Search engine optimization, or SEO, works by providing the information web crawlers are looking for that determine how high your web page ranks during search queries. Ideally, the most relevant websites for any given search are at the top of the list and the more irrelevant websites are near the bottom.
Unfortunately, out of greed or desperation some companies use unethical techniques to drive traffic to their Web site by tricking the web crawlers into believing their fake content or spam is actually relevant content.
These unethical techniques are commonly referred to as black hat SEO.
Why are black hat SEO techniques unethical?
Black hat SEO techniques break the basic rules of search engine ranking by tricking web crawlers (in the form of invisible and irrelevant keywords) and internet users into visiting their website under false pretenses. They undermine relevant websites that contain actual content and create a poor user experience overall.
While many black hat SEO techniques do work on a temporary basis, it doesn’t take long for these pages to be identified and banned by search engines. If your website gets banned it can’t show up in a search and no one will ever be able to find it.
What are common black hat SEO techniques?
- Keyword Stuffing – This practice refers to a web page that “stuffed” keywords into the Meta tags or in long, random lists disguised as content.
- Hidden Text – Hidden or invisible text is when keywords are written in a text color that matches the background color, making the text invisible to visitors but visible to web crawlers. Placing keyword-rich text behind an image is another version of this practice. Most search engines can detect hidden text.
- Gateway or Doorway Pages – These are low-quality web pages that are basically void of content and only contain the keywords that lead to high search results. Many of these “doors” will have buttons to enter the real site on the page.
Thankfully, there are many ethical search engine optimization techniques you can use to help boost your Web site’s traffic and provide your customers with the quality content that leads to sales.
For more information about how SEO techniques and original web content can improve your website, contact us today!