What Are Blackhat SEO Techniques and Why It Pays to Avoid Them

Leading search engines continue to strive to make the Web a more useful and beautiful place. Google, in particular, constantly updates its algorithm and runs ongoing checks to make sure their search results accurately reflect the content and purpose of the websites they list and index.

If you want a more visible website, it’s important to be using optimisation techniques that are recognised and approved by search engines you want to be seen in.

In this changing Web landscape, it’s understandable why optimising your website today does not simply mean dressing it up with keywords and building links as much as you can. In fact, using these outdated SEO techniques may even be harmful to your rankings and your reputation. While they were once the standard methods, today they are considered blackhat SEO techniques.

Some of the most common examples of blackhat SEO tactics and techniques include the use of the following:

  • Machine-generated, scraped, spun, plagiarised and duplicate content
  • Manipulative link building practices such as using paid and hidden links and participating in link schemes, link farms and link networks
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Spamming and automated queries to Google
  • Cloaking and hidden text
  • Devious schemes that mislead visitors, such as redirects without permission and doorway pages

The use of these manipulative, spammy and irrelevant practices to tweak your webpage’s rakings in the results page are frowned upon by major search engines. They may cause you to be penalised and blacklisted not only from their search results but also from the sites they are associated and affiliated with. If you want your website to enjoy good visibility as well as credibility and authority status for the long term, utilising white hat SEO techniques is vital.

To focus on white hat SEO, one thing to remember is to make sure every element of the website – from the content to the layout to the information structure and so on – is for the benefit of users. According to Google’s quality guidelines, if you want search engines to notice you, then you’ve got to build your pages with your users in mind. Stay away from manipulative tricks and never deceive your users in your attempt to improve your rankings.

Always remember to make websites for humans, not for search engine spiders. Make your pages lovely to look at, fast and easy to use, and valuable and relevant to your target audience. Focus on improving the quality, look, content and performance of your website because that, to date, proves to be the most effective optimisation technique of all.

Focus on this and you will soon find that Google can be your friend.

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