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SEO 101: What is Black Hat SEO, and why is it bad? 

Graphic of computer and rocket with writing Black Hat SEO

SEO 101: What is Black Hat SEO, and why is it bad? 

You may have read our previous blogs on SEO but have you ever heard of black hat SEO? Here we will talk through what Black hat SEO is, why you should avoid it and how to avoid it. 

What is Black Hat SEO? 

Black Hat SEO is a set of disapproved practises that are used to increase a sites organic rank in the search engines, which violate the search engines terms of service. It is commonly used to describe computer hackers, virus creators and those who perform unethical actions with computers. 

It is important to remember that implementing Black Hat SEO can get your website banned from search engines. 

What are some recognised black hat SEO tactics? 

These are tactics that should not be exercised if you want to stay above board with Google: 

  • Content Automation 
  • Hidden texts or links 
  • Keyword Stuffing 
  • Cloaking 
  • Link Manipulation (including buying links) 
  • Creating pages and domains with duplicate content 
  • Pages with malicious behavior (Phishing, viruses and malware) 
  • Blog Comment Spam 

Why avoid black hat SEO? 

Black hat SEO goes against webmaster guidelines set out by search engines, which means that if you participate then you face large penalties. Although you may think that black hat SEO is worthy as you see an increase to the number of traffic to your site, in the long term you could be at risk from having it banned from Google and other search engines. Google may also penalise you, which can have negative effects on your rankings and traffic. Search engines are now very good at spotting black hat SEO techniques, so if you participate on black hat sEO, then it is likely that you will get caught. 

Overall, black hat SEO should be avoided as its short term gains are not worth the long term consequences. If you’re not sure where to start with SEO, contact us for a FREE SEO Audit.


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Rebecca is a Digital Marketing Coordinator at Siren Search.

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