How To Avoid Black Hat SEO Techniques
- Category: Blog
SEO optimisation is a technique that is often misunderstood by website owners. Most of the time, this is because of the constant changes within the SEO marketing style, thus making some techniques that website owners have previously sworn by more obsolete and out of date.
In some cases however, websites are employing what is known as 'Black Hat' SEO techniques. These methods are widely regarded as being out of date and even unethical. That is why SEO experts are warning website owners to ditch these techniques at all costs, before there website starts to plummet down the rankings with little chance of recovery. Here, we will take a look at the most common Black Hat techniques that are currently being used by websites, and how you can avoid them so then your site doesn't fall victim to unethical methods.
Using Irrelevant Keywords
One of the first things SEO experts tell you to do with your site is come up with a keyword strategy. This essentially involves finding the keywords that best apply to the pages on your site, and then using them in the web copy and meta descriptions so then they appear higher on search engine results. This method has previously been abused by some websites, deploying a technique known as 'keyword stuffing.'
Keyword stuffing essentially involves using systems like Google AdWords to find which keywords are the most frequently searched, and then placing them meaninglessly throughout their websites so then they will be featured in search engine results. People would then click on those pages, enter the site, find something irrelevant, and then leave. By this point, these websites will have already made money just because people have clicked on their link.
This is something that search engines are doing a very good job of avoiding now. Instead of allowing robots to generate results, they are actively checking to make sure that all the information featured on websites are relevant to the keywords that are being used. Websites that fail to do this are now being penalised by search engines. So it's more important than ever to make sure that the keywords you choose are relevant to the information you have on your site. As long as your keyword strategy is honest, then you will not have a problem.
Using Content Over And Over Again
Back when SEO first became a prominent method of generating web traffic, marketers started using a technique known as 'keyword stacking.' This essentially involved finding a popular keyword, writing content that contained that word as often as possible, and then using it on every single page of the site. This meant that all the pages were getting plenty of hits, and it was a helpful way of making the entire site relevant to the keywords they had chosen.
At the time this was a very clever technique that certainly helped drive up web traffic. However, search engines have become very clever themselves over recent years, and they now are able to detect when websites are intentionally using the same content over and over to drive up traffic. Now websites have to make sure that they have different content on every single page, even if they are only planning on marketing their site based on one keyword. It has proven to be effective at keeping websites honest, and stopping marketers from abusing the system.
Not only that, but the recent changes also means that websites are now having to actively find more than one keyword to target. This has proven to be very beneficial for some websites, now they are being actively encouraged to broaden their online approach.
Purchasing External Links
SEO optimisation actively encourages websites to find external links to additional resources to be placed in their web copy. Not only is this a big help for people searching for information online, but it also helps improve the ranking of web pages. When marketers first found out about this method, they decided to buy external links that have high web traffic, so then they could drive up their own web pages.
Search engines have now found a way to spot when this kind of practise is taking place, and they are now penalising websites that use it. If ever you want to start using external links, then you need to start building relationships with websites that are in a similar field to you. Then you can both start using external links to each others' sites in your copy. It is certainly the more ethical way of doing this, and is something that search engines are now actively encouraging sites to do.
Too Many Links
Sites that used to buy external links now think that the solution to their problems is to fill their copy with as many links as possible. This used to be a very effective way of building up search engine ranking, but now sites like Google have started monitoring the strength of external links. If you are linking to many sites, chances are that most of them will not have a great deal of authority. For that reason, Google will rank you lower in their results.
Search engines now believe that when it comes to external links, it's all about quality over quantity. Even if you have just a couple of links in your copy, if they are very relevant and provide helpful additional information, then search engines like Google will be a lot more likely to rank you higher than sites that use lots of links. Basically, it is a system that is encouraging websites to put their visitors first.
SEO optimisation has changed drastically over the years, and now it is better than ever. It is rewarding sites for going to extra mile to make sure their content is helpful and gives the audience what they are looking for. While SEO may have been looked down on in the past, it is now becoming a popular technique that is making the internet more user-friendly than ever before, and it is ensuring that if websites want to use SEO to make a profit, then they have to do it ethically.