Black hat SEO tactics can crush your business online
Different people define black hat SEO in different ways. In the simplest terms, black hat SEO tactics includes any techniques that go against Google’s guidelines. Some people think of black hat SEO as a short cut to achieving higher search engine rankings. However, in the long run, it can do more harm than good. An SEO strategy shouldn’t be designed merely to improve your rankings. You need to provide value to the visitors. if your strategy is only to improve rankings, you need to rethink your strategy.
An example of Black Hat strategies
About a decade ago, you would commonly come across website text that read like this:
“Are you looking for best SEO services in Hartford? You have reached the right place. We offer the best SEO services in Hartford and vicinity. No matter you are small start-up or a large enterprise, we provide the best SEO services in Hartford and we can take your website to the top of search engine results page”.
Keyword stuffing, article spinning, link spamming and cloaked content were used far too commonly in those times. Then came along Google algorithm updates that started penalizing websites for adopting these practices and things started to change. Today, it is much more difficult to get away with black hat SEO tactics than it was a few years ago. Panda, Penguin, Pigeon and Hummingbird, the spam detecting Google algorithms demote websites in the search results that fail to meet the quality standards as defined by the Google Webmaster Guidelines. Moreover, Google has an army of engineers to manually review and flag websites.
Top reasons why local businesses should never engage in black hat SEO
- Contrary to what you want to achieve, black hat SEO can lead to lower search engine rankings or may even cause your website to entirely disappear from search engine results.
- It may work for you in the short term, but once the search engine identifies and fixes the loopholes (which they always do), you will lose whatever you have achieved through malicious means.
- It creates a poor user experience because everything on the page is created keeping in mind search engine bots and not the actual users. These sites normally look spammy and users tend to leave quickly.
Here is how different Google algorithms detect the presence of spam and other malicious activity, and penalize websites
Panda was first launched in 2011. Its purpose was to show high quality websites higher in search results and demote websites that were poor quality. Panda cleared the search engine results pages of low quality and spammy content. This allowed better quality websites to rank higher on the SERPs. It targets thin content, machine generated content, excessive onsite advertisements and duplicate content. Panda is not a penalty. The websites targeted by Panda can still rank well but individual pages may get demoted to lower positions. However, it is not uncommon for entire domains to plummet in ranking
Pigeon was released in 2013 and greatly improved the ranking parameters based on location and distance. In fact, this update completely shook up the local organic results. The older 7-pack style was changed to 3 pack listings. With Pigeon, only those business that had strong organic web presence could compete for higher local rankings.
Released in 2013, Hummingbird did not come as a minor update, but brought in a complete revamp of the core Google algorithm. It focused on semantic search, i.e., understanding the intent of a query and then matching it to more relevant search results. So, rather than just focusing on keywords to serve the search results, Hummingbird focused on what user meant. Before Hummingbird, the content was designed to appear at the top of a Search Engine Results Page, rather than serving information the user was really looking for.
It is extremely difficult to get past these algorithms and get away with malicious SEO tactics. It is best to hire services of a reputed SEO professional, who uses ethical means to take your website to the top of search engine results page. While white hat SEO strategies may take a while to show results, but what you achieve stays for the long term.
Do you want to work with an SEO company that avoids black hat strategies and delivers SEO results every time, call us at (203)882-0171