SEO Black Hat Techniques are the unethical measures some Search Engine Optimisation companies use to get short term search engine ranking

The goal of all website SEO is top natural ranking. Blackhat techniques
may do this on a short term basis but the effect is short lived!

SEO and the Blackhat Techniques

Black hat techniques are measures a person or SEO company can do to try and manipulate the search engines into providing a high natural search ranking for certain keywords.

They are designed to drive traffic to a site, sometimes completely against the web users wishes. The whole goal of a black hat technique is to un-ethically secure web visitors either for a legitimate product or service or as is commonly the case a completely unrelated subject to the users search engine search.

SEO BLACK HAT TECHNIQUES - only ever a short term measure with no guarantee of even this short term gain and the very real risk of search engine result exclusion through website black listing and total index removal”

Hidden Content as a Black Hat Technique

There are more than a few ways to hide content within a website or web page. The most common examples employed by Black Hat SEO Consultants is the use of hidden text.

This can either be via the use of CSS styling to either position content out of the view of the normal browser (CSS is used to shift a certain block of text out of screen view at all times) or to make it impossible to distinguish either by making the text very small or creating it in the same colour as the background rendering it invisible to the naked eye!

It is possible to spam and hide content within the web page coding itself. Comment tags are used by web designers as reminders or pointers when creating a page structure. They can also be misused as a way to plant keywords into your site coding in the hope of improved search engine rankings.

CHECK FOR HIDDEN COMMENT SPAMMING - view your page source and look for coding written as below.

<!-- Design comment would be written here - if it is full of keywords then its comment tag spam a definite form of Black Hat SEO-->

Within the coding it will not be displayed as other text you can see eg white hat text tag coding is written as below and is visible on your website to all visitors
<p>Paragraph Text here</p>
<h1>Heading text here</h1>

Misuse of Meta Tags as a Black Hat Technique

As mentioned on the Meta Tag page these are ways to talk to the search engine spiders and tell them all about your website. If you select too many keywords or irrelevant keywords for your page content then the search engines could view this as a form of spamming attempt.

At best they could deem your site to be poorly designed and as such demote it in search results below sites it deems to be better designed and more relevant for its users searches.

Misuse of the <meta description=""> tag is when you are telling the search engines your website is about A and then creating content all about b,c or d - in fact anything other than A as the main topic is a misuse It can also be misused by creating a tag that is non descriptive and uses repetition of keywords or keyword phrases inappropriately.

“AN EXAMPLE BLACK HAT DESCRIPTION META TAG - if this pages meta tag read as follows
"DeGal SEO, BLACK HAT SEO, BLACK HAT, BLACK HAT SEO we cover all your SEO BLACK HAT optimization"
incase you were wondering it is actually
"SEO Black Hat Search Engine Optimisation Techniques. A guide to the unethical black hat techniques employed by SEO companies."

Black Hat Gateway or Doorway pages

These are pages that are purely designed for search engines and then forward visitors to another landing page. They can be designed to be highly targeted for certain keywords which helps very much when attempting to secure those natural search term positions.

They are unethical as the visitor never see's this content and is then forwarded to a page that isn't as optimised. There is no reason not to optimise the landing page for the keywords unless you were attempting to deceive in some way, hence the search engines dislike for this practice and its place as a Black Hat technique.

Poorly designed website's can sometimes be penalised when the coder inadvertently creates these pages without realising the SEO implications - eg a site with a flash intro page that then forwards to a home page. As far as the search engines are concerned why would a legitimate site do this?

Link Farms are bad for SEO

Bad inbound links from link farms should be avoided. Naturally Google can't place a massive penalty on this or company a would just submit competitor company b to all these link farms to purposely get their site penalised - however that doesn't make it right and links from these pages should be avoided.

As part of our service we actively seek all inbound links to your site and if we discover inappropriate inbound links we will request their removal and if action isn't taken and we believe the link is placed maliciously we will report the link farm site to relevant authorities and search engines (how many other competent SEO companies are doing this and do you really want your website associated with one of these sites!).

We would also warn that if Google found definite patterns to suggest you were actively seeking these link farm links then they may decide there is evidence to penalise your site as it has contravened it's webmaster guidelines

We list more information on link farms and black hat seo techniques regarding page rank and links from high ranking pages with in our off site optimisation link farms page

Black Hat SEO Companies to avoid

When it comes to SEO there are a lot of so called experts out there. There are even nationally recognised and trusted companies jumping on this SEO bandwagon - We're sure with good intentions but in reality they have little or no SEO knowledge and what they do can actually harm your business website!

You have to be on guard against outbound links from your website. This is especially true from some of the "free" website's you can buy. Yes they are free but built into their code is irrelevant links to non related website's The worry will be if the search engines class this as Black Hat SEO and penalise your business website for this.

Some of the established printed directories that get delivered for free (mention no names here but i'm sure you know who we are talking about) also offer free SEO web pages. These are usually coded very badly and i have even seen examples of main page links going to the directories own category landing page exploiting your business visitors to there other paid for advertisers!

Not to mention the small print you sign saying said directory company actually own this domain and not yourself or your business meaning at any point they can use the domain as they like, including passing traffic to a rival!

If search engines deem an outbound link as a spam link your site will be penalised! That said a footer link to your web design or website SEO company stating web design by or website seo by... is fine as it is offering users of your website who may appreciate it the chance to contact the company and like the links to the w3c org for coding validation show an attention to detail for your website!

Shadow Domains

These are website's set up with separate content for spiders as opposed to web visitors. Generally they will forward all real visitors to a single website whilst search engine spiders get shown to content rich but grammatically poor sites that are highly keyword optimised.

Hundreds or thousands of these website's can be created and set up on independent domains in the hope of increasing the page rank and search engine position of the main, genuine site.

This is a really risky practice and one the search engines are getting better at detecting all the time so is one Black Hat technique to always avoid getting involved in!

Duplicate Content

Spamming through excessive duplicate content is a no no. Search engines may disregard all of your relevant content if it feels you have attempted to trick it by creating multiple pages, sub domains or duplicate sites all advertising the same thing.

Unique and separate content is the way to avoid this. It also pays to stay on top of any duplicate content issues and report immediately to the search engines if other sites have stolen your material. Always ensure your website has a privacy policy and state all content copyright and not to be duplicated without prior approval.

Articles and news stories designed for syndication although are duplicate content will not get you a penalisation penalty - although they won't necessarily help your rankings you will gain extra traffic.

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is the inclusion of your keywords or keyword terms in inappropriate proportions or in grammatically incorrect format on your web pages.

The worst cases of this occur when the content differs from the targeted page content - this can also occur by so called SEO specialists who actually don't understand the SEO process or follow the search engines own guidelines.

“AN EXAMPLE of a Keyword Stuffed Paragraph - This Keyword stuffed Paragraph is an example of keyword stuffed keywords stuffed stuffed keywords bit of writing. It is so keyword stuffed the average reading would be stuffed of keywords so much they wouldn't give a keywords stuff about your keyword stuffing web site and so would stuff off ;-) "

Title and Alt Tag Mis use

A good White Hat policy is to provide useful and meaningful alt tags and title tags full all images and links on your web site. The black hat policy is to use these html tags as an opportunity to keywords stuff or put non relevant content into the web page coding.

A Black Hat Summary

As always there will companies doing one of the above and appearing to get away with it but it is no way to set out a long term SEO plan focusing on White Hat not Black Hat SEO techniques.

The above methods are devious in the extreme and unless you have a high level of coding knowledge you may be unaware of a SEO company doing something until your website disappears from the search engines completely.

By this point you may have invested a lot of time and money that will now be wasted and effectively you will be in a worse situation than before you employed the SEO company in the first place. The unethical black hat SEO company do not suffer, they happily move on to their next client whilst you are left to pick up your business website pieces and recover what you can! (the whole fact Google allow a reevaluation procedure for site's they have black listed show's this is happening to companies all the time!)

Find a SEO or SEM (Search Engine Marketing) company that fully understands both ethical and unethical methods and clearly demonstrate to you their white hat only techniques. Get it in writing exactly what they will and won't be doing ensure you are fully aware of exactly what is being done. If you suspect any suspicious behavior don't be afraid to get a 2nd opinion from another reputable SEO company immediately - a small amount of extra money spent here could save you £1000's later...

Black Hat Optimising

If you are looking for Black Hat optimising resources
we would strongly recommend re-reading this whole page!

Put simply DeGal SEO will never undertake Black Hat SEO techniques. If you wish to go down this path we say good luck, you'll need it.

If you are worried about previous SEO work that has been done on your website then by all means get in touch for our honest appraisal of the SEO work.

If a SEO company has ever requested direct ftp access to your business website and they weren't connected to your main web design company then be very wary. The SEO company will have had complete access to your site and may have done more than you realised if they aren't an honest company!

Contracting DeGal SEO to undertake your web sites SEO work is your guarantee of the very best possible when it comes to optimising your business web site.

If you don't fully understand the SEO process then find someone you trust to oversee it for you or read up from reputable resources (our recommendation again is the Google webmaster guidelines) and gain the knowledge so that you are 100% aware of every thing that is done with regards SEO on your site to ensure it all remains white hat.

We believe in transparency and happily reveal most of the methods we adhere to when undertaking SEO work within this site. Once you hire us as SEO consultants we will keep you fully informed of all our actions and provide ongoing reports and assistance as required so you can be safe in the knowledge we don't employ black hat SEO methods.

Contact DeGal SEO if you have any Black Hat SEO questions

Please use the web form below to contact DeGal SEO with any concerns or enquiries related to Black Hat SEO and your business website.

White Hat SEO

In contrast to Black Hat you have White Hat techniques

This page has been all about Black Hat SEO techniques but the techniques you should always follow when designing or performing SEO work are commonly known as White Hat techniques. Please use the link below to learn all about these ethical methods of securing search engine natural placement.

The DeGal SEO guide to White Hat Techniques…