In the world of SEO, since it’s very inception, here have been people who’ve tried to beat the system via deception and other underhanded tactics. The common term for this is called ‘Black Hat’, and the practices are still being done today, but with severe penalties.
There are several tactics used to do Black Hat, but the oldest and most prevalent are the foundation of these practices. Even when these tactics are discovered and countermeasures implemented by the search engines, some webmasters still use them or discover new ways to do damage.
It’s totally foolish to think one can fool Google with these tactics but it doesn’t stop some unscrupulous webmasters and marketers from trying. We need to look at some of these basic tactics so you’ll know what to stay away from.
First is the oldest and most popular Black Hat tactic: keyword stuffing. This is the process by which a word or words pertaining to a subject are added to a website in such volume that search engines couldn’t help but notice them. It’s like having a website about fishing lures and adding the words ‘fishing lures’ at multiple parts of the website in excessive numbers. Once the hallmark of Black Hat SEO, anyone trying it today will get slammed and penalized by Google so bad they may never recover.
Paid links are another tactic that is classic Black Hat. One pays other websites to link to their site so as to make their site look important and desired. Usually picking a website with authority and popularity is best, but usually websites that have these attributes never allow to be paid for links. Google can easily see this with their software and people using this tactic get clobbered by Google. Businesses who hire SEO pros don’t realize that they are using Black Hat techniques like this and end up having their business website beaten into the ground with little or no hope of remedy.
Cheap writing with SEO emphasis. This tactic is getting destroyed by Google. Google News Sites are all the rage. People make a website and get it accepted by Google as a site that Google will link to for news content. Most people making these sites that are peppered with ads like Google Adwords are only created for making money, not providing useful content. Black Hat marketers hire a decent number of qualified writers until the sites show upward statistics and then they sell them like cookie cutter websites and the new owners hire cheap writers who cram copy with keywords. Bad copy shows. Deceptive copy shows thanks to Google’s new software RankBrain. When detected, Google slams down on the site and the site loses revenue and the new owners go after the people who sold them the site and all heck breaks loose. Hire competent writers and don’t try to fool Google. It won’t help.
Redirects are one of the most sinister of tactics. Surfers arrive at a website and are redirected to another website designed only to trap the surfer or push a product. Once a surfer ends up at a redirected site, anything horrible can happen. Google will drop a nuclear bomb on a website found to use redirects. People who hire SEO companies that are unscrupulous that use Black Hat techniques and then, as mentioned earlier, end up suffering reputation and revenue that takes a miracle to correct.
So the bottom line here is honesty is the best policy. Don’t ever forget that regarding SEO.