17 Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid

As an SEO expert, it's important to be aware of black hat techniques that can harm your optimization efforts. Here are 17 black hat practices you should avoid as they can give you an algorithmic or manual penalty.

17 Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid

Black hat SEO is a practice that goes against search engine guidelines, used to get a site to rank. These unethical tactics don't work for the search engine and often result in a penalty by search engines. As an SEO expert, it's important to be aware of the black hat techniques that can harm your optimization efforts. Here are 17 black hat practices you should avoid, as they can give you an algorithmic or manual penalty.

If you add footer links with commercial anchor text at scale to manipulate the results, it's likely that Google can identify them and penalize you for it. They used to be much more frequent in the 90s and early 2000s, particularly among the fan pages of different television shows, movies, musicians, etc. Duplicate content is one of the worst black hat techniques. As the name suggests, it refers to the practice of creating “copy and paste” content across domains, meaning that blocks of content copied from different sources match each other exactly or are very similar. Search engines prefer unique content, so purposefully duplicated content across different domains is perceived as a black hat technique.

When the same results are found in Google's listing, it's a clear sign of manipulating search engine rankings and usually results in a poor user experience. Duplicate content not only affects different domains, but also a domain. Article spinning is a technique similar to the problem of duplicate content (above) and is becoming increasingly popular. This is the next level of plagiarism and involves the use of special software that takes the copied source and reformulates it to later use it as a “new” and unique publication. The modification efficiently reduces the risk of being detected by any plagiarism tool. Camouflage is another black hat technique that presents the user with content or URL that is completely different from that of the search engine spider.

In fact, this SEO method is considered misleading because it tricks search engines to get the desired thing - rankings for target keywords. In addition, it violates Google's Webmaster Guidelines because, in most cases, it gives people irrelevant results. Keyword stuffing involves overusing the same keywords on a page to maximize its visibility and organic traffic. Content full of keywords doesn't look natural and is therefore not easy to use. The Unamo website optimization qualifier can detect the excess of keywords on your page and warn you about their consequences. Private blog networks (PBNs) used to be common for marketers looking for a quick supply of link capital to a new or underperforming web property.

PBNs are a community of high-authority websites created for the sole purpose of creating links and promoting sponsored content. These websites are often ridiculed as “link farms” because they are configured to exploit Google's PageRank algorithm. Google bombing is another black hat technique used to influence the ranking of a page by artificially increasing the number of links to it and the anchor texts used for this purpose. An SEO professional in a black hat will manipulate Google's algorithm “helping to position a page for a completely different keyword”. This is because it is the same anchor text that is used for pages that link to that particular page. Content concealment is another black hat tactic that should be avoided at all costs.

If the title or headline of your article has to do, for example, with how to add investments in gold or silver to your retirement savings account, don't trick them into having the content address an unrelated topic, such as stock market investment. Attacking the bait with your readers is called “content concealment” and can result in a serious penalty for your domain. It's important to remember that no one knows for sure what keyword density Google's PageRank algorithm favors the most, many SEO professionals suggest that between 1 and 2% of their article consists of the keyword they're trying to rank for. If you want your website to rank well without getting penalized by Google, make sure you avoid these 17 black hat SEO techniques.