SEO when done correctly helps to move up your blog’s ranking in search engines, but blackhat strategies are considered by many to be unethical. Although they are not illegal, Google has a distinct dislike for those blogs which implement blackhat SEO tactics and will deliberately lower that blog in their rankings if caught doing so. Sometimes, Google has been known to abandon the blackhatter altogether and throw it completely out of their search engine.
Examples of blackhat strategies are spinning articles, using questionable backlinks, keyword stuffing, duplicating content, concealing text and incorporating keywords that have nothing to do with your blog’s theme. While blackhatting is tempting because it is relatively easy and does work, its effects are only temporary because sooner or later, the blog employing black hat tactics will be caught and penalized by Google, which may put that blog in a place worse than it was prior to using blackhat tricks.
What Is Content Spinning?
You have probably encountered this while searching blogs for information, blogs which have content that mysteriously sounds just like or very similar to other content you have read somewhere else. This is called “spinning” or “article spinning” and is essentially a webblog owner stealing another blog’s content and copying it onto their own webpage.
Or, in an effort to seem less of a plagiarist, the owner replaces certain words in the article (using a synonym finder or automatic article rewriter) but leaves the gist of the article alone. They also do this in order to pass something called “Copyscape“, which is a program designed to test articles for plagiarism. Spinning is almost always detectable because the articles does not make much sense and contains strangely worded sentences, improper word placement and sometimes little or no punctuation. Using content spinning is considered blackhat by Google and also makes your blog look foolish and substandard.
What Is Cloaking?
Cloaking is another blackhat tactic that will put you on Google’s naughty list. This means that a blog owner is attempting to direct users to different URL’s other than the real one found on a Google search. For example, someone may serve a page of HTML text to a variety of search engines but display a page of Flash content or .JPG images to users. blog owners generally employ cloaking when they have elements embedded in their page that isn’t searchable material to a search engine.
Webmaster guidelines for Google state that putting a different text inside a Java tag rather than a “no-script” tag breaches the rule regarding the appearance of alternate content for users than for search blogs which “see” that no-script text.
Stuffing With Keywords That Are Not Relevant To Your Blog
While utilizing meta-keywords are not vital to being recognized by Google search anymore, it is still important to use and correctly select keywords. However, blackhatting occurs when someone uses keywords in their blog content which has nothing to do with their blog in order to get picked up the a search engine spider.
Google does not appreciate a blog owner repeating the same keyword or phrases in an article, either. This is called “keyword spamming” and will result in a blog immediately being lowered in rank. In addition, integrating trending keywords in your blog content which are not relevant to your blog theme is another no-no upon which Google frowns. For example, if your blog is about marketing cell phones, don’t try to fit Lady Ga-Ga’s name into the content just to try to get picked up by search engines.
Knowing how to use keywords effectively when creating a blog’s content is imperative to being ranked high on search engines. While using one keyword such as “dog” or “car” will place you in a position where you will be competing with millions of other blogs also adopting this same keyword, using key phrases will not.
Instead of “car” as a keyword, a blog owner could use “family-friendly car” or “car with good gas mileage” which will reduce the number of blogs vying for rank. Remember, however, that overusing keyword phrases is not any more effective than using them at a 2% to 3% rate within an article. Also be aware that search engines usually examine the first 250 words of content because they consider these to be the most important words in an article.
What Is Google Bombing?
When a blog owner has finally achieved the spot he or she wanted on Google’s search page, they may decide to start “Google bombing”. This means they will start to create many other “mini-blogs”, or blogs which have the minimal amount of elements necessary to constitute a webpage and link that quasi-webblog back to the main one. This means that higher ranking blog can possibly have hundreds to thousands of links directing users to it in a few days or weeks. When Google discovers this, they will undoubtedly investigate this unnatural phenomenon and take action against the owner.
Using The Blackhat Technique Of Hidden Text
Have you ever wondered why some blogs have an inordinate amount of blank white space on their page, usually at the bottom? Check it again, only this time highlight the area. You will probably see that it is not empty but contains white text written against a white background.
Blackhatters think they can utilize this strategy and either add keywords not related to the blog or indulge in keyword stuffing. Blackhatters may think that Google cannot see the words but actually, the Google spider can detect these “hidden” words. Once discovered, Google will probably penalize the blog owners for employing this tactic and demote or eliminate the webblog altogether.
So play it safe when trying to get your blog ranked high on Google’s search engine and avoid the blackhat techniques which may result in your blog laying helplessly at the bottom of the link barrel.