What is Black Hat SEO?

Black Hat Search Engine Optimisation - StartupStorey.com

Black Hat refers to a Search Engine Optimization technique which is used to increase the ranking of a blog or website. This article is part of our series of articles on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

In this technique,  strategies are applied to the search engine rather than the viewers or audience by violating the rules and regulation of search engines. Black Hat is used in increasing the traffic to the blog immediately and speedily by using unfair means.


You will get penalised easily.

Even if it seems like black hat SEO yields results quickly, it isn’t sustainable; rather, it’s a cheap form of instant gratification.

Regardless of the results you see, aggressive tactics and intentional link building is frowned upon by Google, and ultimately, you WILL be penalized.


Black Hat Techniques that are commonly applied

301 redirects

Redirect outdated pages to the newer versions or your homepage. When moving to a new domain use them of course as well.


Duplicate Content

As the name suggests, duplicate content refers to the well-known “copy and paste” content creation practice across domains and means that blocks of copied content from different sources exactly match each other or look very much alike.


Article Spinning

This is next level plagiarism and it involves using special software which takes the copied source and rephrases it for later use as a “new”, “unique” post. Modification efficiently cuts down the risk of being detected by any plagiarism tool.



Used as a search engine technique that presents completely different content or URL to the user than to the search engine spider.


Map spam

Instead of faking multiple addresses all over the place just to appear on Google Maps and Local why don’t you simply create an affiliate network of real life small business owners with shops and offices who, for a small amount of money, are your representatives there?

All they need to do is to collect your mail from Google and potential clients.


Why do people still use Black Hat SEO techniques?

This practice is an about-turn to everything you thought you knew about SEO. Its methods go against Google guidelines and policies. Most of the black hat SEO practices border on “spamming” Google, but it’s not as straightforward and dry-cut as you think.

In fact, most of the black hat SEO tactics are just as sophisticated as white hat strategies. The only difference between the two is that black hat SEO provides value only to the site it’s ranking for. It doesn’t bother with the value it gives off to search engine users.

The philosophy behind black hat SEO is that they see Google as a business.

They don’t care if Google promotes its tagline of “[Doing] the right thing.” As far as they’re concerned, everything that Google has built up to this point is simply to profit from their search engine algorithm, which is their most prized possession.

As long as people adhere to its rules, Google can make lots of money from it.

Therefore, instead of conforming to Google’s wants and needs, they challenge the status quo in SEO by ranking sites the way they know how.

By learning how Google’s algorithm works through rigid testing, they can develop techniques that enable site pages to rank on top of organic search results. It doesn’t matter if the methods are questionable as long as they achieve the goals.


The pros and cons of black hat SEO

As with most SEO tactics, there are two sides of a coin. While black hat SEO, in general, is viewed in a negative light, it doesn’t mean that it’s the worst thing that you can do in life. As much risk there is involved in this approach, there are only benefits that explain why people continue to practice black hat SEO.

Below are some of the things that you need to consider about black hat SEO.


Pros of Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO practitioners are in the business of making money. This reason is what attracted them to this SEO approach in the first place.

Unlike white hat SEO, which takes time and intensive resources to get your site to rank on top of its target keyword, black hat SEO can help you achieve the top spot in organic search (for a reasonable target keyword) in a matter of months, if not weeks!

Another advantage of black hat SEO is the automated process that allows you to save up time.

With white hat SEO, you need to assemble a team that will help you perform blogger outreach, link building, content creation, and other tactics to help raise your site’s search rankings.

With black hat SEO, all you’ll need are a couple of tools that you can set and forget, and you’re ready to go!

Much of the time you will spend on doing black hat SEO tasks has to do with setting up your campaigns before deploying them on auto-pilot.

From there, you can measure the results and tweak your campaigns as you see fit to maximize your profit.


Cons of Black Hat SEO

On the downside, Google handles black hat SEO cases very seriously.

You can trace back their actions against this type of SEO in 2011, when it penalized content farms, i.e. article submission sites, due to the publishing of “thin content,” or articles that offer little to no value to readers.

Since the purpose of Google as a search engine is to provide search users with quality content as its results, their intention is to clean up spam and sites that are caught practicing spammy tactics as part of their SEO strategy.

If you are caught doing black hat SEO, Google will penalize your site from ranking on search engines for a very long time, if not forever!

Another disadvantage when it comes to practicing black hat SEO is that you have to always watch your back for Google to penalize your sites.

There are some spammy tactics that pass through the cracks because of how well there are executed without Google detecting them.

But Google’s anti-spam team has smartened up and are slowly weeding out some of the more obvious black hat SEO tactics. This forced black hat practitioners to think outside the box and become more vigilant when it comes to implementing their tactics.

Read the Strawberry Startup ebook

Do not use Black Hat SEO techniques – You have been warned!

Black hat SEO worked a way around this issue by developing churn and burn sites where they pump unnatural links to a site with the purpose of increasing its rankings and the intention of ranking the site as high as possible before it gets ripped apart by Google.

However, unlike before when it took weeks before the site ranks for its keyword, it now takes more than a month to get a site on top of Google organic search.


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