seo tactics to avoid

Black Hat SEO

SEO keeps changing, and there isn’t one sure tactic to help you remain at the top of SERPs. Some webmasters have devised tactics to help them rank faster on the first pages of search engines. However, more often than not the rankings don’t last as Google always catches up as their algorithm develops.

Here are some of the SEO tactics you should avoid.

But first,

What is Black Hat SEO?

Black Hat SEO is any deceptive method that web admins may use to cheat Google to rank pages faster. Well, in most cases, the success is short-lived, and when Google discovers you’ve used shortcuts to cheat the system, you’ll get penalised.

Google will penalize you by lowering your website score or even delisting the site completely from the search engine. Of course, you don’t want this after all the hard work. But, what shortcuts should you avoid?

Black Hat Tactics to Avoid

Buying of Backlinks

Backlinks should flow naturally when you produce high-quality content that readers want to read. Other website owners in your niche will want to share the link juice with high-quality posts.

However, some people will pay for guest posts or even backlinks against Google’s policies. You see, most sites that run a business of selling backlinks often have a list of sites to carry out the business. Google can see all the activities conducted by the backlink sellers.

If you’ve landed into trouble yet, you aren’t safe. Eventually, Google will catch up with you. It’s not worth risking your investment with shady shortcuts. Instead, you should invest in hiring a reputable SEO consultant who will acquire backlinks for you without violating any of Google’s policies.

Private Blog Networks (PBNs)

Often known as the link farms, PBNs are often used by webmasters seeking faster success with the acquisition of backlinks. PBNs are a network of high performing websites privately developed for the sole purpose of providing backlinks to newer or poorly performing money sites.

A PBN is developed from high authority expired domains. Most cunning SEOs will use these to provide links to the other related sites to rank faster.

As genius as PBNs seem, Google has devised ways to detect sites that use them to cheat the system. If you get caught, you risk losing all the rankings and traffic overnight.

Instead, aim at acquiring genuine backlinks through networking with other bloggers in your niche. By doing so, you’re sure of long term success and genuine traffic to your money sites.

Duplicate content

Content creation is time consuming and expensive if you need to hire writers to do it. Some webmasters often think they can duplicate content from other sites and rank for the stolen content. Unfortunately, Google will only index content once.

Well, some SEOs have a way around beating the system to duplicate content without getting caught. They will change some sentences to make the content appear original while copying the rest of it from other sites.

If you want to rank and become an authority in your field, you need to produce quality and unique content regularly. Ensure that the content keeps readers engaged and that they want to come back for more.

duplicate content photo
Find out more about Duplicate Content at Ahrefs.


Page cloaking is another practice that could land you in trouble with Google. The practice involves displaying different content for the users and a different set of search engines.

A website owner using this tactic could make a page very visual by using lots of images. The site owner may also go ahead to place different sets of words to confuse the crawlers.

If you doubt that Google will find you and penalise your site, it happened to BMW in 2006. The automobile seller was found to manipulate the search engine for top rankings when users search for “used car”. The website was delisted, which affected online sales.

Keyword stuffing

Keyword placement is a crucial aspect of SEO. It would be best if you placed keywords naturally within the content. Otherwise, over used keywords will bring readability issues which will also have a negative affect on user experience.

Previously, some websites could rank really fast by bombarding the sites with keywords. In some instances, the perpetrators would even change the font colour to match the background and then stuff with more keywords. This was of the most common black hat tactics.

Overstuffed keywords are often used to mislead the crawlers. You can only cheat for a short time because when Google notices, you’ll get penalized.

Google will award low scores to such sites or even delist them from the SERPs. Always aim towards using relevant keywords in a natural yet coherent way to avoid penalties.

Besides, when you stuff keywords on your pages, the content becomes incoherent, repelling visitors from your sites. If you aimed to gain leads and eventually convert them to sales, you’d miss out on this opportunity.

Automated backlinks

There is some software that some SEOs use to generate automatic backlinks. What happens is that the software will detect new and upcoming sites and send them requests to write content for them as a way of generating backlinks.

Most of the backlinks generated this way are generally useless and spammy. Other than being useless, when Google discovers that you’re redirecting these backlinks to your site, you risk a penalty. Again, classic black hat SEO techniques that will eventually land your website in trouble.

Comment Spamming

You may have noticed some blog posts with a huge amount of comments, which are also filled with links. Google is aware of such a practice, and the links very rarely contribute to any rankings for your website.

Usually, bots are used to make comments which are against Google’s policies. The search engine has found a way of noting such spammy comments and automatically denotes them as “no-follow” so that they don’t add any link juice to your site.

White Hat SEO

White hat SEO is an ethical approach to boosting your site’s rank on search engines. It follows search algorithms as closely as possible and ensures it doesn’t cheat its way to the top.

We are not affiliated with Google, but we follow their guidelines for white hat SEO. We use ethical practices and follow all guidelines so you can trust that we’re working within them. 

We use a variety of techniques, including link building, content creation, social media marketing, and more.


There isn’t any formula or science that guarantees success for online businesses when it comes to SEO. However, taking shortcuts will often lead to losses, lower scores, or even being delisted by search engines. Always ensure that your website follows whitehat SEO practices because you never know when you’ll get caught. Need some help with this, please get in touch today.

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