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Using SEO Checking to Combat Black Hat SEO Tactics
- 29 Nov 2022 6 min read
If there are white hat SEO techniques that benefit your website, there black ones that harm it.
When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), there are both good and bad techniques that improve or deter site credibility, respectively.
The latter, which is called black hat SEO, are tactics often used by negative agents on the internet to prevent you from improving your search visibility. But it has far graver consequences for your business websites if you continue to allow these agents to wreak havoc.
Let us discuss what black hat SEO is in further detail so that you know how and why you need to address them immediately.
What is black hat SEO?
As mentioned, black hat SEO tactics are methods that are supposedly used to improve a site’s ranking in search engines. These are strictly avoided by proper SEO agencies and experts for technical and, more importantly, ethical reasons.
However, that doesn’t mean that these techniques haven’t been totally in use. Nowadays, black hat SEO is employed by negative agents (often competitors in your vertical) as a way to attack your websites’s credibility – pulling down its search ranking and user discovery.
These agents deliberately ignore the search engine guidelines and use these techniques on target websites so that their chances of garnering penalties increase. Tactics can include link schemes, spammy comments, and other underhanded methods.
Difference between white hat and black hat SEO
SEO is a complex and ever-evolving field, and there are a variety of techniques that can help or hurt your site’s ranking on search engines. White hat SEO techniques are those that follow the rules and guidelines set by Google and other search engines, while black hat SEO tactics involve breaking these rules in order to gain an edge over the competition.
One of the main differences between white hat and black hat SEO is that black hat tactics are often short-term solutions that can backfire spectacularly. For example, spammy comments or links can get your site blacklisted by Google, resulting in a significant loss of traffic. In contrast, white hat techniques are usually longer-term strategies that result in a more sustainable increase in website ranking.
Consequences of black hat SEO techniques
Black hat SEO techniques can have serious consequences for your website. Some of the most common consequences include:
- Reduced visibility and traffic. Black hat techniques can get your site blacklisted by Google, resulting in a significant loss of traffic.
- Damage to your website’s reputation. Using black hat tactics can hurt your website’s credibility and visibility with both Google and your potential customers.
- Loss of revenue. Black hat SEO can be an expensive strategy, and can often result in a loss of revenue.
- Legal penalties. Black hat SEO can also lead to legal penalties if you are caught breaking the rules.
Types of black hat SEO tactics
1. Link schemes
One black hat SEO tactic that can hurt your domain authority is participating in link schemes. This involves creating links to your site from other websites with the intent of increasing your site’s ranking. Google is very good at detecting artificial links, and if they believe that you are trying to manipulate your ranking, they will penalize your site. So be sure to only create links naturally, and avoid any black hat tactics that involve spamming or cheating the system.
If you’re concerned that black hat SEO tactics are dragging down your domain authority, you may want to consider disavowing links. Disavowing links is a process of telling Google that you don’t want certain links counted against your site. This can be helpful if you think that someone is trying to hurt your site with spammy links or other black hat tactics.
If you have a lot of links to disavow, you can also use a tool like Screaming Frog or Majestic SEO to help identify them. Once you’ve compiled a list of bad links, simply add them to your disavow file and upload it to your website.
Keep in mind that disavowing links can sometimes have negative consequences – it’s possible that Google will interpret it as a sign of low quality and decrease your ranking as a result. So be sure to only disavow links if you’re absolutely sure that they’re hurting your domain authority!
2. Spammy comments
Another black hat SEO tactic that can impact your domain authority is spammy comments. This involves leaving comments on other websites with the intent of promoting your own site. Not only will this irritate other website owners and guests, but it can also get you blacklisted by Google. So be sure to avoid any spammy comments, and focus on providing valuable content instead.
SEO spammy comments can be a real headache. Not only are they often untargeted and irrelevant, but they can also hurt your domain authority and visibility. Here are a few tips for preventing spammy comments on your website:
- Use a captcha or other verification method to ensure that only human beings are able to comment on your site.
- Don’t allow anonymous comments. Require commenters to provide their name and email address.
- Review all comments before they’re published to your site. Trash any that look like spam.
- Use a comment moderation plugin such as Akismet to help you weed out the bad comments.
- Consider using a black list of known spammers, and automatically block any comments from those addresses.
- Keep your commenting system up to date and moderated. If it’s outdated or neglected, it can be an easy target for spammers.
By following these tips, you can help keep your website free from spammy comments, and maintain your domain authority in the process!
3. Link farms
Link farms are websites that are created primarily for the purpose of increasing the ranking of other websites. These websites exist solely to create links to other sites, and typically have very low-quality content. Because Google blacklists websites that participate in link schemes, it is important to avoid any links from link farms if you want to maintain a high domain authority.
Spotting a link farm can be tricky, but there are a few things you can look for:
- The website looks like it was created just for the purpose of linking to other websites.
- The website has very low-quality content, or no content at all.
- The website is filled with spammy comments.
- The website has a large number of links, far more than would be necessary for a legitimate website.
- The links on the website are of low quality, and don’t appear to be relevant to the site’s content.
If you suspect that a website may be a link farm, it’s best to avoid any links from that site. Not only could it hurt your domain authority, but it could also lead to your site being blacklisted by Google.
Investigating through SEO audits
To ensure that your pages are optimized ranking well on search engines, it’s important to regularly do SEO audits. This is a process of investigating webpages for technical errors and issues that can pull down your rankings.
With the help of an expert SEO company, you can identify and implement improvements on these easily. But you can also do them on your own given that you are equipped with the right tools and enough understanding of SEO.
Regardless of which, conducting regular audits are important to your SEO efforts. From these, you don’t just discover areas for improvement, but also glean insights for content creation that help you maximize visibility and reach on search.
More to the topic of preventing black hat SEO from damaging your site credibility, audits are important for spotting unhealthy links that are pointing to your website. Spotting and disavowing these immediately will help keep your credibility in check and even boost your site rankings.
Black hat SEO tactics, when used to attack your sites, can deter your SEO efforts and general efforts to achieve online business goals. In conducting your optimizations, remember as well to:
- Conduct regular link audits. This is so you can detect these negative tactics when they are being used to attack your websites.
- Make link cleansing a routine. Even if they weren’t deliberate attacks, many low quality websites will link to your websites to try and get a share of link juice. Make link cleansing a routine so that you can weed out these websites.
- Conduct outreach efforts. This is to widen the gap between the impact of white hat SEO and black hat SEO techniques. Through link building and guest posting efforts, strive to get more high-quality links so that the poorer quality ones don’t bog down your performance.
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