Black Hat: The Dark Side of SEO

By NJ SEO (583 words)
Posted in Industry News on December 27, 2011

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Our JerseySEO articles discuss tips and strategies to make sure your business is practicing good SEO. All of our articles focus on natural strategies for helping your business rank higher on search engine result pages (SERP). But if you’re new to the world of SEO, then it’s important to understand that there are two types: White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO.

White Hat SEO refers to the ethical practices used in getting your website to rank higher. Some of these natural practices include back linking, creating keyword-rich content and optimizing your page’s titles and metadata. These are some (but not all) of the White Hat SEO strategies your website can benefit from in the long run. Then there’s Black Hat SEO.

Stay away from the dark side!The dark side of SEO

Black Hat SEO is something your website will want to stay away from if you’re serious about a healthy rank on top search engines. Black Hat SEO refers to the unethical strategies to get your website artificially ranked on search engines.  Why shouldn’t your business practice Black Hat SEO? Not only do search engines hate it, they have different algorithms that know when your website is using strategies that violate the terms of service.

Stay away from these Black Hat SEO strategies

There are long-term consequences in utilizing Black Hat SEO strategies, so make sure your business stays away from these unethical SEO practices:

  • Keyword Stuffing: Inserting as many of the same keywords/phrases as you can in your website in an attempt to rank higher on search engines. Not only will visitors be annoyed by the obvious repetition on your site, it increases the chances of being labeled a spam site by top search engines. (example of keyword stuffing: We have the best homemade chocolate chip cookies. Our homemade chocolate chip cookies are unlike the rest. If you want the best homemade chocolate chip cookies, then come to our store for the most delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies.)
  • Link farming: Link farming refers to the idea of creating many websites and linking them to each other in attempt to boost link popularity. Back linking is an acceptable SEO strategy, but your website should gain credible links from trusted sources and not by creating fake ones.
  • Cloaking: Cloaking is the process of showing search engine spiders one version of a website while displaying an entirely different one to human visitors. This also refers to hidden text, where websites make text the same color of the website’s background so human visitors won’t see it, but search engines will. Cloaking allows websites to rank higher on SERPs while not taking anything away from the human experience. Although this deception is a bad strategy in SEO, there are good practices for cloaking.
  • Doorway/Redirect pages: A doorway page is a page filled with spam keywords that quickly redirects visitors to the intended page. These pages, filled with a list of keywords and phrases, are created with the idea of deceiving search engines into ranking them higher.

These Black Hat SEO strategies are a sure way to get your website flagged by top search engines. Good SEO takes time, so don’t be fooled by the ‘quick fixes’ that the dark side of SEO claims to offer. 

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