On the internet, there are solutions, tips, and techniques that allow you (supposedly) to position your website and your web pages in the first position on Google’s SERP in 100% of cases. Some of these techniques consist of exploiting the flaws of the indexing robots and the algorithms of search engines. But is this natural SEO strategy relevant in the long term? Here is the definition of Black Hat SEO, and also its guiding principles.
WHAT IS BLACK HAT SEO?
The Black Hat SEO is an SEO strategy (SEO) including optimization techniques for search engines aim to get better positioning without meeting the standards and recommendations of the search engines. We are talking about illegal or unethical optimization. The expression is opposed to the concept of White Hat SEO.
The objective is, therefore, to increase its visibility by better positioning by the “over-optimization” of a website: Black Hat SEO seeks to deceive indexing robots like Googlebot. Google’s policy – Google Guidelines – is violated. This is unfair competition for websites that respect this line of conduct. We can quote for example:
- Non-Google compliant content like duplicate content
- More difficult to read code
- A crawl of the robots and a disturbed functioning of the algorithm
Related: The Pros and Cons of PBN Sites
BLACK HAT SEO TECHNIQUES
There are many techniques of Black Hat SEO which aim to optimize a website for search engines by not respecting the rules dictated by Google in particular.
- Cloaking: technique allowing to display on the same page, content for search engines (over-optimized in keywords for example) or content for human Internet users (more pleasant to read). It is enough to identify the robot thanks to its signature User Agent
- Hidden text and link: hidden content for internet users is visible to robots who read HTML, CSS files (text on the same color background, text behind an image, font of 0, link on invisible characters, etc.)
- Keyword stuffing: Stuffing keywords without any specific requirement.
- Copied content and duplicate content: the content is copied from another website or the content comes from several sources without adding text or value, the content is sometimes generated automatically.
- Automated insertion of inconsistent links: spamming comments on blogs or forums with optimized anchors
- Misleading redirects through the use of satellite pages for example
- Purchase of dofollow links or exchange of excessive links
- Hack another website to use its reputation, its traffic
This list is not exhaustive: find all the instructions for Google Webmasters. Certain practices can be used in a White Hat SEO strategy.
THE CASE OF NEGATIVE SEO
If a Black Hat SEO strategy aims to increase a website on the SERP, it can also involve dislodging a competing site. For this, the malicious website SEO will drop the competitor’s position by making him lose his attractiveness in the eyes of Google; the techniques of Negative SEO are:
- Create duplicate content
- Make negative backlinks to the competitor’s site: toxic inbound links are penalized by Google
- Spam comments
- Fake reviews on Facebook, Google My Business…
HOW TO AVOID NEGATIVE SEO OF A BLACK HAT SEO?
Now that you know how dangerous a Black Hat can be for a site, let’s try to understand how to avoid the practices of a Black Hat SEO.
You must regularly check the state of health of your natural referencing and be attentive to your social networks. If this seems tedious, it is a mistake. It is advisable to use several effective tools and techniques to protect yourself from Negative SEO:
- Use Google Search Console: this tool helps you understand how Google navigates your website and the reference. You will find any errors and corrections to be made. It is in particular possible to fight against backlinks by disavowing it.
- Track your online reputation: negative customer reviews on Google My Business, Facebook, Twitter…
- Check your bounce rate
- Protect your website with HTTPS
HOW DO SEARCH ENGINES FIGHT AGAINST BLACK HAT SEO?
Black Hats SEO is causing an impoverishment of the internet. They will manipulate the results of search engines: the best websites or the most relevant sites are no longer in the top positions. This has a negative impact on user experience. Search engines are fighting against Black Hats SEO: thanks to algorithms like Google Penguin and Google Panda.
The use of black hat or prohibited techniques by Google is always very risky. Many renowned companies and brands have learned this the hard way. BMW, Ricoh or Interflora are on the very long list of structures that have temporarily or completely disappeared from the results of the search engine giant.
Indeed, Google sanctions are essentially of two kinds:
Loss of positioning
The site moves back several pages. Demotion results in total loss of visibility.
This is the most severe sanction since it is no more and no less than deleting the offending site from the results. A Google penalty that is sometimes never lifted. For a company, this can mean considerable economic fragility
BLACK HAT SEO OR WHITE HAT SEO?
- The Black Hat SEO works! It is difficult for SEO or webmaster to say otherwise. By implementing unethical SEO techniques, a website will progress rapidly on the first results of the SERP and therefore in visibility. That means more traffic! However, this fallaciously acquired position will not be sustainable. Search engines will no longer reference your website: your website will have no interest. Black Hats SEO must therefore create websites very regularly and even have sites in advance. This method is very risky, expensive and not very durable.
- The White Hat SEO is a digital strategy that brings results over the long term. Optimizing the SEO of a website takes time, but will also be more sustainable if we don’t follow Google’s recommendations. For this, it will be necessary to optimize each important criterion for Google: meta title tag, meta description tag, web writing – semantic optimization, content marketing, SMO, SEO tools, loading time…