What is Black-Hat SEO: Avoid These 8 Techniques

What is Black-Hat SEO: Avoid These 8 Techniques
7 min read

Google is always from the user side and will penalize anything that is against its terms of service. In order to accomplish this, Google creates algorithms and launches updates periodically. Previously, Google detected many cheating, tricky, and unreliable techniques. All those kinds of strategies are referred to as Black-hat SEO and banned from the SEO perspective. Why it is called “Black-hat”? Wordstream explains that the “black hat” originated in Western movies and was associated with bad guys. It is more commonly used to describe hackers, scammers, and virus creators.

What is Black-Hat SEO

Black-hat SEO refers to the action or performance that violates Google's terms of service. As already mentioned, this technique is not recommended in SEO, and no one will face reliable results. Google catches everything and your website will get penalized if the search engine detects anything related to Black-hat SEO. However, many people found a way to partially bypass Google’s guidelines and do an SEO. This technique is called the Gray-hat SEO, which can contain both features of “Black and White hat SEO” techniques. Anyway, in this article, we will discuss the tactics of Black-hat SEO; the tactics that everyone should avoid.


Why Avoid Black-hat SEO

Google penalizes everything that is against its Webmaster Guideline. While doing SEO, everyone aims to get ranked on the first page, increase their organic traffic, get more leads, increase sales, improve brand awareness, etc. That can be reached only by avoiding Black-hat SEO techniques. The harmful impact of Black-hat SEO is inevitable and it is important to know what you will expect as a result:

  • Decrease in website rankings
  • Drop in website organic traffic
  • Website authority lowering
  • Destroy work that was previously done
  • Spend too long time recovering the website’s previous performance


8 Techniques to Avoid

As I have already mentioned above, the techniques of Black-hat SEO are banned and not welcomed. These are some of those kinds of techniques to avoid:


Duplicate Content

The most important and vital component that Google focuses on, is the unique content. Having duplicate or plagiarized content will bring nothing but harm to your website. Also, you will not get ranked with duplicate content. Avoiding, this kind of problem the article spinning has become popular. Re-writing articles, using other synonyms and other expressions, people produce avoid duplicate content. It is not plagiarized, however, it can be easily detected by Google. All these are not recommended. So if you are willing to reach some notable results in your campaigns, you need to produce unique and well-researched content. Also, having unique content will increase your brand authority towards your customers and readers.

Paid Links

Besides duplicate content, Black-hat SEO  includes many manipulating techniques with links. As links are playing a significant role in the ranking process, people starting to require money for a backlink. Link selling is forbidden and could be easily detected either by search engines or experienced specialists. The majority of link sellers don’t care about whether the link sounds natural with content or not. As a result, the inserted unnatural link will be your source of penalty.

Direct Link Exchanges

Bypassing paid links, we come to the second cheating technique; link exchanges. This happens between two websites, under the agreement like “link to me and I will do the same”. The purpose of this, of course, is to drive the authority of the page and boost SEO performance. Unfortunately, that will not work, in this case.

Link Farm 

During the time, Google detected a technique that is called Link Farm and started to refer to that as a part of Black-hat SEO, too. What does it mean to farm the links?

It is the process of linking the targeted page from the low authority websites that are created only for that purpose.  

For example, If we link to Example.com from various websites like IdoKnow.com or ToYSSSBAby.com and etc, Google will assume that we are creating a link farm. That has become against Google’s Webmaster Guideline and is prohibited. In return, the website will lose its authority and some pages may get deindexed.


Keyword Stuffing

This is another technique associated with manipulation and misleading. Keywords also have their role in ranking the article, so to make the content SEO-friendly, keywords are being used in the context. In terms of keyword usage, there is no specific number to use, but everything should be done naturally. Since Google wants to show relevant and high-quality content to users, it will not use your content if you have stuffed the keywords in the content and used them unnaturally. That’s the keyword stuffing. 


Hidden Content

It is also prohibited to hide the content. The purpose of this can be keyword usage. Anyway, Google understands the difference between hidden keywords and the keywords that are used in the body of the text. One can hide the content by using the white text color in the white background or locating the text behind the images. That was really creative, however, not for Google.


Too Many Anchors

It will be odd to add too many links close to each other in the article whether it be internal or external links. That will not work and it looks spammy. From the user's perspective, that will not be pleasurable for reading. It will cause a higher bounce rate. That’s why it is recommended to do everything in a natural way, make the anchors brief, and relevant to the content.



This is one of the oldest tricks in Black-hat SEO. With this technique, a website admin shows other content and URL to search engines and users. This is a violation because the user faces different results and the penalty will be inevitable.


Sum Up

Overall there are other tricks that refer to Black-hat SEO, however, the most common ones were included here. The one important thing to remember is to not include these techniques in the SEO optimization process and violate Google’s guidelines. Start to focus on producing high-quality content and run White-hat SEO to reach your target. Otherwise, you will face drops in your rankings and conversions. Google always rewards high-quality and optimized content. 

Aram Sanamyan 31
An SEO specialist at Andava Digital Marketing Agency experienced in on-site and off-site optimization. Besides the work, prefers reading books about marketing a...
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