Black-Hat SEO in 2018 - IMPRiNT - A West Los Angeles Digital Agency
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Black-Hat SEO in 2018

What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization is exactly what it sounds like: it is the process of increasing ones online visibility via search engine results (whether it be on Google, Yahoo, Bing etc). SEO is often referred to as producing “organic” or “natural” traffic to a web page or site. Search engines employ their own algorithms to provide the user with what they deem the ‘best’ source of material. However, sometimes users will employ unethical techniques in order to increase a page’s ranking in an SERP. According to Wordstream, these practice, known as Black-Hat SEO, refers to “a set of practices that are used to increases a site or page’s rank in search engines through means that violate the search engines’ terms of service.” In essence, these are basically just practices that go against Google guidelines and principles.

When it comes to SEO, people are often looking for the quickest and most effective methods to increase searchability. In an effort to generate results, businesses and  companies may make use of black-hat SEO strategies. This article will seek to assess/address what black-hat SEO entails and some of the tactics and techniques that are at the forefront of black-hat SEO in 2018. Similarly, how can black-hat SEO affect you and your business’s searchability? What are the risks of getting “penalized” by search engines? If you want to keep up with black-hat SEO trends, here are a few to look out for in 2018:

 

  1. Cloaking

 

As explained by a Trickc article, “a good SEO expert always prepares a website for both visitors and search engines.” The content on a webpage serves not only to provide value and quality information to its users, but to guide the search engines to the most authentic webpages.

 

Cloaking refers to “a practice of creating two types of content”; it presents different content or URL to both the user and the search engine. As explained in Trickc blogs “if executed in the right way, cloaking can turn out to be a quick solution to ranking site higher in the searches.” There are a number of cloaking tools and examples that users may find on the web. However, this SEO method may result in a site or webpage being penalized by the search engine.

 

  1. Content Spinning

 

Content is King— and that is not about to change in 2018. But what does that mean in regard to SEO? A business may have a great on-page SEO, however if they are not providing relevant, unique, and valuable content to their users, an SEO campaign will likely fail. Thus, for any business or company’s growth, publishing this kind of content is also likely to rank an article higher than an unoriginal, existing article.

 

However, adding new, flavorful content to a website, like anything else, takes time and resources. This is where content spinning comes into play. Content spinning refers to the practice of taking live content and turning it into new, original content without all of the in-between effort. There are a variety of different content and article-spinning softwares that a company or business may choose to use.

 

  1. Keyword Stuffing

 

Keywords have been a crucial part of SEO in the past. Even for those only vaguely aware of what SEO entails will likely be familiar with keyword stuffing. But are keywords still relevant in 2018? While some articles will say no, we beg to differ. The basics of keywords are perhaps the most integral part of SEO. Thus, when it comes to writing for SEO in 2018, several black-hat techniques will still revolve around strategically integrating keywords.

 

“Keyword Stuffing” involves packing too many keywords in to an article in the hopes of increasing its visibility. However, in 2018, this strategy will actually work against you, as Google’s algorithms has become much more sophisticated. So, while this well-known black-hat SEO technique is no longer as applicable as it was in the past, it is still a technique to be aware of in 2018.

 

  1. Doorway Pages

 

Doorway pages are another black-hat SEO technique/tool to be aware of in 2018. They are exactly what they sound like; Doorway pages are specific web pages that are designed/built to increase the organic reach of a sites visibility and draw more users in and increase its rank for specific search queries. Doorway pages operate as standalone pages manipulating the search engine. In a few words, doorway pages act as a “doorway” to a site or webpage with the purpose being to optimize a website’s ranking for Search Engine Result Page (SERP). 

 

According to a Trickc blogs article “nowadays, many SEO firms are using doorway pages for achieving good ranking in search results. These pages can be quite useful for site owners in order to build a connection to the target page.”

However, as with any black-hat SEO technique, doorway pages should be used with caution and at your own risk.

 

  1. Buying Links

 

Finally, another popular black-hat trend is link buying. Businesses and companies can buy links to help improve SEO efforts. Because, as Trickc blogs explains, “search engines attach special value to inbound links and backlinks and consider them as ranking factors,” the more links a site or webpage has, the more authentic or genuine it will look. However, it is important to keep in mind that search engines are able to recognize these activities. So, if you are planning to do so, do it carefully.

 

In conclusion, whether you want to try out some black-hat SEO techniques or are just curious as to what 2018 will hold for black-hat SEO, there is an ample amount of research available. Whatever SEO techniques you choose to you in 2018, do so with caution.

 

Sources:

Perzyńska, Kasia, “8 Risky Black Hat SEO Techniques Used Today,” Unamo, https://unamo.com/blog/seo/8-risky-black-hat-seo-techniques-used-today

“What Is Black Hat SEO?,” Wordstream, https://www.wordstream.com/black-hat-seo