Black Hat SEO is a tactic which includes using tactics that aren’t allowed by search engines terms of service and can cause them to give you a penalty if you get caught. SEO professionals who use this will risk facing the loss of all traffic from search engines and not getting ranked again for a long while.
Black Hat SEO tactics include:
- Automating your content creation
- Doorway pages or spamdexing sometimes called means creating a pages for specific search terms which redirect user to a specific page immediately
- Hidden text or links which search engines find but not the user
- Keyword stuffing is using a lot of specific keywords on your pages making it sound unnatural. It’s harder to get caught doing this in the smaller languages such as finnish or swedish
- Reporting a competitor for no reason to search engines
- Sneaky redirects this falls under spamdexing also
- Cloaking is presenting a different content to the user and search crawlers
- Link schemes and link manipulation selling of high value domains to get high authority domains inbound links to your site
- Guest posting networks is having a network of domains of specific domain and using links when guest posting from these to boost your own or clients search ranking
- Link farms, wheels or networks. Essentially the same thing as guest posting networks but you don’t guest post just get the links to your site
- Article spinning is using the same content but rewriting it in different terms without bringing any new value to the user
- Rich snippet markup spam is the tactic of creating irrelevant rich snippets to trick users and sometimes using fake information in them such as author photos or names
- Automated queries to google is using a software that sends queries to google with a specific keyword to get your content to rank higher
- Mirror sites with duplicate content to get your site to rank better. Sometimes the people who do this use potential DDoS attacks as the reason
- Malicious active content is getting different kind of adware or similar to your browser which behaves in a hidden way behind the users back (link clicks, additional tab opens, downloads, etc)
- Clickbait is content and headline use which doesn’t provide any real value is just aimed to get a person click because of the headline
I highly recommend you to steer clear or straight up fire the freelancer or agency doing this. The penalties can be quite sewere and take a long time to over from which ends up costing money in doing so and your search ads will also be more expensive.
White Hat SEO is the essentially playing by the rules where you don’t need to worry search engines, Google and Bing, to punish you by giving you a penalty. White hat tactics include such things as:
- Creating quality content which attracts links and social sharing
- Performance optimized website meaning fast load speeds for example
- Good user experience for visitors so it is easy to navigate keeping people longer on your website
- Site structure which is easily readable by crawlers
I recommend this as the only tactic. As you don’t need to fear penalties that can even end up costing all of your traffic from search engines.
Gray Hat SEO is mixing of tactics you might call unethical as will be banned by search engines terms and conditions sooner or later. It can get you some results right now but you might face the penalty suddenly when search engines change their terms. This would end up costing a lot of traffic for you.
Is to steer clear from black and grey hat SEO tactics as they will most likely get you penalized down the line and losing all or majority of you organic traffic can cost you serious money. Especially since majority of your sites traffic can come from search engines.
Some questions to help you identify wrongful SEO practices:
- How are you acquiring backlinks to my site? Ask for more detailed explanation.
- Do you have your own blogger network you are planning to use?
- Do you have extensive domain bank from which you see domains to direct to my site?
- How soon am I able to see results? This is a tricky question since freelancers or agencies can provide different kind of answers. This is what I can tell you about SEO: There are low-hangin fruits which improve your ranking but low-hanging doesn’t mean fast results. Search engine optimization takes time and its better to compare it to a marathon instead of a sprint. Like compared to paid advertising which provides you clicks practically immediately.
Have more questions or comments? Please leave them and I’ll get back to you! If you need help with digital marketing you can check services what I offer here.