You have probably heard the term ” black hat SEO “. But what does that mean?
Definition – What is Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO refers to the use of certain practices to increase the ranking of a website or its web pages in search results by means that do not comply with the conditions of use of the search engine.
In the SEO industry, you will hear those who use unethical practices, called Black Hat SEO; and those who follow Google’s ethical practices and guidelines such as White Hat SEO. The instructions for webmasters, which are easily found online, are explained by the many Black Hat-type tactics that these search engines disapprove of.
So what are some common Black Hat SEO tactics?
Hidden text: white text must be placed on a white background so that the user cannot see it, but search engines can read this text. This often implies that the site practices keyword stuffing, which I will describe next. Deliberately modifying a website so that the content presented to the search engines is different from that presented to the user is considered concealment, another practice of Black Hat SEO.
Keyword stuffing: The practice of inserting a large number of targeted keywords into the text of a given web page, to the point where the content does not seem natural. This is when a given page of text changes from easy to read and understand to unnatural to read and difficult to understand due to the repeated repetition of the same keywords. Search engines seek to provide users with content that is useful to them and answers their questions – web text that lacks substance and only mentions your keywords repeatedly without providing value to the reader does not help them achieve their goal of providing the highest quality results for users, nor help users find the information they need.
Buying Links: Links being one of the two main ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, having a high quality extended backlink profile plays a major role in ranking a website in Search results. However, you should be wary of any commercial offer to buy you backlinks to your site, and you should never buy links in general. Google has implemented elements to detect purchased links. If they find your site guilty of buying backlinks, your site could be penalized.
Links farm: there are still some, there are some who have not yet understood: these are links to a group of websites that link to each other in the group. It is a set of web pages created for the sole purpose of creating a system of links to target pages, with the aim of improving the ranking in search engines of this page.
Very fashionable at one time it is 100% black Hat SEO and detected by Google: to flee!
Is Black Hat SEO really that bad?
Yes. By using Black Hat SEO techniques, your website can be banned from the search engines. As search engines get smarter to understand SEO and unethical spam tactics, it becomes riskier to use these practices.
While you can achieve limited short-term success in the form of improved rankings or traffic to your site, these results will be short-lived, as Google can even de-index you for these practices. It would devastate your ranking, your web traffic and even potentially your business. The only way to really improve your web presence and generate more leads, traffic and rankings for your website is to do it in an optimized way, which takes time but is worth it.
Signs that your agency practices Black Hat SEO
Know the warning signals to look for:
Reports: do they send regular reports? Where does the data come from? If the data source is not clear, how can you be sure that the information they provide to you is actually accurate? My advice is to look for agencies that use Google Analytics because it is one of the most accurate data sources available.
Transparency: are the transparent works complete? Or do you feel in the dark as to what they actually do for your site? If you do not know what is done on your site, remember that ignorance is not necessarily pure happiness. If the results are good, you may not care now, but if you are penalized by Google in the future, you will be very angry with yourself for not paying attention to the tactics used on your site. They don’t make recommendations – if your SEO agency just goes behind the scenes, does who knows what, and doesn’t regularly suggest new ideas to update and improve your website, then the tactics they use may be questionable. A White Hat SEO agency will work with you as a partner to help you achieve online success. A good sign is that they are making concrete suggestions for improving the site in a number of areas, including: creating new content that is useful to users, updating and submitting your sitemap so that search engines can easily crawl and index your content, evaluate the technical files of your website, such as the robots.txt file, to ensure that they comply with best practices; or give up spam links that do more harm than good to your site.
If your SEO agency does not provide regular recommendations for improving results, it may be time to find one that does.
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