Black Hat SEO Techniques And Google Penalty
Understanding Black Hat SEO Techniques
In this chapter, you will learn all the black hat SEO techniques used by spammers to illegally rank websites on top of SERPs. Here, we will also discuss penalties that Google inflicts on such websites.
- What do you mean by Black-Hat SEO Technique Google Penalty?
- Types of Google Penalty
- Examples of Black-Hat SEO techniques
- How to report spam to Google?
- Search Engine code of conduct
In layman’s terms, Google Penalty is a punishment rendered to a website ( directly or indirectly to the website owner or webmaster) for trying to cheat Google search engine algorithm by using Black-Hat SEO techniques (unethical ways) in order to rank the site higher in the Google search engine result pages.
The punishment includes downranking your site from SERPs until you get aligned with Google’s ethical SEO policies, and, sometimes, the punishment could be very harsh such that, your site is completely banned from indexing in the Google’s search engine result pages.
There are two types of Google Penalty. They are:
Manually Assigned Penalty:
Search Engines have human quality raters who review websites and can manually take action to penalize a website if the website or webpage is found violating Google search engine’s quality guidelines.
Google Algorithmic Penalty:
Google keeps updating its ranking algorithm for identifying spammers who unethically try to rank higher in the SERPs. So, when an algorithm gets updated automatically, those websites that are found violating the search engine quality guidelines will automatically become a victim of Google penalty. Few important Google Algorithm Updates are explained in the chapter – 11 Important Google Algorithms Updates Every SEO Professional Should Know
As explained earlier, Black-Hat SEO techniques are unethical ways used to rank a site on top of SERPs. The various forms of Black-Hat SEO are as follows:
- Content Automation: Automatically generating content using a software tool or script and publishing it on a website.
- Doorway Pages: Web pages that are created to rank high for specific search queries and they appear on search engine result pages. But, when a user clicks on that link on SERPs, they are redirected to some other page or site that does not rank on its own( sites with content related to porn or gambling). Sometimes it is also called deceptive redirection.
- Hidden Text or Links: Stuffing keywords and links on a webpage in such a way that they are not visible to users by making the text color the same as that of the webpage background color. As it is only readable to search engines, it is a form of deceiving the search engine to rank certain pages higher on the SERPs.
- Keyword Stuffing: Stuffing keywords unnaturally on the webpage just to rank your web pages high on the SERPS. For example, if the keyword is “dog food”, then, “Dog Food is good for Dog. Food is essential for Dog.” is keyword stuffed content.
- Reporting a Competitor: Unnecessarily and wilfully reporting spam about your competitors’ website is considered negative SEO.
- Cloaking: Showing different versions of content to spider and web page user based on IP addresses. When the webpage identifies the user as a spider, a version of the webpage is shown to it that is totally different from the version that is shown to the actual webpage user. This is another form of redirection.
- Link Schemes: Just because, Google ranks web pages using the number of links it attracts, paying other websites to link to your website is a violation of Google’s policy. Buying and selling links are both considered Black-Hat SEO Technique. Another form of Black-Hat technique is link exchange between two mutually agreed websites. Sometimes a group of websites exchanging links to each other within the group is called Link Farms.
- Article Spinning: A technique in which, an article from a website is copied as it is to a word pad or some text editor, converted to some other languages using software called language translators one after the other and finally converting it to the desired language again, so that, the final article looks entirely different from the original content is called Spinning. It is again a clever way to come up with a unique article, but a sure way to get penalized by Google.
- Rich Snippet Markup Spam: Snippet refers to the small text excerpts from a website that is displayed in the search results of a search engine using Google’s rich snippet markup tool. Marking up webpage content that is invisible to users, marking up irrelevant or misleading content and other manipulative behaviors to deceive users and spiders is considered Google spam.
- Automated Queries to Google: Using third-party tools to generate automated queries to Google search engine to analyze ranking factors for various keywords is against Google Webmaster guidelines.
- Creating pages, subdomains, or domains with duplicate content: Creating multiple domain names and subdomains that finally benefits the same business or individual is considered Google spam. This is done by spammers to rank higher for different keywords using several domain names and subdomains which will is otherwise impossible by a single domain.
- Pages with malicious behavior that has installed malware: Any webpage found phishing user details like passwords or any sort of credentials through installed malware will be immediately banned by Google.
Google takes spam issues very seriously and promises to investigate reported issues almost immediately. You can report about a spammy site by visiting:
If you wish to avoid penalty from Google, avoid all the Black-Hat techniques listed above. Also, follow few principles and code of conduct during website design and development that search engines suggest website owners or webmasters in order to provide relevant search experience to search engine users. The basic guidelines are given below:
- Do not stuff keywords in order to rank your website higher on the SERPs. If done, you might initially succeed in crawling above others in the SERPs, but sooner or later you are definitely going to be penalized.
- Make sure the keywords that you use on your webpage are relevant to the content of your body. For example, “dog food shop” has nothing to do with the webpage that deals with “human weight loss”. This is just a simple example. Keywords should be relevant, applicable and meaningfully associated with the content of the webpage where it is placed.
- Keyword placements on a webpage should be done as per search engine guidelines.
- Be careful while using redirection technology and use it to enhance user experience. Never ever try to implement it for deceiving the search engine.
Congratulations! You are done with the sixth chapter on “Black Hat SEO Techniques and Google Penalty”. Hope you enjoyed the reading.
All the best for your next chapter on “6 Keyword Research Techniques”. In the next chapter, you will learn how to research to find the keyword(s) that can be optimized for S.E.O and placed on your website/webpage naturally.
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Subhash.K.U is a Professional Programmer turned Digital Marketing Enthusiast. He is the most sought marketing consultants for small and medium scale businesses. He founded Subhash Digital Academy to teach professional digital marketing skills to students, entrepreneurs, and working professionals. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and is an Oracle Certified Programmer. He also holds certificates of Google AdWords, Facebook Blueprint and Hubspot Marketing. He is the co-author of the best selling book – Cracking The C, C++ and Java Interview published by McGraw Hill. He is now penning another book on the subject of marketing and entrepreneurship.