When you are looking into SEO, you will notice two general terms thrown around; black hat SEO, and white hat SEO. We want to look at the former here. Just what is black hat SEO?
We are going to assume that you already know what search engine optimization (SEO) is. We will also assume that you understand that the search engines, especially Google, have strict guidelines on what you can and can’t do in order to get your website ranked.
When you engage in black hat SEO, you are going against the search engine’s guidelines. Instead, you are effectively ‘tricking’ the search engines to rank you highly.
Black hat SEO tends to be incredibly fast. However, it is not viable for a business designed to last a long time on the web. Sooner or later, the search engines will realize that you are doing black hat SEO. This can lead to your site falling down in the rankings and, in the worst-case scenario, you could find that your site is completely banned from the searches.
On this page, we want to give you a bit more information on how black hat SEO works, and even a few ideas about when it may be ideal to use it.
The goal of the search engines is to provide value to those that carry out their searches on the system. They want their top results to always be relevant. After all, if a search engine is known for providing relevant search results, people will keep coming back and using the search engine. This earns the search engine money. You will constantly see Google and the like adjusting their ranking algorithm to help with this.
While they do not actively encourage it, the search engines know that webmasters will be working incredibly hard to get their websites ranked highly in the searches. This means that they use SEO. Because of this, the search engines have their own guidelines on what you can and can’t do when it comes to SEO.
The search engines encourage people to create quality, relevant content. This is the best way to get ranked on the first page and stay up there. They discourage people from using blackhat SEO techniques (e.g. extreme link spamming) to get ranked, as this effectively dupes the search ranking algorithm into thinking a site is more relevant than it actually is.
What is classed as black hat SEO changes frequently. As the search engines refine their algorithms, they will start to place less emphasis on certain tactics.
The following is completely banned. This is not an exhaustive list:
Yes. Black hat SEO is going to give you a short-term traffic boost. People love it. It makes money. However, it is not something that is going to last. You will get a quick boost, but eventually, you might drop. This may also result in you being completely banned from being listed in the search engines. Not ideal.
Black hat SEO can have its place. While it is not ideal for a long-term business, if the time period to make cash is pretty small (i.e. you are jumping on a craze), it can work. Although, we would still recommend that you avoid it wherever possible. It is far more hassle than it is worth.