What is Black Hat SEO and How to Avoid It

Black hat SEO techniques can be tempting because they promise quick results but they come with serious consequences if you get caught by search engines. Learn what these techniques are & how you can avoid them.

What is Black Hat SEO and How to Avoid It

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. Search engines, such as Google or Bing, make it very clear what types of practices go against their terms. They are also very clear about the possible outcomes if their guidelines are violated.

Using black hat SEO tactics can lead to your website being penalized (either algorithmically or with manual action), which means lower positions and, most likely, a decrease in organic traffic. Duplicate content refers to the well-known 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 one of the worst black hat techniques. 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. 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. Cover-up is another black hat SEO 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. Blocking your articles with as many keywords as possible is no longer an effective strategy for ranking. WordPress and content management system (CMS) plugins, such as Yoast SEO and All in One SEO, can help detect excess keywords before submitting an article. Generally, 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 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. Many marketers used black hat SEO to rank their websites higher. However, with advances in Google's algorithms, the landscape has changed significantly. Search engines have refined and advanced their evaluation factors to a level where unethical black hat SEO techniques can do more harm than good to websites. A private blog network (PBN) is a group of authority websites that are used primarily for link building purposes. PBN sites link to the main website using low-quality links with the intention of influencing the search engine.

Each of these PBN sites links to the main site without linking to each other.

How To Avoid Black Hat SEO Techniques

The best way to avoid black hat SEO techniques is by following search engine guidelines closely. This means creating unique content that provides value for readers instead of trying to manipulate algorithms with keyword stuffing or duplicate content. It's also important to use WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack when creating content so you can detect any excess keywords before submitting an article.


Black hat SEO techniques can be tempting because they promise quick results but they come with serious consequences if you get caught by search engines. It's important to understand what these techniques are so you can avoid them at all costs.