Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective methods for marketers to increase organic traffic to their websites, with Google getting trillions of searches every year. But there’s a lot of competition on the first page of the Google search engine results in the list these days.
We are always on the lookout for the best SEO strategies for our consumers as a digital marketing agency, and part of that is understanding what techniques to avoid.
Such approaches are known as ‘Black Hat’ SEO techniques.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat SEO is a tactic used to rank a website that violates the rules of search engines. To improve a site’s rankings on the SERPs, Black hat SEO techniques use underhand methods to manipulate search engine algorithms. What constitutes a Black Hat technique is a moving target and is generally dictated by search engines as they update their algorithms.
Three reasons to avoid Black Hat SEO
- Eventually, it will reduce your rankings. Sites that have enjoyed being on page one will drop out of sight in many instances as Google changes algorithms to weed out dubious SEO behavior. You want to stop that because that has an impact on your authority, visibility, and traffic.
- It isn’t a long term solution. Although Google can take some time to decide if a site is engaged in unethical approaches, a loss of traffic is unavoidable once it occurs.
- It creates a bad user experience. Most black hat techniques produce a terrible user experience, which can cause users to leave a website. It can make brands look spam and untrustworthy as well.
Here are some SEO techniques to avoid. If any digital marketing agency you work with suggests one of these, run away!
A vital part of SEO is link building, but it’s also one of the most challenging aspects. It can be hard to find quality links. The white hat way to develop them is to produce quality content that people will want to share. Black hat SEO companies will often purchase backlinks rather than put in all this effort, which goes directly against Google guidelines. Most of these links are spam or irrelevant and will not provide a great user experience.
The act of excessively using a keyword in your content to try to get search engines to rank it is the definition of keyword stuffing. Not only is it monotonous to read, but it could also lead to penalization.
Hidden text is the same color as the background or even uses a zero font size. This strategy is often used to stuff keywords in. We certainly don’t recommend that you add hidden text to your pages. Although this helped to rank pages many years ago, search engine crawlers are more advanced than before and know when you’re trying to stuff keywords onto a page.
Blog Article Spam
As the name suggests, this black hat strategy includes adding a link to your website in blog comments. Search engines like Google have changed their algorithm to diminish any links in blog comments. Many authoritative blogs even make links in blogs nofollow by default in blog comments. This means that search engines like Google don’t follow the link or grant the link authority. Despite a reduction in the number of people spamming blogs, you can still find some people on freelancer websites advertising blog commenting services. Blog commenting is a spammy way of getting links to your website, and we strongly recommend avoiding the activity.
How do you legitimately practice SEO for your dental practice? A good start is to publish regular, unique, and useful content for your dental practice, maintain a social media presence, and ensure a great user experience for your website visitors.
If you are looking for help to make your site more visible online, we’re here to help! Contact us today for a conversation.