such unfair practices. But what is the main message of this article? Don’t try to deceive search engines and mature their algorithms. In the short term, you may succeed, but in the long term, you sew a whip on yourself. If you let it go too far, there is a real risk of a penalty (and then it may be too late to fix something).

Approach the creation of pages honestly, whether it is a blog or e-shop. Keep the quality of the content at a high level, be active on social networks. Think of users, not robots. Work with the belief that there is no room for “black” techniques in marketing.

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