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What is Black Hat SEO?

     -     Dec 29th, 2018   -     Search Engine Optimization   -     0 Comments

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All industries have their jargon that insiders use to not only communicate with each other, but also to let people know they are an “insider”. All one needs to do is talk to a government employee or member of the military to experience this phenomenon in action. These folks have no shortage of acronyms that describe various programs, tasks and even their military occupational specialty (MOS). For example, an old coworker of mine was 0331 in the Marine Corps (machine gunner for those wondering). When I first heard the numbers, I had no idea what the person was talking about and felt very confused. The same experience is can be had by those new to the world of SEO. Unfortunately, there are not many resources in the accounting marketing circles that offer clarity on what these various terms mean. To help clients, prospects and others understand the terms and what they mean, we have provided an explanation of the term black hat SEO below. (View our recent post on White Hat SEO).

What is Black Hat SEO?

This is a term that refers to the use of tactics designed to manipulate search engine rankings. In other words, all the tactics used are designed to “encourage” Google and others to enhance a site’s rankings. This type of SEO is used by websites that want to quickly shoot to the top of the rankings for a certain term and generally seek an immediate financial benefit. They are not focused on providing a pleasant user experience and often completely ignore established guidelines published by search engines. A great explanation of black hat SEO can be found on webopedia.

 

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Examples of Black Hat SEO Tactics?

A few examples of black hat SEO tactics include keyword stuffing, leveraging doorway pages, utilizing tiny hidden text, link farms and domain squatting to name a few. They are all deceptive in nature and ultimately lead to undesirable consequences. If you are not familiar with these terms, it’s likely a good thing because chances are you are not using them on your website. For most marketers, if they do end up using a black hat SEO tactic it’s either because they were given misleading information, or they didn’t realize what they were doing was inappropriate. A good resource for black hat tactics to avoid can be found on the design hammer website.

Black Hat SEO – Consequences

It goes without saying that Google and other search engines don’t react well when a webmaster uses black hat SEO to manipulate rankings. In fact, many of the recent Google algorithm updates have been designed to counteract the usage of these tactics. There is even a phrase – Google Penalties – for what happens when a website is caught using these tactics. In one example, JC Penney received a penalty for attempting to manipulate their rankings with backlinks from spammy or unrelated sites and Google responded by downgrading their website from a #1 ranking down 70 positions. While it’s unlikely most marketers are intentionally using these tactics, the reaction from search engines can be punitive.

Contact Us

There are many ways to enhance your company or firm’s organic ranking with search engines. The best way to do this is follow established guidelines and create user-focused, quality content for the site. If you are concerned about black hat SEO or need assistance with a SEO program, FlashPoint Marketing can help! For additional information please call us at 954-621-8080 or click here to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

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