Top SEO Black-Hat Tricks Still Being Used

In search engine optimization, there are a slew of black-hat tricks that may be used, intentionally or not, in order to boost rankings. In some cases, these tricks are revered by “professionals” who promise the world to companies, such as Google’s top ranking for their key words or phrases. It can work temporarily, but Google’s algorithms always catch these tricksters and penalize them to such a degree that your URL might be worthless and unable to save. In other instances, newbie website designers engage in these tricks unaware that they’re illegal and get the shock of their life when slapped with penalties.

Black-hat tricks have evolved over the years as people get more creative trying to drum up shortcuts. However, some of the biggest of them have been around for years, and people are still using them. One of the classics is keyword stuffing, where the top keywords for a website are heavily seasoned throughout every web page to such a degree that it looks ridiculous. This leads to bad quality content, no organic content, and at times a laughably repetitive page.

One of the most popular tricks in 2014 is using invisible text, such as text that matches the background of a site, to increase keywords without the trouble of actual keyword stuffing. This might seem like a good idea, but search engine algorithms can see this text even if your readers can’t. These “spiders” sleuth through HTML code and can instantly spot text no matter what the color.

Another favorite tactic is peppering in keywords that are irrelevant in an attempt to fool the search engines. This is done by pinpointing popular terms, even if they don’t fit the niche or demographics of the website, and using them generously on web pages. At times this can result in getting indexed under more keywords. But this trick will be uncovered when people start clicking on SERP links and then quickly leave. After all, someone searching for a divorce attorney in Tampa isn’t going to spend long on a site for dog treats.

Black-hat tricks can also redirect people to other pages via a program that links a page to something completely unrelated to the search query. This can mean a lot of traffic sent to a certain site, but you have the same issue with the irrelevant search trick. People aren’t going to stay long on a site that has nothing to do with their search, and this causes more damage than good. High bounceback rates are a big red flag for black-hat trickery.

People are still farming and selling links in order to boost rankings, but these tactics are also caught by search algorithms. Depending on a “link farm” to boost rankings might appear harmless, but some of these farms have hundreds of sites. Once a farm has been flagged for black-hat techniques, every single site linked to it may be penalized. This is a gamble you shouldn’t take.

The odds are never in your favor when it comes to SEO black-hat tricks. Instead, focus on SEO best practices, and take pride in your websites by improving their quality. Plus, consider that sometimes it takes a lot of work to engage in black-hat tricks, and that time could just as well be spent on genuinely improving your rankings.

Tags: search, seo
Recommend (1)
9 comments about "Top SEO Black-Hat Tricks Still Being Used".
  1. Bob Gordon from The Auto Channel , June 10, 2014 at 12:28 p.m.
    As far as we are concerned, black hats are only being worn by the google endineers who are pandaizing sites like ours (almost to the point of extinction), compared to two weeks ago google search traffic is down 50%. The Auto Channel has been online over 19 years and plays no SEO games...we publish original content along with relevant and in context manufacturer releases...suggestions?
  2. Steve Plunkett from Rockfish , June 10, 2014 at 12:32 p.m.
    Everyday.. people are trying to steal traffic away from retailers with established brands using spammy techniques.. SEO and ORM from the Corporate perspective is hire and agency for ORM and start clean up... it;s out there, the longer it is, the longer it will still be there and get more links..
  3. Steve Plunkett from Rockfish , June 10, 2014 at 12:35 p.m.
    Bob.. hire a professional SEO.. there are tactics and best practices to follow.. and Google didnt penalize your site, something you did caused it.. or something an seo did that wasnt within Google Webmaster Guidelines.. sometimes.. its your wordpress blog attached to your domain with porn spam.. there are many many reasons and professional SEOs know what these are... from a professional SEO for over 2 decades.
  4. Steve Plunkett from Rockfish , June 10, 2014 at 12:38 p.m.
    Bob.. stop spamming keyword tags.. If this is what your keywords tag looks like on your front page? if i was your competitor's SEO.. i would report you for spamming keywords at least.. and get your removed from Google.. The black hats arent being worn by google.. your website doesnt comply with Google Webmaster Guidelines.. those are the rules we play by in SEO.. there is no exception.. or.. you lose traffic.
  5. Steve Plunkett from Rockfish , June 10, 2014 at 12:40 p.m.
    lol.. Bob.. seriously? http://theautochannel.com/fpmenu/carsitesbymake.html subdomains with duplicate content.. p.s. that's 20 minutes of looking..
  6. Mark Evans from Addion , June 10, 2014 at 2:58 p.m.
    Um, welcome to 2004 and earlier. The cat and mouse game has been going on a long time, but these techniques are ancient and (at least in the US, where G focuses much harder) ineffective. Text in the background color was neutralized in about 2000. Irrelevant keywords were neutralized shortly after. Link farms started getting hit a couple of years ago, but reciprocal linking, for example, was neutralized almost a decade ago. BTW, black hat SEOs are making too much money on their own sites, rather than doing SEO consulting for others. I do agree that most people are not set up for doing black hat themselves, in terms of knowledge, the need to have no loyalty to any site you make or industry you're in as you chase what's a money-maker, and the general fear of Google (however over-wrought that actually may be). But as shown in other comments, people still do dumb stuff; it just has no effect.
  7. Mark Evans from Addion , June 10, 2014 at 3:01 p.m.
    BTW, if you really want a publicly available story on black hat, read the (very long) blog post by a black hat who got nailed, at http://sebastianjohnsson.com/successfully-trolled-google-destroyed-entire-affiliate-business/
  8. Bob Gordon from The Auto Channel , June 10, 2014 at 3:53 p.m.
    Hi Steve thanks for your input, the page you mentioned, http://theautochannel.com/fpmenu/carsitesbymake.html, is not meant to be spammy duplicte content but is an index to our original and unique buyers guides by brand, which all include every spec, review news and research and comparison tools for all cars sold in north america since 1997...how else can you list them without listing them?
  9. Julia Makin from www.vent2me.com.au , June 12, 2014 at 6:25 a.m.
    Thank you friends for your useful inputs about black hat SEO.