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14

September

2011

Black Hat SEO: Why it has No Place on Your Website :

Black hat search engine optimization is a collection of techniques that was once thought of as the insider’s way to boost page ranking on websites. Those who could perform black hat SEO techniques could perform overnight “magic” on websites. Years ago, parts of black hat SEO were actually legitimate practices that achieved positive results. However, a few practitioners and websites went a little too far and now most of their practices are frowned upon in the SEO community.

The current lure of black hat SEO is that the techniques do work…at least temporarily. Once the website is found to have used these unethical practices, however, they often get banned from search pages altogether, which hardly makes the risk worth the reward.

Some of the techniques widely considered to be black hat are:

Stuffing keywords – Keywords are worth their weight in gold as far as good SEO goes, but when websites pack long lists of keywords onto web pages with not much else going on, the search engines will figure it out and penalize you. If you handle keywords right, however, your page ranking will improve.

Hidden text – Words are meant to be read, right? Not so for black hat SEO techniques. A common practice was to write out long lists of keywords and keyword phrases in white letters on a white background, which meant the visitor couldn’t see what was going on, but search engine spiders could.

Doorway pages – These are pages never meant to be discovered by the reader. If a website “appeared” to be expansive and full of useful information, the search engines would be prone to giving it a higher ranking.

Link farming – Search engines love websites that generate a lot of traffic and have lots of links directing to it – it makes it seem like a useful site people enjoy visiting. Link farms are groups of websites that hyperlink to every other website in the group. Another term for this is link exchanges, where sites agree to post a link to a website (regardless of its content) in exchange for a link back to their own website.

Today, reputable professional SEO agencies employ techniques that never put your website at risk. If you’re looking for an SEO agency to help your website ranking, be sure to ask what types of techniques they use to improve traffic and search engine optimization.