Lots of people these days are using the powerful technique of SEO for their internet marketing of a website. This can be a great way to grow ones site naturally on the search engine pages, and get more traffic to ones site. However, there is a darker side to such marketing known as ‘black-hat’ SEO. This generally involves actions which are considered to be unethical, or forbidden by the search engines. This article has a look at why black hat SEO is bad and the different forms of it.
So, what exactly is black-hat? It is generally defined as any method of attempting to get higher search engine rankings by techniques that are not considered ethical, and which try to, in some way or other, trick the search pages such as Google’s to list the page higher in their listings, and give it a better ranking. Thus, it is a type of marketing which usually employs methods of boosting ones site’s ratings by performing online marketing which has no real benefit to people, and tries to trick search bots.
To understand what actually can be considered unethical SEO, it will probably help if one reads about a few examples of things that are normally considered ‘black-hat’. One such thing is the manupilation of hidden text that can only be picked up by search engine spiders. This is sometimes text that is the same colour tone as the background of ones site so that people cannot see it. However, the search bots may be led to conclusing that the page has content on it that it really does not have, and rank it higher in the search result pages.
Keyword stuffing is something that can often be considered an unethical way of building a website’s ranking. This is where a person’s website possesses pages that are tailored mostly to the search engines while trying to appear like authentic pages to people. Usually one will find the same keyword phrase used over and over many times, and will generally leave the page rather quickly. However, the intention of people who use this technique is to get higher ratings and not to please readers. This is another method that is generally considered unethical to the online world.
Some people place secret pages on their websites that cannot be seen by the general audience, but are visible to the search bots. These pages will usually be put there to try and increase a person’s page rank in one way or another. As might be expected, these pages are deemed errorneous by most people, and the search engine companies.
One may be wondering if SEO can really work, since many people seem to be using. The answer is generally that initially such methods may help ones site climb higher in the rankings, and gain more traffic. However, sooner or later, one is bound to be noticed by the search engines which are getting more and more intelligent all the time. When a page is found to be using these ‘black-hat’ methods, the site will most likely be removed from all the search pages, and so is really not worth it.
A person may be trying to practice ethical SEO but fear that he or she might be doing something that is considered unethical by the search engines. There is a simple way to avoid this ever happening, and possible suspension of ones site, and this is to check the rules of and general guidelines of most search engines. This will help one to get a better idea of what one can and cannot practice.
This article took a quick look at the subject of Black-hat SEO, and what it is. Anyone who would like to anaylze more is encouraged to read more about why black hat SEO is bad and the different variations of it online.
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