Most people who are into writing or reading blogs at least have a fair idea about the Search Engine Optimization or plainly SEO. The basics of SEO are already covered previously where the techniques of uplifting one’s website are explained in brief. Those who are serious about their business know that there are no shortcuts. The positive approach eventually leads to bringing significant traffic towards his/her website, if dedicated efforts are put.
But there are also those who simply want to bluff the internet users through giving false links, making the users believe that they are going to get the authentic web page but they get nothing in return. Collectively, we call it Black Hat SEO spam. Spam is also created to mislead the search engine algorithm in order to rank higher. Nowadays, most search engine bots are smart enough to tackle this. So, even though someone misleads it for a while, the overall negative impact would definitely be huge and lasting. This means that you might write a large number of irrelevant keywords for your website, link to lots of unnecessary web pages that have no connection with the source website, it won’t take much time in recognizing you as the culprit. Once the website goes into Search Engine’s Spam folder, there is no returning back.
Following (Black Hat) SEO techniques are usually done by the spammers, or by those who have a very little to absolutely no knowledge of the Search Engine Optimization:
1. Spam comments – Have you ever witnessed irrelevant comments containing useless links on a web page, or on someone’s (or your own) personal blog? For instance, your site contains methods to combat weight gain, and somebody commented about ‘best perfumes’ using a number of links. Many times, even the links don’t redirect anywhere, making it a complete waste of time. Moreover, the users who tend to visit your site won’t have a positive impact on their mind about you, post visiting, thereby compromising your reputation as well.
It is quite a common method being done either manually (being entirely anonymous) or through a bot. If someone is concerned about his/her site’s reputation they must never allow automatic comments. There is an option of modifying the comments which could then be posted if there is relevance, else deleted.
2. Duplicate contents – There are people who would not write their own contents but copy and paste from another website’s unique contents, the site which already ranks higher in terms of the SEO. Google does not spare these kinds of sites and soon denies its permission for the access. One could say that it is one of the worst techniques that finally leads to SEO spam.
Instead of wasting your time to bluff the search engine bots, why not consume your preference in a productive manner? The positive approach will never be going to harm your business in any way, and your efforts would result in mind-blowing outcomes, sooner or later.
3. Cloaking – It refers to mismatched contents if we compare those contents shown to the search engine and that of end users. This means that you kept your real contents hidden from the end users, but in front of the search engines.
For instance, your advertisement, or any other link on the text or an image gives an impact that you are going to write information about “toys for kids to play”, but instead redirect the users to adult contents. This was known to the search engine, but not to your end users. The Google bot or any other bots can easily recognize this and can quickly mark your site as spam.
4. Keyword Stuffing – Keyword stuffing refers to unnecessarily writing the target keywords for more than a specific number of times. This is quite suffocating for the readers as well because it becomes meaningless after doing so. Observe the below statements:
Food Panda is the best restaurant in the world. In the list of the best restaurants in the NYC, Food Panda is on the top. Food Panda, the world’s best restaurant, offers both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, and beverages. Food Panda also has an organized work flow which keeps track of everything.
Food Panda has a chain of seven restaurants, one of which is located in NYC. We offer a wide range of vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food, and beverages. We have an organized work flow that keeps track of everything, starting from the staff members, to the customers placing and taking away the orders.
Which one do you think best suits the (Food Panda, the dummy restaurant in this context) site as its relevant contents?
Some people do the keyword stuffing because they hold no knowledge about how SEO works. It no longer works in higher Google rankings that it used to previously, whether you are a genuine site owner or a spammer. Avoid this practice at all costs and you will be thankful to yourself later!
5. Links that again redirect back – Links that redirect to another page and that another page links back to the previous source page are usually not considered a good practice in the field of Search Engine Optimization, especially if overdone. Hyperlinks better work in your favor if you link to some of the relevant pages, OR your own site gets a redirection from another web page(s). The redirected site may also contain hyperlinks to some other necessary sites, and so on. This helps Google know that your website has a significance, and should be given weightage.
6. Article Spinning – It is similar to duplicate contents, but a whole new level of bluffing. This means instead of writing “ABC Painting has a beautiful shop”, one might also write “ABC Painting has the beautiful shop”, “ABC Painting has a marvelous shop”. This gives an impression that the contents are not directly copied, but twisted into another way so that these could be considered as unique. You must always elaborate your statements, so as to give them the uniqueness.
7. Invisible Text – Suppose a web page has a light pink background and it contains contents somewhere between 300 to 400 words. It is possible that it contains much more words than an end user could see. This means that if the color of a few texts (keywords) is exactly the same as the background of the site, then it wouldn’t be visible to those who visit it for information, but to the search engines. We call it invisible text, and it could be achieved using the background coding where the exact color code is mentioned. It is a BIG no-no!
8. Paid SEO – It’s not uncommon that we see advertisements like “1000 links in less than $10”, or “Automated social bookmarking!”. These are in no way boosting your website to rank higher, but rather lower it even more. So, never rely on paid SEO. There are firms that would handle your search engine optimization, but these dedicatedly and organically bring the network traffic in an ethical way.
Most site owners do the optimization by always keeping the search engine algorithm in mind. Your first priority must be to keep your visitors in mind who are going to read your contents. This means that the contents must be unique, grammatically correct, and spell checked. It should not be too lengthy, else it would bore your visitors and there would be higher bounce rates than you have imagined. It should also not be too briefly explained that most information sounds missing. If the contents are outstanding, there would be more visitors, and it will add a huge plus to the search engines as well, and hence the better ranking eventually. The better ranking would again bring even more visitors!
There are people who add irrelevant keywords to their sites, whether those are just plain web pages full of text or a YouTube channel. I have come across the YouTube’s official website where users ought to follow the video SEO. But most of the newbies do not have a single idea about the search engines. They, therefore, add irrelevant keywords in their channel and unintentionally degrade themselves.
For instance, you have a channel that provides knowledge about the politics and you tried your best to be seen on the first page but it didn’t, despite following the ethical SEO norms. You later added 50 more keywords that have no connection with your channel, such as Discovery, Religion, Babies, Birds, etc. It will significantly lower your ranking. Whether it is about the general SEO for a website, or for launching a video, the key principles remain the same.
The above points are usually considered as Black Hat SEO techniques, because the spammers intend to bluff the search engines in order to rank higher, without actually dedicating time for the real and ethical SEO. Educate yourself and spread the word through sharing so that everyone gets familiar. Do let us know if you find that something is still missing and write those points in the comment section. We will get back to a different topic on the same subject some other time.