Did you know that many SEO practices used by legitimate companies can be classed as unethical? Major organizations have been caught using these underhand tactics, and Google itself once even fell foul of its own list of what not to do. So how are you supposed to do SEO correctly?

These frowned-upon practices are black hat SEO. Read on as we give you our essential guide on what it is and how to avoid it. 

What Is Black Hat SEO?

Surprisingly, black hat SEO has nothing to do with heavy metal or its associated subcultures. It is a method in which steps are taken to rank a website higher on search engines. However, it uses tactics that are against engine guidelines and can be actively penalised. 

Why Should You Avoid Black Hat SEO?

If a search engine notices that you have been using black hat SEO tactics, then you will get issued a penalty. This can result in your website showing up much lower on search engine pages. In some cases, you may get banned from results altogether. 

Not only this, but black hat SEO techniques will tend to make your website look cheap and poor. Certain sections will add little value, and people will leave and go elsewhere. 

Black Hat SEO Techniques

There are several techniques used in black hat SEO for business. The practice of showing one piece of content to search engines and a different one to users is a common one known as cloaking. This allows websites to rank for terms that are not relevant to their site. 

Keyword stuffing is the practice of filling content with keywords, with little value to back them up. The idea is that the piece will rank highly on Google for the given terms. When words or phrases repeat so that they sound unnatural, keyword stuffing is at play. 

One that flirts with the boundaries is buying links. This helps improve a page’s authority.

However, many legitimate SEO companies offer this as a service. Given the right page and quality content, it can yield results. The problem is when links are inserted for no reason, or sit in unworthy content. 

White Hat SEO

This uses the SEO best practices to help your website rank organically on Google and other search engines. It does take a huge amount of time and effort. However, given patience and hard work, it will yield the results you want. 

White hat SEO comes from a sustained campaign of providing quality, well-crafted content, technical perfection on your websites and good keyword research. The payoff is that as algorithms change and adapt, with white hat SEO you will be largely unaffected and retain the high search page positions.

Making Your Website Rank

Black hat SEO is not illegal and you may get results from it. However, if you want a robust website that has longevity, avoid it. If you are unsure, make sure you get the right assistance. 

Pencil & Coffee should be your first stop. We have a wide range of services from social media to online ad campaigns. Contact our team and let us help build your online presence starting today. 

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