Optimizing one’s website to get a higher ranking has been recognized as a legitimate technique. However, like in every field, cheaters exist. The push to be numero uno in search engine rankings has lead to a plethora of unethical techniques termed as ‘black hat techniques’.
While it is easier to take the easy way out and try to cheat search engines, such techniques (at best) only bring short-term gains. The consequences of getting caught far outweigh the benefits with the penalty ranging from a reduction in ranking to a permanent ban. With search engines coming up with more sophisticated and intelligent algorithms, there is no place to hide if your website is not producing a satisfactory user experience.
Here are some black hat techniques that need to be avoided at all costs:
KEYWORDS: Granted that keywords are important, but does that mean stuffing every line on the page with keywords, so that the sentence ends up making no sense? Take for example this sentence: ‘Get customized interior designs for your custom house with customization from our customer-designed customizing services!!’ Stuffing your page with keywords much like you stuff a chicken with vegetables makes for a very poor reading experience.
Instead, use keywords appropriately in a relevant and evenly-distributed fashion.
LINKS: Having more links increases a web page’s ranking, so it is not surprising that there are many black hat techniques that involve links. To name just a few, they include creating unrelated links, paying for links, linking to spam sites, and hidden links.
Instead, create a legitimate network of links that are content-appropriate. Share and request (but don’t try to buy) links from other similar higher-ranked web sites.
TEXT: Another popular trick is to insert unrelated text or keywords in the same color as the background or make the font so small that it is impossible to read just so that the content and keyword volume goes up.
Instead of wasting time and effort on illegitimate techniques, use the same effort to create content that is meant to be read.
DOORWAY PAGES AND DUPLICATE SITES: Some web sites create one set of pages exclusively for the search engine, which meet all SEO requirements, and another poor-quality set for readers. Others create duplicate or identical web sites in the hope that they will get more visitors.
Instead, invest the same amount of money in hiring a reputed SEO company that will create rich content. Good and informative content will draw more visitors by itself. No need for any tricks!