Black Hat SEO: The Black Magic of Internet Marketing

5 Black Hat SEO Techniques That Are Killing Your SEO Strategy


Do you know why black magic is considered dark magic?

It’s because no matter how well it works at the time there is something, somewhere that will always come back to bite you in the butt.

black hat seo

Image from FlicksPoint

Now, take a look at black magic as it applies to your Internet marketing.

Black magic, or rather, black hat SEO is one of those things that seems to work like a charm at first, but when you’re not watching, has a habit of coming back to smack you hard where it hurts.

When I talk about where it hurts, I’m talking about where it matters: right in the heart of your search engine ranking.

The problem, however, is that most newbies don’t even realize that they’re committing a fire-able offense until after it has happened.

So maybe you’re thinking, what’s the worst that can happen?

  • Your readership decreases because your page comes across as a hack
  • Your page falls behind in the SERPs (search engine results pages)
  • Your page is flagged and shut down completely

Doesn’t sound good, does it?

Don’t get stuck with a red-flag on your page, instead take a look at these common black hat techniques that might get you results early on, but may very well be the kiss of death for your SEO strategy.

Keyword Stuffing

Have you ever read something that just sounds like a load of horse manure? I’m talking about those articles that are just so filled to the brim with stuff that they don’t even make sense. Keyword stuffing is something that might work right off the bat, but with time will be flagged by Google—not to mention your intended audience. Instead of finding the keywords that your subject ranks well for, find the keywords that have low competition and still rank high and then work those into your text organically.

black hat seo

Image from SEO Andy

Another no-no? Stuffing your keywords and hiding them on the page. Many times amateur companies will plug keywords onto the page and disguise the text by using the same color as the background. However, a top SEO consultant will tell you that not only does this not work, but it will in fact get you flagged quickly by Google search engines causing your page to be flagged and fall behind in the SERPs.

Over Optimizing Anchor Text

First things first, anchor text, is the text that anchors and outgoing link to your page. This is the text you, the reader, see when you are reading and come across something that has a hyperlink. More often than not, anchor text is not optimized enough. However, while you can definitely under-optimize your anchor text there is such a thing as over-optimizing it as well. Anchor texts work best when they flow with the text in a way that comes across naturally. Should you use anchor texts and optimize your keywords at the same time? Absolutely. But you should be careful to not use it as an opportunity to stuff keywords into your text either (see above).

Link Building Shortcuts

Among the many black hat SEO techniques are link building opportunities. Ever since the invention of Google’s Penguin, content writers everywhere have been wondering what the value of backlinks are in today’s SEO arena. However, as Matt Cutt’s puts it, link building is nothing if not sweat and creativity. But what does this mean? It means you have to be creative with link building and not take the shortcuts found in black hat SEO techniques.

What this means is that things like guest blogging, paying for links, or even reciprocal links are going to get you flagged eventually. Sites dedicated to guest blogging have met their end for the most part and even those who used to accept guests posts have grown weary of what it could mean for their blog. This is why you hardly see sites asking for guest posts anymore, because where there is link building for link building’s sake, there is every chance that Google will shut it down.

Guest blogging is not a dying art, however, and has since become more of an acquired taste. If you plan on using guest bloggers (or on being one), then plan on using only high quality, publishable material that is thought provoking and genuinely provides something to your readers.

Spammy Commenting

Following on the heels of guest blogging is that age-old

black hat seo

Image from ThakkerTech

practice known as comment spamming. It’s likely that to some extent we have all done it. The method is simple enough: you simply plug your website or link into the comment you leave on a fellow website or blogger’s page. It requires little work or ingenuity on your end and can be as simple as “Great article, I really hope you will check out my page at: xyz”. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong. Google in recent years has not only cracked down on comment spamming, but has found ways to make these links invalid and weak. This takes away their power as a viable link building opportunity.

Are all comments spammy? Not at all. In fact, bloggers and content writers are encouraged to leave thoughtful comments on their fellow bloggers’ work. Not only will engaging and well thought out comments create chances for others to follow you, but they will also be less likely to be dinged if you do happen to include your link.

Unoriginal Content

Let’s face it, as blogging boomed, the numbers of unwritten-about-topics dropped. What I mean is that we’ve all pretty much seen something of the same articles or topics at some point before. However, there is a difference between content about the same topic and plagiarized content. Content that has been plagiarized and/or paraphrased from a separate source can be damaging to your SEO strategy. Duplicate content is not only unoriginal, but also manipulates the verbage of a piece to make it sound just different enough. Websites exist for the sole purpose of creating content of this caliber, spinning articles and effectively dinging your SEO strategy in the process.

What should you do instead? My suggestion is to take a look at Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique. Not only is this a more effective means of writing about content that has already been written about before, but it also can get you more views and shares in the process.

In three steps, Brian Dean instructs you to:

  1. Find linkable content
  2. Make that content better
  3. Increase your reach to the right people

When done right the Skyscraper Technique will help you create engaging and fresh content that readers will be interested in reading.

In short, black hat SEO might seem like the black magic hat trick of your dreams but in reality it is the kiss of death and will harm your search engine ranking.

Looking for More?

What black hat SEO techniques do you recommend avoiding?

Comment below with advice for what not to do in your SEO strategy!


Don’t believe me? Check It Out:

How One Guest Post Link Can Get You a Penalty