Black Hat Is Back 2 : The Evil and Dark Side of Search Engine Optimization
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to comprehend that the ultimate goal as a webmaster is to appear higher up in the search engine results pages as possible. Knowing Google is so smart, what is the likelihood that an average web enthusiast can appear at the top in the search engine results? Is there a process to give yourself an upper-hand over others that aren’t “in the know”?
Depending on what market sector you are attempting to enter, the answer to that question isn’t simply cut and dry – naturally if the niche you are entering is highly saturated, the most targeted keywords will have been already taken by your competition, and it will be very hard to appear on the first page.
Despite all of this, the search engines are definitely not perfect. I’m sure you’ve experienced numerous times where you’ll enter a keyword to search for and the results are totally garbage – and out of these first 10 results, perhaps only 1 or 2 is really relevant to what you’re looking for. It’s undoubtedly frustrating if you’re always hitting the back button to re-enter your search (Which Google now takes into consideration by the way – the bounce rate of a website can actually be determined based on how quick a visitor hits the back button after landing on your site.)
Logic would then dictate, if you are providing useful information that is highly related to the search term your visitor is looking for, then your “bounce rate” should obviously be less.
Now despite all the above-board or “white hat” methods around, there have been some naughty webmasters who have achieved high rankings in the search engines using frowned upon tactics which are known as “spamdexing” – or Black Hat SEO If you are able to artificially increase your positioning in the SERPS by using techniques which are not considered above-board, then you are utilizing some sort of Black Hat SEO method – even if it’s as simple as creating an inbound link from another site that you own. The skill to outrank competing pages which are actually more relevant for a particular phrase, could this be considered sneaky and evil? Absolutely. Is this a common practice among webmasters? Absolutely!
Google, however, is really clamping down on many of these “old school” techniques of manipulating the search engines. Some of these techniques include, but are not limited to:
Stuffing Meta Tags:
Repeating key phrases in the Meta tags more than once and/or using keywords that are unrelated to the site’s content.
This involves the practice of overusing a word to increase the amount of times the keyword appears on a page. Most modern search engines now have the ability to analyze whether the frequency is above normal level.
Invisible or Hidden Links:
When a webmaster creates multiple sites on the same or similar topic and links them all together through invisible links. In most cases, these sites do not have unique content.
Hiding text (targeted keywords) on a page in order to increase a keywords frequency but placing the text where a typical visitor will not see it. This is commonly done by making some text the same as the background color of the page i.e.. White words on a white background.
Google determines the page rank of a site or page by analyzing the amount of incoming links that site or page has – the more offsite pages that link to your page, the higher your page rank. Some webmasters may create multiple websites at various domain names that all link to one another. This is the most common form of Black Hat SEO techniques.
This technique involves showing visitors and search engines different versions of a page.
Each of the above methods is a form of Black Hat SEO or Spamdexing , and will usually get sneaky webmasters who put them to use kicked out from the search engine or “sandboxed” – which is a fancy word for being delisted from the main search results. Not a good place to be.
One of the most aggressive marketers out there is Howie Schwartz and his teachings are documented in a video series called Black Hat Is Back 2.
Filed under: SEO
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