SEO is all intentionally blackhat

Black Hat SEO

definition

The term Black Hat SEO in online marketing encompasses all search engine optimization measures that intentionally ignore or circumvent the guidelines and specifications of search engines such as Google. The methods include, for example, link spamming. The aim of this approach is to achieve a higher ranking position for a website in the results lists (SERPs) as quickly and easily as possible.

Black Hat SEO is the opposite of White Hat SEO. Both names come from English and are derived from historical western films: There the hero symbolically wore a white hat, while the villain was dressed in a black hat.

Methods of on-page optimization

Fig .: Black Hat SEO - Author: Seobility - License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Various methods of black search engine optimization can be implemented on a website. One of the most popular is the so-called Cloaking, in German "cover". Different content is displayed to users and search engines. While search engine crawlers access a static HTML page, for example, users are redirected to a page with completely different content using techniques that are difficult or impossible to follow, such as JavaScript or Flash. In its webmaster guidelines, Google explicitly speaks out against cloaking.

Keywords in the appropriate density are important for the ranking, which is why some webmasters use it as another black hat SEO method Keyword stuffing To fall back on. Important key terms are placed in large quantities on a website in order to suggest a high relevance for a topic to the search engine. However, this can quickly put visitors off, as texts with excessive keyword stuffing are difficult to read. This can be remedied by deliberately hidden texts that only search engines can see but not users. Keywords and other texts can be hidden, for example, by designing the font in the same color as the background or by defining it with font size zero. CSS commands like visibility: hidden can also be used. This method of Black Hat SEO is called Hidden text designated.

Methods of off-page optimization

The decisive factor in offpage optimization are backlinks, because if other websites link to a website, this signals to Google and Co. the importance of a website. However, high-quality backlinks are time-consuming to generate organically. This is why there is a strong focus on fast link building in the off-page area of ​​Black Hat SEO, for example via Link farms can be reached. A link farm is a website that contains little or no content of its own, but many links to external sites. Such a directory is set up exclusively for the purpose of linking and otherwise offers no added value for the user.

Work similarly Doorway sidesthat are optimized for important keywords and provided with external links. Their only function is to redirect to the actual website. Links can also be created in large quantities with comparatively little effort Internet forums or comment columns on media pages or blogs to generate.

Another link building method used by Black Hat SEO is this Buying up so-called expired domains These are sites that the original owner has given up or that have been terminated. Since they still have the trust of Google, the buyer can publish new content including high-quality backlinks on their own site under the familiar domain.

Private Blog Networks (PBNs) are another black hat method of generating backlinks. A separate network of blogs is being built up, each dealing with different topics. These blogs can then be used to set high quality dofollow backlinks for a specific website. Since Google rates links that come from blogs higher than links from other sites, this is a frequently used Black Hat SEO method.

advantages

While it is often said that black hat SEO is banned or illegal, it is not. The requirements of the search engines are only guidelines, not legal regulations. Every webmaster can therefore use the methods freely. If the algorithms of the search engines do not recognize the blackhat manipulation, the ranking of a website can improve significantly, which leads to higher traffic and advantages in online marketing.

disadvantage

Google tries to counteract the methods of Black Hat SEO through a variety of measures, such as the Penguin update from 2012. For this reason, the ranking improvements that can be achieved using such methods usually only last for a short time. If a website violates the regulations several times, this will be punished consistently by Google. If a crawler discovers black hat methods, the affected website can, for example, be significantly downgraded in the search result lists or completely removed. Thus, this type of search engine optimization can quickly miss the originally intended goal and negatively affect online marketing.

As Google continuously develops its algorithm, violations of the webmaster guidelines are discovered faster and faster. Google is increasingly orienting itself towards the behavior of its users. For example, the length of stay of the user can provide information about the quality of the content of a website and thus expose measures such as hidden text or cloaking, which simulate a high relevance of the page to certain search terms. If the user clicks on such pages, his expectations of the content of the page are disappointed and he leaves it again relatively quickly. Such short dwell times signal to Google and Co that the content is not relevant for the respective keyword, which leads to a devaluation in the SERPs even without direct identification of the black hat methods.

Black Hat vs. White Hat

Fig .: White Hat SEO - Author: Seobility - License: CC BY-SA 4.0

In contrast to black hat SEO, methods of search engine optimization that adhere to search engine guidelines are called white hat SEO. However, not all measures can be strictly classified in the white or black area. On the one hand, with backlinks, for example, webmasters have no control over which pages they are linked from. Isolated methods of Black Hat SEO, such as linking to a link directory that has been downgraded by Google, therefore do not automatically lead to the exclusion of a page from the SERPs.

In addition, there are measures that do not aim to deceive search engines, but still do not fully adhere to their guidelines. For example, if a provider provides several versions of its website - for example an additional barrier-free version with a simplified structure - this offers a specific benefit for visitors, but from a technical point of view can be misunderstood as cloaking. Such methods are increasingly referred to as "Gray Hat Search Engine Optimization".

The methods that can be clearly assigned to one of the two areas are compared in a table below:

Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO
Cloaking unique meta title and description
Keyword stuffing natural keyword density
Hidden text Content marketing
Link farming organic link building
Doorway Pages Backlinks from relevant websites
Link spamming correct spelling and grammar
Expired domains clean technical setup

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