Search engine optimisation. It’s one of those concepts that you need to master if you want to get in Google’s good graces. However, there are techniques that will get you in Google’s bad books if you aren’t careful. Black hat SEO practices will ensure you get a one-way ticket to SEO jail. Which is a one-way ticket that you would rather not receive. A one-way ticket to the Bahamas on the other hand….

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint and it may be tempting to fast track your way to the first page of search engines. However, dabbling in Black Hat SEO techniques is a big ole no no. Patience is SEO key.

Remember, black doesn’t go with everything

Read on to find out which SEO practices to avoid and what you can do instead

Search engine optimisation. It's one of those concepts that you need to master if you want to get in Google's good graces. However, there are techniques that will get you in Google's bad books if you aren't careful. Black hat SEO practices will ensure you get a one-way ticket to SEO jail. Which is a one-way ticket that you would rather not receive. A one-way ticket to the Bahamas on the other hand.... SEO is a marathon, not a sprint and it may be tempting to fast track your way to the first page of search engines. However, dabbling in Black Hat SEO techniques is a big ole no no. Patience is SEO key. Remember, black doesn't go with everything Read on to find out which SEO practices to avoid and what you can do instead

 

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What is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO essentially goes against the guidelines set by search engines and will manipulate them to gain higher rankings.

 

Why you need to avoid black hat practices

Black hat SEO can earn you a lower ranking or in the worst case scenario, not show up at all. Though it isn’t illegal, it is against webmaster guidelines and is unethical. If you do engage in black hat SEO practices, be prepared to pay the price. If your rankings drop your traffic will likely drop which in turn can mean fewer customers. Doh! Google and other search engines are pretty on to it with spotting these techniques so the chances of getting caught out are fairly high.

It’s just not worth the risk. White is the new black.

SEO no-no’s include:

  • Keyword stuffing
  • Producing poor quality content
  • Copied content
  • Invisible keywords
  • Bait and switching
  • Paid links
  • Link farming
  • Private blog networks
  • Cloaking
  • Blog comment spam
  • Sneaky redirects

Keyword Stuffing

This is essentially filling your post or page with irrelevant keywords including adding multiple variations of the same keyword where they add little to no value to your content which creates a bad user experience. Your page can also rank in results that don’t make sense to your post which again, creates a negative reader experience.

Yes, you do need to add your keyword in your content in order to rank but you don’t want to repeat the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural.

SEO best practice:

Concentrate on creating useful content that focuses on your topic and provides value to your reader. Your keyword should naturally fall into your content.

 

Producing Poor Quality Content

The whole point of having a website is to provide value to your reader. If you have content that isn’t of value to your reader, chances are, they aren’t coming back. Poor quality content can be anything from providing no value to your reader to content that is full of errors and mistakes.

SEO best practice:

Producing quality content should be the cornerstone of your biz. You don’t have to write a blog post a day, especially if it compromises quality, but all your content needs to be original and provide value to your reader.

Read More: How to write an amazing blog post

 

Copied Content

Google has eyes everywhere. They can tell if your content is copied from another website. Don’t copy and paste from other websites, it’ll get you into trouble both with search engines and that website owner if they find out.

SEO best practice:

Ensure all your content is unique, including guest posts from other bloggers.

Invisible Keywords

Yes, this is actually a thing! Some websites do this by making their text the same colour as the page background and will go keyword nuts. This can mean that these sites are ranking for keywords that aren’t visible on the page. For example, they could have a bunch of invisible keywords about how to take amazing photos with your iPhone but the visible content is about cat grooming techniques.

This confuses the heck out of the readers who are expecting to read about how to hone in on their photography skills only to be shown information about what kind of pet shampoo is best.

SEO best practice:

Just don’t do this mmkay? If you are providing value to your reader, there is no need for invisibility.

 

Bait and Switch

This is yet another really sneaky practice. Baiting and switching are essentially creating content on a topic that you want to rank for. Once it is ranking nice and high, the content is swapped out for something else. Again, this confuses the reader as they come onto your page expecting to solve one problem but getting a solution to something entirely different.

SEO best practice:

Don’t swap your content, k?

SEO Simplified Ebook

Paid Links

If someone is paying you to put content on your site, you need to add their links as “no follow” which tells Google to disregard these links.

Google penalises both the buyer and the seller of links once they discover that it has been bought.

SEO best practices:

Don’t accept payment for content on your site unless it is “no follow” and it needs to be disclosed that it is sponsored content. Don’t pay others to put your links on their site. If you do wish to have a link on someone else’s site, write a good ole fashioned guest post or ask the owner very nicely if they could please link to your relevant post as it can provide additional benefit to the reader and is the natural progression.

Read More: Building links without breaking the rules

 

Link Farms

These websites are developed solely for the purpose of link building. Link farms will more often than not have low-quality content and loads of links. One of the factors that search engines look for when they rank is the number of links back to a site. Link farms exploit this ranking factor, however, search engines are pretty smart at working out these types of websites.

SEO best practices:

Guest post for other bloggers and include links if they naturally fit the content, send your content to other bloggers in your niche and they may include links back to your content if they fit and are a natural progression for their reader. Create quality content that ensures others want to link back to your site.

 

Private Blog Networks

These are similar to link farms in that they provide numerous links back to a website, however, private blog networks work slightly differently. Someone dabbling in black hat SEO will purchase expired domain names that have already built up a high authority. They will then publish similar content to what already existed and add links to their own site. In essence, they are controlling a network of websites in order to boost their main website.

Best SEO practice:

Concentrate on producing high-quality content to gain those all-important backlinks. Plus, multiple websites takes lots of work.

Read More: Domain authority, what is it and some tips to get yours sky high

Cloaking

The sneakiness continues. Cloaking involves showing one piece of content to search engines and another to readers. There are some instances where you can tailor your content to different groups such as mobile users or users in different countries.

Best SEO practice:

Treat search engine bots as you would your reader.

 

Blog Comment Spam

This involves linking to your website in blog comments. This is fine to do in moderation, but if you do it too much it can be considered spam. Search engines now discount links in blog comments and many blogs will have the links in their comments section as nofollow.

Best SEO practice:

If you do comment on someone’s blog, make it thoughtful, relevant and that it shows that you have read the article. It is a good way to start building relationships with others in your niche.

Read More: The ultimate SEO guide for beginners

 

Sneaky Redirects

This involves sending someone to a different URL than the one they clicked on. Similar to cloaking, this can mean redirecting a search engine spider to one page and all other users to another page.

Best SEO practice: 

Use redirects for the purpose they were intended for, this could be if you change your website domain or update your content.

 

Final Thoughts

You should be engaging in white hat SEO practices and techniques. They are safer, hold more integrity and provide a much better user experience for your reader. Which at the end of the day, is the most important thing.

Treat search engine bots and your reader the same way, don’t try and trick the bots because you will end up annoying your reader annnnd get a boot up the rear end by the bot. Instead, focus on creating quality content that provides value to your reader, solves problems and creates an exceptional user experience. No cloaks. No tricks. Just good old fashioned quality content.

Steer clear of buying or selling links and avoid keyword stuffing, it’ll annoy your readers and is transparent to them as it is to search bots. Always create your own content and never ever copy and paste from someone else’s work!

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Search engine optimisation. It's one of those concepts that you need to master if you want to get in Google's good graces. However, there are techniques that will get you in Google's bad books if you aren't careful. Black hat SEO practices will ensure you get a one-way ticket to SEO jail. Which is a one-way ticket that you would rather not receive. A one-way ticket to the Bahamas on the other hand.... SEO is a marathon, not a sprint and it may be tempting to fast track your way to the first page of search engines. However, dabbling in Black Hat SEO techniques is a big ole no no. Patience is SEO key. Remember, black doesn't go with everything Read on to find out which SEO practices to avoid and what you can do instead

Search engine optimisation. It's one of those concepts that you need to master if you want to get in Google's good graces. However, there are techniques that will get you in Google's bad books if you aren't careful. Black hat SEO practices will ensure you get a one-way ticket to SEO jail. Which is a one-way ticket that you would rather not receive. A one-way ticket to the Bahamas on the other hand.... SEO is a marathon, not a sprint and it may be tempting to fast track your way to the first page of search engines. However, dabbling in Black Hat SEO techniques is a big ole no no. Patience is SEO key. Remember, black doesn't go with everything Read on to find out which SEO practices to avoid and what you can do instead
Search engine optimisation. It's one of those concepts that you need to master if you want to get in Google's good graces. However, there are techniques that will get you in Google's bad books if you aren't careful. Black hat SEO practices will ensure you get a one-way ticket to SEO jail. Which is a one-way ticket that you would rather not receive. A one-way ticket to the Bahamas on the other hand.... SEO is a marathon, not a sprint and it may be tempting to fast track your way to the first page of search engines. However, dabbling in Black Hat SEO techniques is a big ole no no. Patience is SEO key. Remember, black doesn't go with everything Read on to find out which SEO practices to avoid and what you can do instead

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