Which Black Hat Techniques Should You Avoid This 2022?

With the arrival of new platforms and the increasing number of businesses in every industry, the competition to get the attention of the target audience has become fierce than before. It's the main reason why some businesses resort to black-hat techniques to improve the visibility of their website within a short time. A lot of you may be wondering why it is called black-hat, well, they are illegal plus they are more hazardous simultaneously. A legitimate business should keep black-hat techniques at bay as it could harm their website and reputation causing severe damage to the company.

In this post, we will talk about the six black-hat techniques and their legal SEO alternative that you can opt for in your digital marketing strategy.

  • Buying links

  • Keyword stuffing

  • Blog comment spam

  • Article spinning

  • Negative SEO

  • Rich snippets spam

Buying Links

Buying links describes the process of making payment to a particular website to link your business website. In such scenarios, the payment for the links could be in the form of goods, money or services. Given below are the reasons why purchasing links are considered bad on many levels.

  • One of the main reasons to avoid it is it's a complete violation of the Google Webmaster's regulations.

  • It can be the reason for the Google penalty. What Google does is penalize the website if you are caught buying or selling links.

  • Moreover, paid links are not cheap. They are expensive and can cost around $361.44 on average.

The Alternative Way

The best alternative to buying links is link outreach. It is the opportunity to create valuable links from off-site websites to link back to your business website. Link outreach is an integral part of search engine optimization and when not done correctly it can hamper the success of a marketing strategy.

Keyword Stuffing

When you put the same keywords repeatedly in a content body to manipulate rankings, it indicates keyword stuffing. Such techniques used to work years before, but it is considered bad for your SEO strategy now. In other words, keywords stuffing is a bad SEO practice that does not bring any results, rather, it harms your marketing strategy.

  • One of the main reasons why keyword stuffing does not make the content seem natural is it makes the writing sound robotic and absurd.

  • Keyword stuffing can also lead to a Google penalty. So it is advised to create content without forcing the same keyword repeatedly as it does not do any good.

The Alternative Way

The ideal substitute for keyword stuffing is writing all-inclusive content. One can achieve this in two ways.

  • It is important to start writing about a subject to cover maximum information related to it. The benefit of doing this is it automatically covers many long-tail keywords, terms and phrases which people use to talk about or search for information on this subject.

  • The second solution is to cover sub-topics which the searcher may want and assume to see.

These two factors contribute heavily to improving the ranks of a website. However, the Google algorithm checks for relevant phrases, terms and keywords in the content body.

Blog Comment Spam

Blog comment spam refers to irrelevant comments or questions on any blog that does not contribute to the discussion of the blog topic or compliments the blog post. Many marketers tend to do this to get a link back to their site.

However, such practices do not bore any fruit. Moreover, it creates an annoying experience on the blogger's end. In other words, such links are very unlikely to help in improving the rank of a page or website.

The Alternative Way

The perfect alternative is to provide quality information on the comment or ask highly relevant questions on high traffic posts to accomplish the goal of getting backlinks to your website. Nonetheless, it won’t provide a high amount of traffic but it's better than comments which are ignored or not followed.

In cases, when you make informative blog comments it may impress people to share your post or even end up linking to you. That is to say, it will provide indirect SEO benefits.

Article Spinning

Content spinning or article spinning refers to taking a piece of already published content and rewriting it to make several new pieces of content. One can say that content spinning is using thousands of re-written copies to make unique content to manipulate search engine rankings.

Article spinning is considered bad for search engine optimization because of the following reasons.

  • Mainly it fails to accomplish the goal of content, which is to engage the target audience to read the post. Spun content never sounds natural since they are filled with grammatical mistakes and words that are not relevant to the topic.

  • Since spun content is published by only low-quality sites, the links one gets hardly possess any SEO value.

The Alternative Way

The other effective and good way around is using perspective and research work to create various unique content. Sometimes writing several articles on the same information may feel uninteresting, but creating spun content never helps the cause. In such scenarios, it is wise to do as little as possible because when engagement is the target, one should not write with disinterest. After all, when the writer does not like writing the content, it's very unlikely that the reader will like it.

The ideal alternative ways are:

  • Insert new sentence that duplicates the meaning

  • Focus on changing the title and subheading

  • Find synonyms for words that can be changed

  • Swap clauses in a sentence

  • Re-order the lists

  • Re-order the paragraphs

  • Mix and match

Negative SEO

When you use malicious tactics in your website to tarnish the business reputation with Google to earn search engine ranking, it is called black hat SEO or negative SEO. It’s a bad practice because,

  • It is unprincipled, fraudulent, and in some cases illegal. Tactics like pointing low-quality links to a website with the aim of housing spammy, useless and unrelated links, putting negative reviews or running invisible scripts from the footer or header are examples of negative SEO.

  • Black hat SEO rarely works because Google identifies such tricks more easily now than it was before. Even if it works, it would be a short-time solution as a new page will soon come along and outrank the low-quality page.

The Alternative Way

Focus on creating content that is original, filled with information, and most importantly engaging because these are the main qualities to increase rank on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Even though it's easier said than done, there are some vital points to keep in mind when creating such content.

  • Matching search intent

  • Getting backlinks

A prospect always searches online with intent. If your page fails to match that intent, the visitor will move to some other site that satisfies with the accurate information. Make sure to identify the search intent of a keyword by evaluating the top-ranked pages based on the three C’s of search intent.

  • Content-type

  • Content format

  • Content angle

In the case of backlinks, you can never ignore their significance when you wish your site to rank for anything remotely competitive.

Rich Snippets Spam

When rich snippets and structured markup was launched by Google, many saw this as an opportunity to enhance the SEO results of websites and improve their dominance in the organic listings. However, it didn't take much time for spammers and scammers to create fake rich snippets and spam the search engine. When this began to happen regularly, Google found it essential to build a “report rich snippet spam” tool.

The reasons why rich snippet spam should be avoided at all costs are:

  • It will cause a Google penalty because you are violating structured data guidelines. It may receive lower organic ranks or pages can even get penalised once Google finds them containing “spammy structured data.”

  • It can make your site ineligible for rich snippets. The purpose of rich snippets is to increase clickthrough rates in the SERPs. Nonetheless, Google can find your page or website ineligible for rich results in Google search if you don’t comply with structured markup guidelines.

The Alternative Way

Even if you are thinking about doing it, be sure that it works rarely. However, one can include correct structured data on every page that follows Google’s structured data guidelines. According to Google, it helps them gain insight into the structure of the content.

In addition, complying with the guidelines improves chances to get incorporated in special search result features and enhancements.

Overall, black-hat SEO strategies are unrewarding, and hence, not worth the time and risk. Not only can it get your site penalized, but also damage your business reputation. With that in mind, one should aim at making the best use of white-hat alternatives, which has been discussed above. Although the white-hat tactics mentioned here take time and effort, the good news is they never get you penalized. Nevertheless, they deliver results that go a long way towards ensuring your SEO success.

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