Black Hat Search Engine OptimisationJune 10, 2021
As long as Search Engines are around, people have made every effort to get their website on top of the results. The race of being number one on Google is still on and now known under the name – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). But as much as we want to know how to get there – the more Search Engine developers try to hide the big secrets. It has become a real “cat & mouse” hunt Black hat forum.
People have tried many things to win this game. Some of them “good” – some “bad”. Hang on, you may think, if there is a way to get my business up to the top and increase my sales – I don’t care how I get there! NO – that’s a very plain and shortsighted assumption and would only work for a short time, if at all! The consequences are disastrous. The following Search Engine Strategies can and will put you on the search engine’s “blacklists” which in simple terms mean – you are out! Banned from Google, Yahoo… and such like.
The commonly used term for bad SEO techniques is “Black Hat” SEO in contrast to “White Hat” SEO techniques which use an ethical ways to optimise a website in order to achieve better ranking positions. Watch out which methods SEO companies are using, promising your business immediate number 1# results. This article will help you to understand the various “bad” methods, so called “Black Hat” techniques – and yes maybe there is a little bit of magic involved.
Let us put the “black hat” SEO into two categories: Content Spam and Link Spam.
Content Spam: The first search engines were using only the website’s content to measure the site’s relevance to certain search keywords.
Hidden & Invisible text: This is the easiest and the most common spamming method. It simply means to set text in the same colour as the background, use a tiny font size or hide it in HTML code sections. For a real person looking at the website nothing will change, but for a search engine crawler, it will make a difference. The code will have more content and so it will find a higher keyword density. This problem was quickly fixed with an algorithms to check the accessibility of the text before the search engine consider it as relevant content and then take the appropriate actions.
Keyword stuffing: This can be a “black hat” method, but is also used for “White Hat” SEO.
A website can be penalised when its overloaded with a specific sentence/keyphrase in order to make a search engine think the content is more relevant than others. This technique can be used in combination with hidden text too. Most of the search engines now have mechanisms in place to avoid the abuse of keywords.
Scraper sites: Web scrapping is copying content from one or more other/unrelated websites and put it on this 3rd party website without copyright permission, it’s a mirror site adding no new value. Most of these websites are overloaded with advertising – which is their source of income. One should be careful to use this method, as it is severely punished.
Doorway pages: A doorway page is a fake page that a real user will never see. It has been created to optimise search engine results, but if you click on the link, a redirect will lead you to a different webpage.
Cloaking: Basically, cloaking is quite similar to doorway pages. The difference is that the website will show a different content depending on the IP address the user requesting the page has. If an IP address is recognised as a search engine spider, a script will deliver a different version of the page.
Link Spam: Search engines have step-by-step changed their search algorithm judging the value of a website and therefore the websites ranking. Incoming links are only one attribute checked by the search engines. The more relevant the referring websites are, the better.
Link farms: On these community-like websites each member is linking to the others, trying to pretend high relevance to the search engine crawler. These communities were commonly named “mutual admiration societies”.
Hidden links: The technique is the same as it is with the hidden text: Links are added to a site which visitors won’t see in order to increase their link popularity.
Sybil attack: The principle again is the same as with link farms. One person will buy multiple domain names and then create various websites linking to each other in order to pretend high value of content and importance.