What is Black Hat SEO?

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It’s becoming more and more difficult to decipher the different technical language thrown around on the internet in 2017; that’s part of the reason we put together our Jargon Buster. But, do you ever see a term used and want to learn more about its history, background, meaning?

Black hat SEO is an aggressive, guerrilla SEO tactic that aims to deceive search engines in order to perform better in their rankings. Techniques, such as ‘keyword stuffing’ and ‘link farms’ are employed in order to offset the hard work of SEO agencies and legitimate businesses do. You’ve heard of buying Instagram followers, right? This is the same thing, but it’s aimed at Google and Bing and can often lead to the exoneration of websites.


Much like as is true with purchasing followers, the business model of the vendors is something of supplying the means to a demand, but we cannot praise the below-board service they offer. Businesses using these services are paying to make more money back by being expedited to the top of your search results by throwing money at the issue, as opposed to earning their place. A better ranking from search engines leads to a higher click rate, which encourages more interactions and eventually more money for the perpetrating business. It’s a simple equation.


You might be wondering how this works and what the procedure is; effectively, a business with poor rankings may pay a vendor to post thousands of links from unrelated websites in order to entice people to click onto their website. This was an old method that has since been dismissed by Google and Bing as the implementation of different algorithms detects the foul play. There are still myriad variations of black hat SEO, some of which being less obvious or blatant than others, but search engines are getting smarter.


The future of black hat SEO is bleak. Search engines are getting smarter with the frequent introductions of combative algorithms, such as Google’s Penguin. You also can learn more about some of the other algorithm updates in our previous blog post, but effectively, search engines are getting smarter as technology advances and the future of the websites that ‘cheat’ is short anyway.

There is, and always will be, a market for skirting around regulations and buying one’s’ way to the top, however, the longevity of these methods is often non-existent. The best method for gaining search engines’ trust and rankings is through the implementation of tried-and-true techniques, such as targeting keywords and creating engaging, informative content. What’s more, if you can’t do this on your own, there is a great market for digital marketing and agencies that possess the expertise to improve your ranking performance.

If you would like to hear more about the SEO and digital services we provide, check out the rest of our website. You could also fill out our online contact form, or call us on 01706 361708.

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