10 Black Hat SEO Techniques That Harms Your Google Ranking


Black Hat SEO Techniques That Harms Google Ranking
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As more and more people demand for highly relevant and quick information when searching online, Google continues to change and update its searching algorithm for better results. Many Internet marketers employ the use of SEO techniques to achieve higher ranking of websites in the search engine results. However, this can only occur if done correctly, and lawfully. This means staying away from illegal, unethical ‘Black Hat’ SEO techniques and using ‘White Hat’ SEO techniques only.

Everyone has the right to begin with the most basic things to optimize their websites, such as ALT and TITLE elements for non-text content, Meta tags for descriptions, .xml sitemap for aiding Google crawl through your website, unique title tags for each page of your website and much more.

However, while you move towards more advanced SEO tactics, there are some that will more or less affect your website’s traffic and harm your site’s ranking in Google search results. Such SEO techniques are called Black Hat SEO Techniques, and can be detected by Google’s Panda and Penguin’s search algorithms; which are developed for the sole purpose of removing or penalizing such sites.

Below are mentioned 10 Black Hat techniques that can harm your Google Ranking:

List of Black Hat SEO techniques to avoid

1.  Cloaking

The most widely known Black hat technique, cloaking is the practice of deceiving the search engine by showing different content to Google and taking your websites users to a different content or web page than the one they think they must be going on, after having clicked the search engine link. For example, your web code makes Google think you are directing users to live football match updates site, when in fact your website publishes information about sales on Kid’s toys and accessories. Google uses its search algorithms to locate such activities, and if detected, such websites are subjected to penalty which includes hurting the ranking of a website or even banning it from the search engine, completely.

 2. Link-exchanges

Doing link exchanges can really reduce your website’s rankings.  This technique used to be effective in the old days, until Google devised algorithms to discourage such activity. Websites should focus on building links naturally, rather than exchanging links that are mostly low quality and irrelevant.  Link exchanges are sure to get you lots of links in lesser time, but this will not help you improve your rank, and is more likely to put your SEO efforts to waste. Check out what Google webmaster guidelines for link scheme.

3. Duplicate Content

Duplicating or copying content from another website is one of the worst Black Hat SEO techniques. Google search engine algorithms are modified every now and then to index original and unique content only. Search engines do not index the ‘original’ content more than once. In fact, all such copied content goes to waste. Therefore, you should focus your SEO efforts in creating unique and original website content only.

One thing which you should know about duplicate content is, it can happen on your blog too. You can check out ShoutMeLoud earlier guide on WordPress duplicate content & fixes.

 4. Buying Links

Links are said to be an 80% determinant of your Google ranking. The online world is full of such ads who call people to buy thousands of links for a few dollars. Google’s Penguin Update works in finding such spam websites who buy links in exchange of money. After the launch of this update, not only did such sites suffer in terms of their rankings, but other sites that paid to be featured on them were also penalized.

 5. Keyword Stuffing

This technique might have worked back in old days, but not anymore with Google’s search and ranking algorithms. If your website has an authority over a topic, it’s absolutely alright to include relevant and as much information regarding it. But, including keywords after every 2 sentences on every page will make your site look spammy, and annoy not only your search engine crawler but also your site’s human visitors. One should include only relevant and balanced quantity of keyword Meta tags and should not go overboard in doing so.

 6. Hidden text

Hidden text implies that you have white text on a white background in order to stuff extra keywords on your site. However, we as humans can definitely not track or see same color text on same color background, but Google’s bots can. Bots have an automated system that goes through your source code to trace even the slightest of error. It might also be that because of not having enough site security, your site may be stuffed by lots of hidden text. Before Google finds it out and you get penalized for it, it is better to ensure. your source code and logs are ‘hidden text-free’

Hidden text Black hat SEO
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7. Link farms

A site or a group of sites that exist and serve for the sole purpose of increasing the link popularity of another site through link exchanges are called Link farms. What may look like a regular webpage is full of hyperlinks which are most often not relevant to the site being linked to. Google does not like unrelated links and link farming on the whole. So, your website will most likely be traced out and penalized. Avoiding endorsement from link farms is much better than hurting your rankings.

 8. Writing for search engines

There is nothing wrong in writing for search engines, but many blogs uses spam methods to publish post. That included copying article text from different source, and using article spinning software’s to spin the article. Or using automated ways to generate content. Google’s Panda Update can now detect such spam content and remove them from the rankings or index.Instead of working on such methods to generate new content, the best approach would be to write useful and relevant content that attracts more and more targeted audience.

 9. Over-optimization

Working on your SEO the simplest and natural way can provide more friendly user experience and increase your rankings too. However, making your website over-optimized can hurt your rankings.

 10. Low-quality content

You can lose your website’s credibility and ranking through low quality or spun content. Such content will more likely send the visitor away, so it is better to write new, error-free and original articles.

These are just few of many black hat techniques which results in deindexing of your website in Google search engine. A good practice would be, follow quality guidelines from Webmaster tool, and avoid any short term ranking scheme. On various internet marketing forums, you will find tips, and hacks to get higher ranking for your Website, and unfortunately they do work for a short term. But, after a while your effort will be wasted, as Google search sophisticated algorithm, identify any such black hat SEO techniques, and push your website to black hole.

What other Black hat SEO techniques you recommend others to avoid? Have you ever been penalised for using any bad SEO trick on your blog? Do share your experience with us via comments.

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Authored By
Shamim is a professional Blogger & Internet Marketing Strategist since 2007. He is the founder of LateNightBirds -A Local SEO Company in Bangladesh and provide SEO Consultancy Worldwide!

18 thoughts on “10 Black Hat SEO Techniques That Harms Your Google Ranking”

  1. Logan

    I used to think that cloaking is the most popular technique among the black hats and this article has proved my opinion. I personally think that it’s nice to be a white hat because otherwise you can easily get into trouble. The profitable info on this topic is told to be posted on deindex.pro. Is it really this way?

  2. Ishan Kaul

    I love your site so much becoz it is always helpful to me. I want to ask one thing In which of the following contents of our particular blog post, we should include our keywords so as to avoid the keyword stuffing ?

  3. Pratyush Rohilla

    Thank You for sharing this useful information with us. Do these black hat technique really block our website for google crawler? There are lot of black hat techniques which cause to block our website in google. But really you have posted here many lots of important techniques which are very useful and should be taken care off during blogging.

  4. Sonya Mehra

    What will the Best white hat SEO techniques we should follow on our websites. ?

  5. Pushkar Kathayat

    Thanks so much for telling about these harmful techniques but I am not satisfied with your opinion that link exchange comes under black hat technique. In my opinion, it can also happen naturally. Suppose you have given a link to other website and other website has also given a link to your site. Then, in this case, what will google do?
    BTW thanks again for providing such useful info.

  6. Rajesh Kumar

    Wow. I am really happy to come across your article. Got to learn many good things about how to avoid my website from being harmed by Google. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚ Going to implement it in my website.

  7. Sudheer Pal

    Nice article as always.
    Many newbies are following some of the points mentioned by you, as there are not aware of Google policies. Might be this article of yours will help them a lot.

  8. Sunny Saijen

    In my opinion Google penalizes when it finds duplicate content, over-optimization, keyword stuffing and unnatural link building. These are the most critical factors that affect SEO and rankings.

  9. Ravi kumar

    It has been in focus now, that Link Exchange is totally spamming techniques to build links. But people who do not aware about this, they still doing the same activity.

    Thanks to Nasir Uddin Shamim for sharing the information with such people.

    We should understand that Black HAT is totally spamming one, we should promote any thing with this techniques, now I am so happy about Google penguin and Panda who has breaking power and detect such things in the Search Engine. So Now alert all Black Hatters.


  10. Rinkesh

    Very informative article. I will try to not rank of Google on the basis of these black hat SEO techniques.

  11. pritam patil

    Very Informative article ..some points are really to be noted down..but still I am confuse with low quality content point.. can you please explain in some more simpler way.. πŸ™‚

  12. Andrew Richard

    Hi Nasir,

    Thank you for giving advice what not to do,but I am very much confused with link building. I have started my blog where I post videos from YouTube for worlds top brands.I have not done any link building but my page rank is 3 within a span of 3 months.Further how I can increase my backlinks.please give me reply.

  13. SOWRAV

    About Cloaking: What will be fact for News website and blog website. There have different subject. Thanks for your post

    1. Nasir Uddin Shamim

      No matter what type of site you own; Cloaking is completely prohibited. Google is very much strict on it.

  14. ved prakash joshi

    Low quality content & Over optimization are majorly adoptable thing by web owners
    These two terms contains all unethical process of seo

  15. Satish

    Perfect! These are the solid black hat techniques you should avoid in your blog. People should also focus on anchor text formations, like generic, target and brand links. Recent penguin updates say that, the targeted links keywords should be restricted to 20% and generic and brand keywords like click here, site name, company brand name can be 40% each. Balancing these metrics will boost your PR and SERP’s in google! πŸ™‚

  16. Gaganpreet Singh

    Very nice article. But there are few points I am not satisfied with:

    1. Writing low quality content is not a black hat SEO technique.
    2. Link Exchange is not a black hat technique but excessive link exchange can hurt the rankings.

    What do you say ?

    1. Nasir Uddin Shamim

      Hi Gaganpreet,

      1. Lots of people out there are constantly creating hundreds to thousands of low quality contents solely to grab search engines. Besides, it is named as Auto Blogging too….just scraping other contents, rewritten or spun these and publishing on blog is the way how spammers and black hat guys are doing their business. πŸ™‚

      2. Google are very strict on this issue…Link Exchange is totally prohibited no matter how much excessive it is. But, some guys are still doing it and it should be in Black Hat process anyways.

      Thanks for your comment anyway.

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