Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid Like the Plague

Matthew 8th January 2019 0 Comments

Black hat SEO refers to the use of a number of sneaky SEO practices to increase a websites’ ranking position by violating search engines’ guidelines.

Using proper techniques, preferred by search engines to rank and receive traffic organically can be time consuming and make black hat techniques look attractive. However, search engines will penalise sites that use these techniques and you may risk serious penalties such as your website getting deleted.

Here are the top black hat techniques to avoid…

Hidden Text and Links

This refers to text which is not visible to site visitors but is still visible to search engines and this is usually achieved by placing text on a background of the same colour. Other ways marketers use hidden text on their sites include; hiding keywords with CSS, writing text in font size 0 and including text within images.

Unrelated Keywords

Often marketers use irrelevant keywords in their content in order to gain more traffic and rank more highly. This is usually done by spamming their content with popular keywords that aren’t relevant to their site, just because they know they are popular and will yield more hits and fool search engines into ranking them more highly.


This is a technique in which the content presented to, and displayed by the search engine is different to the content that is actually displayed on the webpage. The purpose of this techniqueist to trick the search engine into displaying your page when it would not otherwise be displayed, due to it being irrelevant to the topic being searched for.

Example: A user searches for pancake recipes and is presented with a search result that appears to be relevant, when the user clicks on the result, it reveals a website selling computers.

Page Swapping

Page swapping is publishing a page on a site long enough for it to attain a good ranking position and then replacing the page with another page that is less optimised and that ranks lower, in order to improve the lower ranking pages’ position.

Keyword Stuffing

This is a technique used by marketers to manipulate their site’s search ranking for a particular keyword by repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural.

Example: “We are a company selling a wide range of holidays, we offer holidays such as beach holidays, all-inclusive holidays and city holidays to people looking for holidays”

Duplicate Content

This is content that appears on more than one site, usually copied and pasted from one site to another. This is often taken from a site with pages that are highly ranked in search results in order to gain the same rankings.

Link Farms

Link farms are a group of websites that use hyperlinks to connect with one another to increase their rankings. These links ultimately won’t provide any traffic to their site, but the technique is used to trick the search engine into thinking that the site is popular and links to multiple sites, improving the sites rankings.

Click Bait

This is a way of misleading internet users and tricking them into clicking through to a website in order to get more hits. This is usually done by writing an enticing header to a blog or webpage that has no relevance to its content.

Example: An article appears in search results as “We reveal this one simple trick that can help you lose weight fast” but when clicked on, actually reveals nothing but a spammy site used to backlinks.

Unsure what SEO techniques you should be using for your business? Contact us today and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Square Media is Northamptonshire’s premiere Web Design & Marketing Agency experienced in developing effective content and marketing strategies for forward-thinking companies in the local area. Our team of specialists consistently deliver outstanding results working in a variety of areas such as Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media Marketing Consultancy, Pay Per Click (PPC) and AdWords Management amongst a wide range of other services.

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