On the face of it, black hat SEO may well sound like a good idea as the be all and end all is a shortcut to improving your company’s ranking on search engines. So, why isn’t everyone doing it? The fact of the matter is that black hat SEO tactics can actually be incredibly harmful to your business. 

What Even Is Black Hat SEO? 

Black hat SEO is a set of different practices that boost a website’s ranking yet go against search engine guidelines. They essentially completely ignore the intent behind the search and try to cheat the system as a means of gaining more visibility. Its counterpart is white hat SEO, which closely follows search engine guidelines to boost rankings. White hat SEO is the much more legitimate practice that businesses should follow. 
That being said, there are a lot of marketers who are more than happy to take advantage of black hat SEO as they like to manipulate a search engine’s algorithm as a means to improve search visibility. Whilst you can increase visibility on your site quicker with black hat practices, they can be harmful to your business in multiple and different ways. These include: 
- They can eventually result in lower search rankings, or even cause a website to disappear from search results altogether. 
Due to the fact black hat SEO blatantly goes against a search engine's terms of service, when said search engine eventually becomes wise as to what is going on, they’ll penalise the site. This penalisation can come in the form of ensuring sites appear lower in search results or even ban a site from appearing entirely. 
- The results you get (if any) are only short term. 
Due to the fact these practices exploit loopholes in search engines guidelines, the results that have been earned will disappear as soon as said loophole has been fixed. This is constantly happening and, as such, search engineers are constantly looking for more of these loopholes that people use as a means to play the system. 
- It creates a poor, annoying or misleading experience for those that end up visiting your website. 
A lot of black hat tactics create a poor user experience, which tends to cause people who visit your website to leave almost immediately. Good SEO practices don’t just drive new users to your site, but if your site then contains quality information, you’re also going to retain those users. No one is going to trust a website that looks predominantly like spam
Realistically, if you want to gain some long-term visibility then you’re going to need to build trustworthy relationships with your customers. Black hat SEO is not the way to do this. So, what are the black hat SEO practices that you should avoid? 

Common Black Hat SEO Techniques 

In order to keep both search engines and your users happy, you should use white hat SEO tactics and avoid the following practices: 
1. Publishing a lot of low-quality content 
When search engines are choosing which sites will rank, they much prefer a website that contains high-quality content. The issue that a lot of businesses face is the fact high-quality content is not very easy or cheap to create. As such, black hat marketers will churn out low-quality content and hope to rank that way instead. You should make sure you create good-quality content that answers the question the consumer was searching for in the first place. 
2. Keyword stuffing and copying previously published content 
A lot of SEO involves using keywords that people will search for pertaining to your industry, so having keywords in the body of your text isn’t unusual. Keyword stuffing is slightly different though, as this uses the keyword excessively in the content to the point it becomes incredibly unnatural and is clearly just a blatant attempt at getting the keyword into the text as many times as possible. 
Duplicate content is also another form of overly using keywords, as it’s essentially posting the same content (on multiple pages of your website) to try and get search engines to have them rank as high as possible. Both of these tactics are frowned upon and will likely result in the search engine eventually penalising the website. 
3. Using a misleading redirect 
This is another common trick used a lot to mislead audiences into clicking on a site before redirecting them to a totally different and unrelated page. Essentially, a link to a high-quality page will be redirected to a low-quality page as a means to try and boost that low-quality page's overall ranking. 
4. Cloaking 
Cloaking is a black hat SEO technique that companies use to trick search engines into ranking content for one search term that isn’t actually used in the context of the webpage. Essentially, when a site practices cloaking, there will be a piece of content shown to a user while showing an entirely other piece of content to the search engine. 
5. Spamming blog comments 
This is a method that many sites use in order to gain more links to their site. They will comment on dozens and dozens of blog posts with links to their website. The reason this can help SEO is because if a lot of high-quality sites are linking back to another site, that can also boost search rankings. These links can of course be earned organically by creating good-quality content that people want to reference; however, black hat SEOers will link to their site on posts that have no relevance whatsoever. 


There is no doubt that utilising SEO practices can be a great way to improve your company’s visibility online. That being said, there are different types of SEO practices, specifically, black hat and white hat. White hat SEO is legitimate and can massively benefit your business in the long term, but it requires effort, hence why lots of businesses opt instead for black hat SEO. Black hat SEO is the exploitation of loopholes in order to assist a company’s ranking. Whilst these can be effective in the short term, when the search engine catches wind of what’s happening, their site could rank lower or not rank at all as a consequence. 
Making your website SEO-friendly is very doable; however, it can require a lot of time and effort to do it in a legitimate manner. It’s for these reasons that a lot of organisations opt for the help of web design companies such as it’seeze Knutsford, who are committed to offering local businesses affordable web design as well as getting their website SEO ready. For more information about how it’seeze Knutsford can benefit your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch
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