What are the Dangers of Black Hat SEO Techniques?

Learn about the dangers of black hat SEO techniques and why you should avoid them. Find out what black hat tactics are heavily penalized by Google and how they can harm your optimization efforts.

What are the Dangers of Black Hat SEO Techniques?

Black hat SEO is a practice that goes against search engine guidelines, used to make a site rank higher. These unethical tactics don't work for the search engine and often end up in a penalty by search engines. The most common examples of black hat SEO strategies include the use of invisible text, entry pages, keyword padding, page swapping, or adding unrelated keywords to a page. Each of these techniques is defined below, with information on how they can be harmful to any business website. Buying backlinks is considered a black hat SEO technique because you're effectively buying credibility and authority.

Google can also penalize you for hiding content on your pages or manipulating structured data to improve your ranking. 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. Black Hat's SEO practices include keyword stuffing, link schemes, and article spinning. Camouflage is a tactic that consists of offering different content or URLs to users and search engines, essentially providing a different experience in each of them. With this configuration, users who consult a particular search query can see several similar pages in the results.

This means that someone who practices black hat SEO could use redirects solely for the purpose of manipulating search results. Rich snippets are search results that contain additional information, such as product reviews and prices. Whether it's an old page you're updating to a new URL, or getting ready to migrate a site, using redirects is a common part of SEO. They expect search engines to not realize that they control a network of websites and rank their main website much higher in search results. However, using covert and shady methods (known as black hat SEO tactics) to improve your ranking can result in penalties from search engines. Black hat techniques include keyword stuffing, concealment, and the use of private link networks. They used to be much more frequent in the 90s and early 2000s, especially among the fan pages of different television shows, movies, musicians, etc. While you might see short-term gains with black hat SEO, over time, search engines will detect your black hat shapes that harm your search presence.

Therefore, whenever possible, we recommend using white hat SEO techniques instead and getting your positions in the SERPs the right way. The term “black hat” originated in Western movies to distinguish “bad guys” from “good guys”, who wore white hats (see White Hat SEO). Black-hat SEO professionals know the rules of search engine optimization and use that understanding to take shortcuts that aren't exactly set out in Google's best practices.