What is Black Hat SEO?
The world of search engine optimization is divided in two parts: White hat SEO and Black hat SEO. White hat SEO programs focus their efforts on tactics that will appeal to human audiences and in turn receive high search engine rankings as a benefit of appealing to readers. White hat SEO is a slow and steady process. You get lasting results and avoid being red-flagged by search engines.
Black hat tactics take a more aggressive approach to search engine optimization. The results are often immediate, but they can have a negative, long-lasting impact on your website and further SEO programs. People who use black hat SEO uses techniques trick search engines into ranking their sites higher, even though they are not providing quality content to the end user.
Some black hat SEO tactics are easy to fall into, so you could inadvertently be using some black hat tactics without even realizing it. SEO packages often provide keyword research tools. These tools help you identify keywords that will help you target readers and drive traffic to your site. Search engines will scan your site for keywords, and rank it higher on the page when people search for related search terms.
Using keywords in informational articles is the white hat SEO tactic. Keywords can be used for other things though, and one of the most popular black hat tactics is called keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is when you use a keyword an excessive amount, out of proper context, in hopes of driving traffic to your site. Another method is meta keyword stuffing, where users stuff meta tags with keywords. Meta tags are meant to be reminders within a code of a text and are not supposed to be targeting search engines. While these tactics can improve your ranking in the short term, misusing keywords on your site will result in a penalty from Google and other search engines that will damage your SEO in the long run.
Building links is a vital area of search engine optimization, and many of the best SEO tools offer resources for finding links and developing link partnerships. Link building is another form of SEO that is often misused as a black hat technique. Good, quality links add continuous value to your website. This is because a good link is like a positive vote for your website. If another site is giving it a vote of confidence, search engines are more likely to see your site favorably.
Unfortunately, links can be manipulated. Link farms are websites that are created to spam search engine indexes in an attempt to fool the search engines into giving your website a higher ranking. This SEO tactic is frowned upon because it tricks search engines and does not provide the end user with any value. Search engines, especially Google, discourage using link farming and will penalize those who do.
There are many SEO tools that may use black hat practices. Avoid these tools and avoid black hat practices for the benefit of your website and company. Though it may seem appealing to get immediate results in an SEO campaign, in the end it will do much more harm than good. It will result in penalizations from search engines and in your site being black listed from search engines. These penalties will undo any SEO work you have done and damage your site's reputation.
Stick to white hat SEO and choose the best SEO tools to help you achieve well-deserved, lasting results as part of your SEO program.