Search engine Optimization can be done in a variety of ways. It’s flexibility and boundaries are almost limitless. There are two popular ways or methods to do SEO and they are called the ‘White hat’ method and the ‘Black hat’ method. You are either of the two or you’re in between.
I’d like to keep my posts simple and short so that the newbies in this particular profession would easily understand. For this post, I would focus on the black hat method.
First things first, why is it called ‘black hat’? I’m sure all of us have played MMORPG games in our playstation when we were kids. There would always be a ‘black mage’ character somewhere in the game. Black magic is known as the darker side of the arts. It is used to destroy, hurt or kill (compared to white magic). The term ‘black hat’ has been derived from this concept. Why?
Because the black hat method is used to hurt some websites (and sometimes even your own) in order for you to gain Google juice. It all used to be legit but then some people started abusing these practices – and now it is generally frowned upon by search engines and the SEO community at large. Now if you get caught using these dark arts of SEO, you run the risk of getting your website banned from the search engines – which will probably hurt because 89% of the people use search engines to explore the internet.
If you get banned from the search engines it will also hurt your brand, which you are most probably trying to build. Reputation is vital in the internet these days. That’s why there’s such a thing called ‘Online Reputation Management’ and ‘Search engine reputation management’ – 2 services (which I do provide by the way. Hehe.)
Some of the Black hat practices:
Keyword stuffing is the art of packing keywords into your site even when it’s not making any sense anymore. It greatly lowers user-friendliness and information reputation and quality of your site in exchange for temporary increase in rankings. But I think Google now detects this one in a matter of days.
Using invisible texts is simply putting some keywords with the same color as your background so that it would be invisible to the site visitors.
Doorway pages are webpages or a collection of webpages that are merely put up as a dummy. This is done for search engine spiders to crawl links and keywords for the main site (which the doorway page would most probably point to). Usually, the users would never see or find these pages.
These are just SOME of the practices that a black hat SEO practitioner uses. There are so much more. And even now, new ones are in development.
Tip for keeps:
Take it from me, if you’re building a brand or a reputation that you want to keep, don’t focus on your page rank or your keywords. Focus on the content and quality of the information that you are giving your users and the internet will start recognizing you. Black hat is not the way to go.
Watch out for my next article about white hat SEO.