If you’ve been using black hat SEO practices, you might just find coal in your stocking this Christmas. Black hat search engine optimization is the practice of boosting your search engine result page ranking through unethical means. But sometimes, you could be involved in black hat SEO practices without even knowing it. If you’re struggling to boost your SERPs and you can’t figure out why Google hates you so much, here are some SEO practices that will definitely get you on the naughty list this year.
Your Keywords Are Packed Into Your Content Like Sardines
SEO 101: make your content rich with dynamic keywords and phrases. Some people interpret that basic concept as “stuff your content” with as many keywords as possible regardless of how spammy it sounds.” This type of thinking will definitely put you on Santa’s naughty list and also make his brother, Google Claus, very upset. Who wants to click on a website that makes literally no sense because every second word is a key-phrase you’ve injected to boost your search engine result page ranking? This kind of black hat SEO practice is something that Google and other search engines will pick up on, so don’t bother blasting your site with those keywords. Instead, focus on producing quality content and incorporating long-tail keywords and phrases into your content, but only if they come naturally.
You’re Being Sneaky With Your Links
Link building is fundamental to improving your SEO techniques. Building internal links helps to increase your indexability, while outward linking connects your user to reputable sources. However, just because it’s important to include links on your site, that doesn’t give you permission to hide links in pages that the user can’t see just for the sake of search engine robots. Sure, it may seem like a good idea. It may even be harmless where the user is concerned. But Google and other search engines view it as cheating, and it may end up disrupting the user experience after all. Are you sneaking links into your content? If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, then you might get a few coals in your stockings this year:
- Is your anchor text colour is the same as your background colour making it invisible to the user?
- Have you reduced the link font size to zero?
- Is your link positioned off the page?
- Is there a link hiding within a single character?
Robots Are in Charge of Your Content
Content automation has some advantages, many of which aren’t permanent. For instance, all that content will give you a surge in your SERPs, but it won’t last very long. Pretty soon, you’ll notice a significant drop in your rankings. So many websites partake in this black hat activity, and most of the time it’s not done to intentionally trick the user or Google. However, we don’t recommend content automation because it’s usually nonsensical and very obvious to the user. Did you ever send Santa Claus a letter only to receive an impersonal typed message in return? That’s kind of what content automation is. Have you ever tagged a company in a really negative comment only to get a positive response back? Chances are, there’s no one on the other end.
Don’t Let Black Hat SEO Ruin Your Holiday Cheer
Many blackhat SEO practices don’t seem that unethical. But, when Google and other search engines rank websites, they value quality and the user experience above all else. We’re not saying you’re an immoral person for using these SEO strategies. After all, you’re not really hurting anyone. But trust us, you’re not doing yourself any favours by trying to circumvent or ignore Google’s SEO standards. If you’re having a hard time boosting your SEO without using black hat practices, you may need some expert advice.