Given the importance of search engine optimization, many companies end up paying SEO agencies thousands of dollars to enhance their rankings using legitimate methods. However, a significant chunk of these SEO agencies may resort to black hat SEO methods to get you the top spot on search engine results.
The flipside? It damages your business’s reputation in the long run. Moreover, it may lead to the blacklisting of your website, or even penalties. Don’t let such scammers and fraudsters fool you!
What Is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat SEO involves using shady tactics to get algorithms to rank your website better. This can quickly generate positive results for your business’s website. However, it is not sustainable in the long run as search engine bots can identify such scammy strategies.
How To Identify Black Hat SEO Scams?
Here are some of the most common black hat SEO strategies that should be avoided:
- Spammy backlinks
Link building is to SEO what bread is to butter. All your optimization efforts will fall flat if you do not pay attention to getting relevant backlinks. However, the agencies you rope in may resort to buying backlinks from third-party websites to create the impression that their website optimization strategy for your business is working. Such websites often have no relationship with the industry you serve. Given that it’s completely irrelevant, Google’s bots will soon figure out that fraudulent tactics are being employed. This may even result in a ban.
- Copied content
If there is one thing you should know, it’s the fact that search engines don’t like duplicate content. Content creation is no cakewalk, which is why many agencies may resort to copying and pasting content from your competitor’s website. Given that no value is created or no additional information is provided through this endeavor, your site’s ranking suffers.
- Keyword stuffing
This is one of the most common black hat SEO tactics. While a few relevant keywords help search engines know what your website is all about, one must not overdo it. At the end of the day, search engines want you to write for their users, not for their bots! When too many keywords are stuffed into your content, it doesn’t lead to a good user experience.
- Attacking competitors
This is a relatively new black hat SEO technique that’s doing the rounds. It involves spamming the business listings of competitors with poor reviews, as well as linking their web assets to suspicious sites to trick search engines into believing that it’s not a trustworthy business. In this case, the goal is to make search engines demote competitors from the top spot of search engine results so that your business can take their place instead. If this scam is uncovered, it will not only attract penalties, but will also cause reputational harm.
As you can see, black hat SEO can turn out to be a headache for you. So, make sure that you join forces with a legitimate digital marketing and SEO company when you want to enhance your business’s online presence.