What is Black Hat SEO? Myths and truths about its reputation

What is Black Hat SEO? Myths and truths about its reputation

Franco Brutti

Dec 8, 2023

Dec 8, 2023

Dec 8, 2023

What is Black Hat SEO? Myths and truths about its reputation
What is Black Hat SEO? Myths and truths about its reputation
What is Black Hat SEO? Myths and truths about its reputation

SEO is one of the most important factors in digital content creation, but there are many people who use forced strategies to elevate it, without paying as much attention to the needs of readers.

If you've been keeping up with the changes in SEO, you'll know very well that being reader-friendly nowadays is more relevant than repeating keywords endlessly.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to neglect the SEO aspects, but it’s all about finding the perfect balance to satisfy both parties.

That’s why it ‘s no longer advisable to work with Black Hat SEO techniques and if you still use them, you should be careful.

Or, in case you don't know what this is, all the more reason you need to know about it to avoid it.

What is Black Hat SEO all about?

It’s a strategy used in search engine optimization in which misleading techniques are used in order to improve the ranking of a website.

The aim of Black Hat SEO is to get higher in the search results, but in a way in which you intend to deceive the browser.

Since the beginning of web browsers and digital content, SEO has been a key element for copywriters. And while there are aspects that must be complied with, abusing them to beat the competition is not the right thing to do.

Those who resort to this strategy tend to abuse repetitive and irrelevant keywords, create duplicate content, work with the purchase of links, among other things.

In short, it’s about manipulating content to make it as attractive as possible to search engines, even to an excessive and somewhat cheating level.

By making use of this strategy, what is achieved is to trick browsers into giving relevance to content that, in terms of its actual substance, is not that important.  

Luckily, Google and other search engines have noticed this and have started to apply penalties to websites where Black Hat SEO is used.

Why is it called that?

One of the most frequent doubts of users who are new to this subject has to do with its name.

Yes, it sounds basic, but then why choose a name like that? The truth is that it’s quite an interesting metaphor.

The name is used because it’s a reference to the villains in cowboy movies or cartoons, who always wear a black hat.

Whereas, the heroes usually wear a white or other colored hat, but black is always meant to represent the bad guys.

In fact, that’s why the counterpart of this technique also comes from the same reference: White Hat SEO.

Why is it labeled as negative?

The answer to this may already be clear to you from the definition, but if you haven't quite figured it out, it's important to review why it's labeled as negative.

Of course, the first aspect has to do with cheating search engines and manipulating content in an abusive way just to be among the first results.

Which, of course, will make your readers' experience not a positive one, because you don't think about them when creating the content. Then, when they go to read your articles, they will find repetitive content that can be confusing.

If your readers don't have a good opinion of you, you can be sure that your online reputation will fall quite low, and not without reason.

In addition, as already mentioned, you run the risk of having your website penalized or even removed.

The whole issue of Black Hat SEO practice is negative and is something you should take into consideration when creating web articles. Especially, if you really want to succeed and create high quality content.

What are the repercussions of using Black Hat SEO?

When working with Black Hat SEO on your website, you are exposed to negative consequences that will not be favorable for your website at all.

Yes, it may not be something that you notice at first and, on the contrary, it may be something that brings you positive results.

This is something undeniable, since whenever you manipulate the SEO in your favor you will find a clear improvement in the positioning of your website in search engines. This will even allow you to increase the number of visits you receive per day.

But... if this is a practice that you do very often and you keep it up for the long term, you have to be very careful, as the consequences are not at all favorable.

To give you an idea of them, you should know that the main repercussions are:

1. A bad image of your website

By creating repetitive content that only satisfies the needs of SEO and not those of your users, you will not achieve anything good among your readers.

As already mentioned, if the content is not relevant to your website users, they will not want to read anything you publish.

Yes, they will probably enter because, after all, you are among the first search results, but they will not finish reading the articles and what they will do is go to another website and not come back to yours.

2. Penalties and restrictions

Keep in mind that search engines apply restrictions to users who abuse Black Hat SEO and this is because the algorithms have been improved to detect it.

Therefore, when it’s verified that a website has made use of such deceptive tactics, you are likely to be penalized.

Initially, it’s likely that your keyword usage will be limited or you will be downgraded from your previous search engine ranking.

But, if they discover that you have incurred more serious flaws through the use of Black Hat SEO, they are likely to even remove your website altogether.

3. Negative online reputation

Due to the two previous points, you can imagine that your online reputation will not be positive at all. On the contrary, it will drop dramatically and will bring you very negative disadvantages.

By the time you realize it, your views will have decreased a lot and users will have already generated negative comments on your website.  

What are the repercussions of using Black Hat SEO__11zon

Common Black Hat SEO practices you should avoid

If you are a beginner in the world of digital content creation, it’s normal that you do not know about the subject and do not identify well the practices that are part of Black Hat SEO.

So, in order for you to get to know them better and avoid using them on your website, we will talk about the most frequent ones below:

1. Keyword Stuffing

The excessive use of keywords is one of the main problems when writing web content and it is terrible to see.

This tactic of including as many times as possible the same keyword helps you to increase keyword density, but in an abusive way. So much so, that in many sentences it sounds repetitive and unnecessary, which affects the coherence of the text.

Some people include the keyword in the title, the meta-title, the meta-description, the first paragraphs, in each subtitle and even in the alternative text of the images.

2. Duplicate content

Unfortunately, the trend of copying content from other websites has come a long way and is a widely used practice. Although nowadays Google has been much tougher with penalties on this.

But the truth is that this is another terrible Black Hat SEO strategy and many resort to it because it’s simpler to copy and paraphrase what someone else has already written, than to do something original.

In addition, it’s something that has boosted the article spinning applications that create a new content from an already created text with some differences, but it is still something duplicated and it is not good to do it.

3. Hidden texts

If you think those two practices are terrible, just wait, because it gets worse.

It has become very recurrent to use hidden texts in web articles to continue repeating keywords or even external links.

But how is it possible to hide texts inside web articles? The "villains" of content creation are very ingenious and have found ways to do it.

For example, they write some paragraphs full of repetitive content, but the color of the font is the same as the background of the website, so it is not noticeable to the eye when entering it.

There are even those who only alter the font size to make it invisible, it's something that they have certainly managed.

But luckily Google has already found a way to identify these deceptive practices and penalize those who do it.

4. Buying links

Not to be overlooked is the whole issue of buying and selling links that redirect to your website.

It has become such a common practice that there are even businesses that offer these services, although it is also something that usually arises as a deal between two content creators.

The idea is to pay for links from your website to appear in the content published on other websites. In this way, readers' attention is drawn to your content.

However, this is something that search engines also penalize, so it is not recommended that you resort to this.

5. Cloaking

The term cloaking is based in the most literal way possible on camouflaging the articles on a website. If we talk about cloaking, this is undoubtedly one of the most blatant practices of all.

What this does is configure the web pages so that what the search engine sees is something different than what the user reads.

The fake version that the search engines will analyze will look as if it has been worked to perfection to achieve a high quality positioning.

But the truth is that when the reader enters, he will be redirected to a different web article whose quality is quite low and with a content that surely was not the one he was looking for.

6. Link spam

Finally, there is link spamming, which is based on creating many websites or blogs in which links will be included that will redirect the user to the website that actually wants to benefit.

This favors the creation of new web portals that do not have quality content and are only used as a means to an end.

Common Black Hat SEO practices that you should avoid

Now that you know what Black Hat SEO is and why it is so negative, you will have a higher level of awareness when writing articles for your website.

Remember at all times what practices you should not apply and try to work more with White Hat SEO. If you are looking for success, you should obtain it through the creation of organic content.

Did you already know about this positioning strategy? Have you ever put it into practice or have you avoided it? Don't forget to leave us a comment with your opinion on the subject.