What Is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO, in short, is the practice of undermining search engine guidelines in order to increase the rankings of a website.
These unethical methods may have a positive impact on the search engine results pages (SERPs) in the immediate after effect, however, once Google releases a new algorithm, the site is likely to be penalised, and will therefore see a significant decrease in rankings.

What Constitutes Black Hat?

There are a number of practices which are now considered black hat. Firstly, keyword stuffing. This is where copywriters have included the keyword into the text so much so that it no longer reads naturally, with the aim for Google to see the page as relevant for that specific keyword.
Hidden text is another method that Google crawlers are now picking up on. This is the method of hiding text behind images, or using text that cannot be seen on the background, such as white on white.
The recent MUM update has also seen the ability to use directories to gain backlinks abolished. Meaning if you have a number of irrelevant directories hiding in your backlinks, you’ll likely have seen a decline in your position. This follows on from the practice that signing up to a high number of directories (even irrelevant ones) as a form of link building was considered black hat SEO techniques.

Search Engine Algorithms

Search engines work by having algorithms that process a search query to deliver the most appropriate results to the user. Black hat practices look to push low quality or uninformative content to the forefront of the SERPs. However, each update removes the ability to do this, and penalises those sites that do.
With several updates a year, a site can be riding high on the back of certain practices for a while, before they significantly drop off with the next update.

Removing Black Hat SEO Tactics

In order to have a quality SEO campaign, avoid all forms of black hat SEO, and concentrate on quality changes, content and backlinks in order to win that important page one ranking on Google.
However, while quality SEO strategies moving forward will help improve the site to rank higher, there will also need to be work done to remove the Google penalties on existing content. This means that the site will need to be scoured for remaining black hat practices and these replaced with fresh, quality practices.

If you are considering refreshing your search engine optimisation our team of experts are on hand to offer an entirely white hat SEO solution. Not only will this help raise your authority score, but also reduce the impact of future algorithm updates. Get in touch today for more information.

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