A top search engine ranking often means healthy traffic level to your website. This is why many companies invest substantially in search engine marketing. As the battle for top rankings in search engine results intensifies, some have resorted to Black Hat SEO tactics.
Google has caught up with many devious tactics that marketers adopt to climb the search rankings. It has updated its algorithms to identify these tricks and penalize the culprits by reducing their search engine ranking or expelling them.
Losing visibility on Google means lower traffic, which leads to lower conversions and decline of your business. Marketers and digital marketing agencies who are unaware of Google rules often commit these crimes leading to worse search engine rankings.
Jack Miller, the Semalt Senior Customer Success Manager, advises you to avoid the following black hat SEO tactics:
Content Spinning Keyword stuffing Cloaking Comment spam
Some programs rewrite articles using synonyms and different terminology; this is spinning. These programs use a thesaurus to allocate synonyms and alternative words to make the pieces look different.
Google has found a way to identify spun articles. To the untrained eye, the articles can seem unique, but they are often unnatural for human readers. Watch out for online marketers who claim they can raise your search engine ranks for little and produce numerous articles. Some of them use article spinners.
Google used to rank pages based on the number of times keywords appeared there. Soon marketers were stuffing keywords all over their content with little regard for the readers. So Google updated its algorithms to consider other factors like human readability and the information value of the content.
Today, a keyword density of between 5 to 10% can make Google penalize your content with lower search rankings. Keywords can increase rankings, but Google tries to understand more about what the page or content is about so the keywords should fit in the content naturally.
In a bid to get backlinks, some marketers resort to commenting on authority blogs and websites. Since links contribute to the search ranking of your site, this looks like a great strategy. Links from authority websites and blogs carry a lot of weight in improving search rankings.
One tactic that search engine marketers have mastered is posting comments with links to other websites in the comments sections. The site you're commenting can notice the link and report it as spam to Google. This is bad for rankings.
This is when content is disguised. Search engine spiders will see that the content is about a topic like astrology. When users search for astrology, they find the content among the results for astrology only to realize it is content about the latest Star Wars movie.
Shady marketers achieve this by giving search engine spiders different content from human readers. This draws severe penalties from search engines if found out.
Black hat SEO tactics thrive because they offer something of a shortcut to high search engine rankings, but they are increasingly risky and totally not worth trying. Use white hat SEO tactics, which require more effort and time, but the fruits are sweet high search rankings minus the threat of penalties.