SEO is a fierce digital battlefield. Getting lost in the noise of the crowded virtual space is easier than ever, which is why some resort to black hat tactics to topple their competitors from the top of the SERPs. This article intends to uncover the black hat practices that may seem lucrative at first glance, but are in fact risky and violate guidelines laid down by the search engines such as Google. It also aims to highlight the enriching benefits of their safe White Hat SEO alternatives.
As a skilled digital marketer, you should have adequate knowledge of both and climb your way to the top the right way.
Let’s dive into it.
Many SEO tactics can be used in the effort to attract the attention of search engine spiders and audiences and get a website ranked prominently. Some people like to play it safe and reach the finish line moving by the rules. However, there are various players out there who love taking risks and cut their road to success short in a rather unethical manner. This is how black hat SEO works.
White hat and black hat SEO tactics might be two ways of reaching the same goal, but they follow a completely different approach. White hat means “playing by the rules”, while black hat tactics are spammy, risky, and can result in penalties. So, why would anyone want to go “black hat” on their SEO? Because black hat tactics can still work.
They might eventually lead to a search engine penalty, but your indiscretions won’t be noticed immediately, meaning that it could provide a boost in ranking temporarily. However, the repercussions of using black-hat tactics are vast. So, instead of implementing these risky and unethical black hat tactics, avoid them in 2022 and spend some extra time implementing their white hat alternatives.
Black Hat SEO is a practice armed with tricks. The only difference is that, unlike a magician’s tricks that entertain a live audience, these SEO techniques include cheap and unethical tactics to fool search engines, although not for long.
Don’t risk it all for a blip of success. Avoid these risky black hat SEO tactics in 2022, if you want to see sustainable, long-term, and trustworthy results:
A lot of people resort to keyword stuffing to manipulate rankings. Back in the early days of SEO, it used to work. Today, the digital space is crowded and search engines needed to get smarter. So, keyword stuffing is now considered a black hat SEO technique that will do nothing but damage your reputation and rankings and kill your blog’s readership.
Google’s all about relevance and UX, so it’s no surprise that they cracked down on it. Using unrelated keywords or in this case – too many of them – is likely to result in them downgrading your content, while your users will find it virtually unreadable.
Article marketing has become an efficient way of building a huge number of backlinks. Article aka content spinners rarely use spun content (often with the help of ‘spinning software’) on their blogs. Instead, they use it to create “unique” guest posts to publish on multiple sites and build backlinks easily.
But, content spinning is a black hat SEO tactic that rarely results in engaging content, but rather in low-quality backlinks. If not avoided, it can seriously hurt your website’s search rankings and authority.
Leaving comments helps deepen your relationship with fellow bloggers, but content spamming damages your brand. Even if we ignore how annoying this is for the blogs on the receiving end, it’s not good for SEO because spam blog comments can kill your search rankings, since you’ll be giving access to the links that are irrelevant and comment links are almost always nofollowed.
Needless to say, getting inbound links from spammy comments won’t fool Google, and won’t help your search ranking, so it’s a mystery why people are still using this black hat tactic in 2022.
Buying links means paying another website to link to your website. Anything that is paid for, may it be a link, an image, a text, or an advertisement is risky. Every attempt to boost search engine ranking and backlinks artificially is considered a black hat SEO scheme and has a page of its own in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can lead to a Google penalty since it violates them.
Cloaking is a black hat technique that is used to show one thing to website visitors and another to search engine crawlers. This is a deceptive approach that aims to act as a disguise and leads to a different URL or content which provides irrelevant results in many different ways. Cloaking goes against Google’s regulations and rules of thumb. “Sneaky redirects” is what Google calls “situations where search engines see one thing and visitors see another”.
Stay away from them.
Contrary to black hat SEO, white hat SEO consists of actions that can improve your search rankings on SERP in the long term, while preserving the image and the reputation of your business. As a white hat, full-service SEO agency, we know how important it is to use tactics on the lighter spectrum.
Not only do they keep you in good standing with the search engines, but they’re also the only tactics that work consistently well over time and build trustworthiness among your readers. Don’t let the black hat tactics fool you into failure. In 2022, make sure you use these white hat alternatives instead:
The antidote to keyword stuffing? Clear, comprehensive content with naturally implemented keywords. You can write in-depth content that covers a topic meticulously and naturally includes most LSI, and long-tail keywords people use to discuss the topic. Try to cover subtopics that searchers might want or expect to see, as well. These tactics can help you rank higher because gone are the times when Google judged content solely based on how many times it mentioned the search query.
Create unique variations of a guest post from different perspectives. Is this more work than article spinning? Of course. But, it’s way less work than writing guest posts on entirely unrelated topics because you already did most of the research and hard work for the original post. Even better, changing the perspective helps you to get backlinks from a wider variety of websites.
Instead of spamming, write helpful blog comments on high-traffic posts. That doesn’t lead to direct SEO benefits since they’re still nofollowed. However, people are more likely to read a valuable and helpful comment and click through to your website or end up linking to you, so this white hat tactic can lead to indirect SEO benefits.
Instead of buying links, build a link campaign that is based on creating good, quality content that will be linked to naturally, because it provides value and can be used as a reference. Create a valuable resource, then reach out to the owner of a website you want a link from and give them a compelling reason to link to it.
Don’t waste your time populating your site with spam-filled untrusted black hat links Google hates. Invest your time in writing great content that “sells” itself, instead.
Ever noticed how the heroes of old movies always wore white, while the villains wore black? In SEO, as in film, those using “black hat” SEO tactics will pay for it in the end. Black hat tactics might give quick results if you’re lucky, but it’s more likely to have the opposite effect over time, tanking your rankings, reputation and getting you blacklisted from search results altogether.
They aren’t worth the risk. Besides, as the search engines get more sophisticated, the chances of them even working in the short term are very slim. If you want to be an SEO hero and protect your brand’s reputation, increase domain authority, rankings and get more traffic over time – you’ll need to stick to “white hat” SEO tactics Google approves of.
Not all heroes wear capes.
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