Do you know that certain SEO practices can negatively impact your search engine rankings and visibility? A common term used for such practices is known as black hat SEO. These techniques are generally against the search engine guidelines laid by Google. In this post, I am sharing 5 such SEO techniques that you should stop using immediately.
Why do you need to avoid certain SEO practices?
Whether it is Bing or Google, search engines have a predefined set of guidelines that signify which search engine optimization practices are acceptable. Black hat SEO techniques are those search engine optimization or SEO techniques that manipulate the search engine algorithms to increase a website’s ranking. If your website used such techniques, you can face significant consequences such as:
- Your website might get banned or penalized
- It can negatively affect your search engine rankings and visibility
- These SEO practices offer a bad user experience
- These SEO practices do not guarantee long-term results.
SEO techniques you need to stop using immediately
#1 Stuffing keywords
As the name suggests, keyword stuffing is a technique used by many website creators and content writers, where they stuff multiple keywords on a webpage. This means you should not use keywords multiple times on the same webpage just to increase their count and boost your search visibility. Here are four instances of keyword stuffing:
- When you repeat the same keyword throughout the webpage
- When you add keywords in a webpage that are out of context
- When you insert blocks of the same keyword in the webpage
- When you use irrelevant keywords in a webpage
Given below is a simple example where I am stuffing the keyword “best party dresses”.
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#2 Hiding text
- Spamming keywords thinking that it would enhance your rankings
- Hiding backlinks to other non-relevant websites
- Using competitor brands to just list in competitor searches
- To rank for incorrect keyword searches by hiding misspelled keywords on a webpage
#3 Manipulative linking
Here’s another black hat SEO technique that you must avoid. Backlinks should be earned and not just exchanged with the sole purpose of enhancing your search engine rankings. One must understand that links are just like editorial votes of trust that one website provides to another. Here are a few things to take care of when creating backlinks:
- Avoid mutual backlinks. The more backlinks your website has, the more trustworthy it is. But, it does not mean that you would just exchange backlinks with any website.
- Do not use paid links or sponsored links that have no rel=”nofollow” or rel=”sponsored” attribute
- Avoid blog comment spam where you just add irrelevant comments on a blog just to mention a link to your website
- Avoid link farming by connecting to different websites that are just built to increase your backlinks
#4 Doorway Pages
Doorway pages or gateway pages are such pages that are designed specifically for search engines and have nothing to do with users. These pages might help your website rank higher in the search engine but do not serve what is expected from a webpage – to deliver useful, valuable content to users. You must note that every piece of content that you generate should have a purpose and it should target your audience, not the search engines.
Google has already declared that such web pages will not be entertained at all and the website having gateway pages might have to face additional consequences. This is why many digital marketers preach and I quote, “create content for humans and not search engines”. Here are a few examples of doorway pages:
- Pages with no concrete content but just links to other pages of the website
- Pages with typically long URLs that cannot be recognized
- Pages that are created to just move users to other pages without providing any value to them
Redirects are commonly used in SEO and using redirects is not wrong. It is a way to maintain the structure of your site. It ensures that your website is easily accessible by search engine bots and users. However, people had started manipulating the search engine algorithms using sneaky redirects.
Many website owners misused redirects by sending the search engines on one page and users on another. Sometimes a user is on one webpage but is soon redirected to another webpage just to increase traffic on that webpage. Here are a few ways redirecting affects your website, besides your search engine rankings:
- It can affect the user experience. Some users find it annoying when they are redirected to different pages.
- Using a large number of redirections can affect the loading speed of your website, which again annoys users.
- Sometimes website owners redirect all the pages to the homepage which becomes quite confusing for search engine bots.
We all want to rank our websites on top in the search engines but using illegitimate tactics to do that is not acceptable. If you think that you can fool the search engines and find your way to success in terms of traffic and ranking, you are being misguided. The search engines are becoming smarter every day and can easily track the usage of black hat SEO techniques by a website. If you are by any chance practicing any of the five techniques given above, step back and change your SEO strategy right away before it is too late.
Author’s Bio – Emma Jackson specializes in content writing, blogging and exploring new topics. Emma is also a part contributor of GoAssignmentHelp that provides nursing assignment help. She loves to write topics like marketing, education and assignment services.