Back in the day (by “the day,” I mean the 1990s), black hat tactics were much more the norm, and much easier to get away with. And hey, why not, right? Get better rankings by fooling the system. Beat out your competition by being smarter (sneakier?). Black Hat search engine optimization is basically the practice of using questionable techniques to garner higher search rankings. Black hat is, essentially, the dark side of SEO, employing dirty tricks, unethical methods, and sketchy practices. Just a few examples:
- Keyword stuffing (packing keywords into the copy – or using white text on a white background): This is sneaky, gross to read and easily detectible.
- Doorway Pages: These are essentially fake page that the user will never see, used to trick search engine spiders into indexing the site higher.
- Cloaking: With this technique, the content that the search engine spider crawls is different than what the user sees.
Problem is that search engines spiders are pretty darn smart. You think the guys that brought us Google are going to allow manipulation of the system and unfair rankings? Nope. As Google, MSN and Yahoo! wise up, black hatters must find new ways to evade detection and fool the system. But, if you get caught, you’ll be penalized.
It’s harder and harder to fool the spiders, and really – why would you want to? It’s not worth the risk and it won’t provide long-term results. By hiring a reputable and established SEM team, you can assure that you’re playing by the rules and earning legitimate rankings. With the right SEO firm, you’ll get quality content for the user that’s also accessible to the spiders. Great rankings, excellent content and a clear conscience.