You will have heard of Black Hat techniques. They are the less than honest ways some companies attempt to boost their rankings on the search engines. Here is a list of some of the most widely used and widely noticed black hat tactics you should always avoid.
Unrelated keywords are a no-no. Using unrelated keywords to gather more hits is regarded as a black hat technique. Using celebrity names and brand names in a way that has no relevance to your content will only serve to diminish the perception of your company and the content you share. Keywords should only be chosen when they are relevant to your company and are what potential customers are searching for.
Stuffing and stacking keywords is just another form of spamming. This is when keywords a repeated many times within the content in an unnatural way. Being repetitive with different combinations of the same words is also seen as stuffing. Don’t do it. The Google bots will spot it and your readers will not appreciate it. In the long run, it will not have the positive effect you were hoping for. Your content should have logical structure with proper paragraphs and sentences.
Don’t hide keywords in hidden text or tiny text. Another tactic is to make the text the same colour as the background. This is just not cool, and is a blatant black hat tactic. It will be spotted and will not positively affect your rankings in the long term. If there is text on your page, it should be readable, clear and understandable.
Cloaking is a black hat technique that shows a search engine one set of content while it directs visitors to another. It’s a way of tricking visitors into visiting your site. It will not work and is most likely to get your site reported and penalized. Plus, it is highly unprofessional and smacks of desperation. The pornography industry and internet scammers commonly use this practice to trick people onto their websites. It is also used by sites that make revenue from advertising and by phishing sites. Always be honest, transparent and professional with everything you present the public.
Gateway pages that are stuffed with keywords and only act as a funnel to redirect traffic are considered black hat techniques. There is nothing wrong with a legitimate landing page, but a page that serves no purpose other than to rack up visits, and has nothing of value but repeated keywords, is just spam.
Page swapping is when a page is indexed and then immediately, the owner changes the entire page. Google will spot this activity too. If you are updating your website, keep the subjects of your pages the same but refresh the content.