These are tactics that could get your website penalised or banned by search engines.
Once you’ve created a list of keywords that you know your (potential) clients are searching for, it can be tempting to add those keywords as often as possible. After all, the more you add them, the higher your ranking on Google, and the easier it will be for your clients to find you, right?
Invisible/hidden text is any text that search engines can view, but readers can’t. Usually, black hat SEO uses hidden text to incorporate extra or irrelevant keywords to boost the page’s rankings across more search terms. There are a few different methods of incorporating hidden text that are against search engine guidelines. If you were to set the font size to zero, make the text white on a white background, use CSS to make the text appear off-screen, or hide a link by only attaching it to a single character (e.g., a period), those would all be black hat examples of hidden text.
Link Buying or Exchange
Google looks at inbound links as a method of ranking your page – the more people that link to your page, the more relevant your content presumably is. But these inbound links must be natural. Links to your web pages are available for purchase, but one of the things that search engines take into consideration is the context of those links. If the source of the links is irrelevant to your site, that could have a negative impact on your SEO, so link buying is not a good SEO strategy.
Social Networking Spam
Posting links to social media isn’t a black hat tactic; at LifeLearn, we do it all the time! But constantly sending people links in social media comments or messages without including any sort of relevant information is. Essentially, if you’re spamming people on social media with links to your web pages, you’re also wearing a black hat, and search engines will penalize you for it.
With this strategy, your web pages are coded to show one set of keyword-rich content to search engine crawlers and a different set of more readable content to users. This strategy is more reader-friendly than keyword stuffing, but it fails to pass search engine guidelines, which dictate that you should only create content specifically for humans, not specifically for search engines.
Updating or adding new content to your website on a regular basis is a good SEO practice. However, article spinning is a technique designed to get around having to produce fresh content. Article spinning uses software to take a single article and rewrite it into several different new articles. The new articles are often terribly written and don’t provide any new information to readers. Black hat SEO professionals upload these articles to new pages on the website on a regular basis, trying to create the illusion of fresh content.
Doorway pages are keyword-rich, content-poor pages designed to trick search engines. They contain tons of keywords, but no real information, focusing instead on call-to-action and links that send the users through to a landing page. These pages aren’t intended to provide any value to readers, and they are often frustrating to encounter.
It can be tempting to add in keywords you know people will be searching for, even if it’s unrelated to your business (e.g., Dwight Schrute is a big fan of grooming services like ours). While such tactics might help your page gain traction under new search terms, it’s ultimately not a good move for your business or your SEO.