The malicious Black Hat techniques harm the image and performance of companies on search engines such as Google. Learn what these techniques are and avoid penalties to your business's online page.
In the late 1990s, as soon as Google emerged, the main SEO (Search Engine Optimization) technique to rank websites among the first results of the search page was to use keywords and links that took visitors to these electronic addresses. .
Over time, other techniques were created to manipulate the search engine robots and obtain a better positioning in the search results pages made on Google. This set of questionable techniques was named Black Hat, in reference to the villains of Western movies.
Since then, the most used search engine on the planet has struggled to curb Black Hat techniques, such as the excessive and contextless use of keywords and links . Therefore, Google's algorithm has been updated and reinforced to avoid manipulation and artificial results in the race for the first places in the ranking of the online search giant.
In this article, the Digital Marketing Agency Tupiniquim explains in more detail what Black Hat is, what its techniques are and how to avoid receiving penalties from Google , which can affect the positioning and display of your company's page in search results. of users.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO is the name given to the set of techniques that aim to manipulate the algorithm and robots of search engines to optimize the reach and positioning of an online page in the results displayed by search engines such as, for example and mainly, Google. .
In general, pages that use Black Hat techniques are only concerned with ranking on the search results page and not with providing quality content and reliable information to users.
Black Hat techniques do not follow the principles and recommendations of Google's guidelines and, when identified, generate punishments and penalties to pages . With this, Google intends to ensure that only really relevant, informative and useful results are displayed to answer the searches made by its users.
Now that you are aware of what Black Hat means, we are going to introduce you to two other sets of techniques that are also named after characters from old westerns: White Hat (in Portuguese, white hat, in reference to the good guys in these movies) and Gray Hat (in translation, gray hat, a middle ground between villain and good guy).
Gray Hat techniques are not considered bad practices on the same level as Black Hat manipulative tactics. However, this does not mean that they are seen by the Google algorithm as an example to be followed . In general, Gray Hats can also use questionable Black Hat techniques, but only for a short period to avoid penalties.
Among the most common examples of Gray Hat actions are sending marketing emails without the user having requested or registering to receive this type of communication and posting links in the comments section of posts on social networks, forums, blogs. etc., which does not necessarily have to do with the content and which aims to generate traffic to the linked pages.
White Hat is the name of the set of techniques that follow Google's guidelines in the mission to leverage the performance of a page among the results presented by the search engine.
White Hat focuses on ranking well on Google through good SEO practices and producing quality , credible content to drive engagement and drive organic traffic among visitors.
Being well positioned in search engines is important, but without content that generates a relationship of trust, the company runs the risk of harming its image and reputation on the internet with its personas and the general public, in addition to being disloyal with the competition.
At first, bad Black Hat practices can even bring quick results in terms of traffic volume and number of visitors. However, when faced with poor content that does not meet their needs, the audience will disband and the page bounce rate will increase significantly , impacting the level of customer conversion.
Therefore, the concern with a good ranking in search engines without offering quality and reliable content affects the perception and trust of visitors to the online page and the credibility of the company's brand, products and services.
In addition, the page identified by the algorithm of Google or other search engines as using Black Hat techniques loses relevance and prominence among search results .
This can mean losing many positions in the ranking of the Google results page, resulting in a large drop in the volume of organic traffic from visitors received by the page, as most users do not go beyond the first pages of results brought by Google. As a more serious consequence, the use of Black Hat techniques can also cause the page to be banned from the search engine index.
You are already aware of the harm that Black Hat SEO can cause to the reputation and ranking of your company's page on the internet. Let's detail, then, what exactly these techniques are applied to circumvent Google's guidelines .
Discover the top 5 Black Hat techniques you should avoid:
The keyword stuffing technique is nothing more than using an excessive or inconsistent amount of keywords . Thus, a keyword is repeated as many times as possible throughout the published content in the hope of making the page relevant to searches made for that keyword.
This abusive use of a keyword throughout the text ends up, sometimes, fooling Google's algorithm by increasing density, that is, the number of times the keyword is used compared to the rest of the words used.
This technique also harms the usability of the page and the experience of the readers because it makes the text truncated and makes it difficult or even prevents the understanding of the content.
Applying keywords and links without context is also a typical Black Hat strategy. In the hidden content technique, it is quite common for the font of these elements to be formatted with the same color as the background of the website, blog, page, etc.
Content can also be hidden by placing the text off the page, through CSS code, or even through changing the font size of the text . With these bad practices, the content is invisible to the eyes of the users, but it continues to be mapped and identified by the search engine robots, which return these results without quality for the searches made.
The Google search engine gives preference to original content. This means that identical or very similar texts from different pages will be considered as duplicate content.
When Google's algorithm identifies this duplication, it displays the result that was posted the longest and omits the other content that is the same or very similar so as not to affect the experience and quality of searches made by users.
Literally translated, the name of this Black Hat technique means “link farm”. It refers to a group of pages that link to each other's addresses on their homepages or other pages in an attempt to improve the ranking of all of them on Google.
This practice can be penalized because it is understood as a way to create artificial reputation and authority for pages that only exchange backlinks with each other, without concern for relevant and informative content.
This technique uses a page that contains certain popular search terms and keywords as a gateway to redirect visitors to another page that has nothing to do with users' Google searches.
In this way, the search engine's algorithm is manipulated and displays among the search results the page that appears to be related to the search, but which, in fact, only aims to trick users into artificially increasing the volume of traffic.
You already know what to avoid when it comes to Black Hat SEO, right? So, let's focus on search engine optimization best practices to ensure that you take actions according to Google guidelines and perform optimally in the results rankings.
Pay attention to the number of times the keyword is used in proportion and in comparison to the rest of the content. To do this, check the keyword density , that is, the percentage number of times it was used in the text of the page.
For example, in a text of 100 words, using the keyword 10 times means a very high density of 10%. It is estimated that this percentage should not exceed 3% to avoid the loss of relevance of the publication among search results.
Therefore, use keywords strategically and consistently for on-page SEO . Apply them in the meta title, meta description and throughout the content in a natural way . Do not forget to use synonyms to vary the text and make reading more enjoyable, as well as expanding the scope of the content to other words related to the central theme of the publication.
We know that it is important to read and search other results and publications to learn about the subject that you intend to cover, but remember that copying texts indiscriminately may cause the content not to appear in the results of a search.
Therefore, when writing about a topic on your website or blog , create an authorial text, that is, in your own words and based on your understanding of the topic from the knowledge obtained from research and reading. If you consider it necessary to use excerpts from other pages of your company's website or third parties, cite the source or reference through internal or external links and don't exaggerate the dose, ok?
A good tip is to combine content marketing and SEO techniques to create content that has a good reach, generates organic traffic and is original, relevant and useful to solve the doubts of Google users and, thus, generate a good reputation . for company publications on the internet .
Authority is one of the main attributes that one can achieve on the internet. It demonstrates the relevance, level of knowledge and expertise of a company in its area .
To achieve it, in addition to producing quality content, it is possible to make use of backlinks, that is, recommendations from other pages that generate traffic to your company's website.
An efficient way, which adds value and follows Google's guidelines to obtain backlinks is to bet on the publication of guest posts , that is, having an article created by your business published on the blog or page of partner companies .
In this way, in addition to reaching a new audience that can be taken to your page, you guarantee the quality of the content created on behalf of your company and generate a good first impression on those who are redirected to your page.
Also read: SEO Checklist: 14 Strategies to Optimize Your Website
We developed this article to warn you about practices that can harm the performance of your company's website on the internet and that you probably didn't know about or didn't think could cause harm to Google's ranking, such as the exaggerated use of a keyword in the same page.
You've learned that it's not a good idea to bet on the results of Black Hat SEO techniques because, in the long run, they will inevitably affect page performance and damage your company's image inside and outside Google .
Therefore, it is highly recommended to bet on the experience and competence of the professional services of a digital marketing agency to ensure a good ranking among Google search results and a satisfactory volume of visitor traffic in an ethical and effective way.