When you are planning your SEO campaign, it’s essential to know the ethical SEO techniques to use to optimize your website. Choosing unethical, or “black hat,” techniques can have serious repercussions including damaged reputation and banning from search engines. To help you determine unethical from ethical SEO tactics, here are some of the most common black hat techniques and their white hat alternatives.
Black hat technique: Webpage Flooding. This is when a script randomly generates thousands of pages of gibberish and interlinks the pages so that your site seems larger than it really is. Once the search engines catch on to what you’re doing, your site will be blacklisted.
Alternative: Flesh out your website with relevant content. It’s understandable that you want search engines to recognize that your site is robust, but it should be full of relevant content, not nonsense. This will help your site get linked, ranked and visited.
Black hat technique: Invisible or hidden text. This occurs when text is not easily viewed by a visitor, but is readable by search engines. Search engines will recognize this tactic and your site will be penalized.
Alternative: Weaving keywords naturally. It might take a little more effort, but it’s almost always possible to find a way to naturally weave keywords into your content rather than hide them.
Black hat technique: Irrelevant keywords. Irrelevant keywords are often used to get your site to rank for more keywords, but they also direct the wrong traffic to your site and confuse visitors.
Alternative: Use the proper, relevant keywords. Not only will your content make more sense if the keywords you choose are relevant, it’ll also help with your conversion rate.
Black hat technique: Mirror or duplicate sites. This is a technique in which sites are duplicated and renamed. Search engines catch on to this tactic easily.
Alternative: Create fresh content on your site. The best way to avoid this black hat tactic is to just not do it. Your time and energy is better spent developing new and relevant content.
Black hat technique: Submitting repeatedly. Submitting your site to search engines and directories repeatedly in a short period of time will result in your site being banned by search engines.
Alternative: Keep consistent records. Generating links to your site is a great way to improve rankings, but keep a record of how often you submit your site and where you submit it to in order to avoid getting banned.
This list covers some of the most common forms of black hat SEO, but there are many others out there that should be avoided. For the best results, practice ethical SEO for the optimization of your website.
*Image provided by archeoastronomia on Flickr