What is Black-Hat SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves the techniques and methods that people use to make their website more search engine friendly. The methods are mostly dictated by Google, and are given as guidelines. Google also has a set of rules, and if you break these rules, then your website will be penalized by the Google search engine.

Black-Hat SEO

This involves using techniques and methods that try to purposefully manipulate the search engines and make them rise up through the search engine results pages. Most of them have been identified by Google and set down as rules that you should not break. Here are some of them that you should avoid.

Keyword Stuffing

This involves forcing keywords onto your website, when they have no use, other than to manipulate the search engines. People have tried to keyword stuff in many ways. An old technique is to put keywords in the same color as the background color so that the reader cannot see them. Another crude method was to list keywords at the bottom of a page in very small writing. A more surreptitious method is to stuff keywords into the ALT text of images.

Spamming Links

This involves creating a link to your website, and then submitting it to the comment sections of hundreds of blogs and article sites. The link and anchor text appears on the comment section; it is crawled by the search engine, and then increases the search engine ranking of the website it is pointing to. Eventually, through a combination of factors, the search engines figure that you are spamming links and will penalize your website for it.

Content Duplication

If you take the content of another website and put it on your own, the search engines will punish you for it. Not only is it a breach of another person’s copyright, it also breaks the Google rules because they insist that all websites have their own content. If you wish to copy a part of another person’s website (such as a large quote), then you will need to follow strict Google guidelines in order to do so.

Content Spinning

This is still used a lot today because the search engines are not very good at detecting it. It is where an original article is altered so that it passes online plagiarism tests. The reason that this is a bad thing is because the quality level of all spun content is often terrible. The standard of the spun articles themselves are contrary to Google guidelines on quality. So, it is more likely to damage your websites SEO than it is to help. You would actually be better off if you deleted your pages with spun content on, although a more shrewd move would be to replace the spun content with good quality and unique content.

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