What is Black Hat?

Black hat is a term often used to describe a villain or someone with malicious intent.  In the world of computers it is often seen in accompaniment of hacking, or in this case, search engine optimization (SEO).   There are various reasons why someone would resort to black hat methods, but for long lasting results with your website  – it is best to be avoided.

Black hat SEO can be described as aggressive SEO techniques that care more about catering to search engines than giving a satisfied user experience.  Black hat techniques are often used by those looking to make a quick profit from their website rather than focus on long term goals.  This is typically true because websites exhibiting characteristics of black hat techniques are often banned from search engines or put on a black list, so there is no benefit in using black hat techniques if you wish to have a long term profit plan.

Types of Black Hat SEO

There are many different types of Black Hat SEO practices that are used.  Examples include:

  • Filling pages repeatedly with keywords. This is actually an old practice from the days when SEO first began to be developed.  It is now however, considered to be a poor practice.
  • The use of Automated Content. Automated Content can be useful but it is easy to flood your site with it. Most search engines are designed to detect automated content over time and tag it as such.
  • The use of Doorway Pages, which are pages filled with content that when clicked will instantaneously redirect the user to a different page.
  • Targeting a competitor is one of the most underhanded forms of Black Hat SEO. Targeting a competitor can involve having people write negative reviews about them, submitting their website to spam sites for bad backlinks, hacking them and filling their site with spam content, and finally reporting them for spam usage.

Any of the above techniques could easily have your website blacklisted by search engines, thus cutting off your business from the rest of the online world.

How to Avoid Using Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO and How To Avoid It2Avoiding Black Hat SEO is actually relatively easy.  All you have to do is be mindful of what you are doing and follow some basic best practices of SEO.

  • Make sure all of the content on your website is unique and relevant to your business.
  • Do scans of your website to check for spam.
  • Use a third party resource to check for bad backlinks.

Reporting Black Hat SEO

If you find that your website has been attacked by a hack or a virus you will want to go into the backend of your website and remove the malicious code.  If you are inexperienced and you can neither access your backend nor know what you are looking for, you may wish to find a third party resource that can help you remove the malicious code.

Once the code is removed you can request a malware review from Google.

If your website is the target of a negative SEO campaign and receives many spam links you can use Webmaster Tools to report the spam links and Google will no longer associate your website with them.

If you come across a webpage that seems to be ranking unusually high for a particular keyword you can investigate the website and then submit a Webspam Report.  Webspam is a term that refers to pages that use Black Hat techniques to try and trick Google into giving them a higher rank.  Submitting a webspam report is not something to be done without thought.  It is a serious accusation and should be treated as such.

Follow all of these best practices to ensure you avoid Black Hat SEO, and so that your website SEO practices are successful long term. When you work with the digital team at Today’s Business, you can rest assured that only the best SEO practices are utilized.

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