Articles in The 'black hat SEO' Tag


December 28 2011

The Google +1 Black Market

by Michael Bergbauer

Relatively speaking, Google’s +1 button is a new feature in search. However, it has already begun to affect searches in a big way. So much so, people have been trying to make, sadly, an unscrupulous business out of it.

Lately, sites have been springing up that offer to sell +1’s for your website. For a fee, you can get any where from 50 to several thousand unique clicks for the +1 button on your site — a practice which goes directly against Google’s quality guidelines. In the biz, its something we refer to as “black hat SEO.”

While tactics like this may be tempting, and can even provide some short term benefit, they can become detrimental or disastrous in the long run. In the case of buying +1’s for your site, there can be a number of ill-effects.

You may receive a penalization at a later date — Google prides itself on providing quality search results, and it doesn’t take kindly to those who try to game the system. If future algorithms can detect your purchased +1’s, you will have wasted your money and seriously harmed your website’s ranking in Google search.

It’s a spamming technique, and lowers quality — Consider what the +1 button is: a relevancy indicator to enhance social search. By paying a few hundred unrelated, non-relevant users to +1 your site, you can hurt your ranking in the long term and obscure your brand’s overall message to consumers.

It can mess up your analytics — The “audience report” in Google Analytics tells you the demographic and geographic information about users who’ve +1’d the pages on your site. It’s a great way to learn about your audience so you can cater to them better. Paying for a large amount of unnatural +1’s will skew this data and ruin your chances to find and target your actual, converting audience.

All of these negative aspects have the potential to harm your site. For long term success, you should always follow the best practices guidelines and stick to “white hat” SEO techniques.

August 2 2011

The Google +1 Black Market

by Andrew Wetzler

Relatively speaking, Google’s +1 button is a new feature in search. However, it has already begun to affect searches in a big way. So much so, people have been trying to make, sadly, an unscrupulous business out of it.

Lately, sites have been springing up that offer to sell +1’s for your website. For a fee, you can get any where from 50 to several thousand unique clicks for the +1 button on your site – a practice which goes directly against Google’s quality guidelines. In the biz, its something we refer to as “back hat SEO.”

While tactics like this may be tempting, and can even provide some short term benefit, they can become detrimental or disastrous in the long run. In the case of buying +1’s for your site, there can be a number of ill-effects.

You may receive a penalization at a later date – Google prides itself on providing quality search results, and it doesn’t take kindly to those who try to game the system. If future algorithms can detect your purchased +1’s, you will have wasted your money and seriously harmed your website’s ranking in Google search.

It’s a spamming technique, and lowers quality – Consider what the +1 button is: a relevancy indicator to enhance social search. By paying a few hundred unrelated, non-relevant users to +1 your site, you can hurt your ranking in the long term and obscure your brand’s overall message to consumers.

It can mess up your analytics – The “audience report” in Google Analytics tells you the demographic and geographic information about users who’ve +1’d the pages on your site. It’s a great way to learn about your audience so you can cater to them better. Paying for a large amount of unnatural +1’s will skew this data and ruin your chances to find and target your actual, converting audience.

All of these negative aspects have the potential to harm your site. For long term success, you should always follow the best practices guidelines and stick to “white hat” SEO techniques.

July 18 2011

5 Things You May Be Doing That Could Hurt Your Rankings

by Melanie Wahl

You may not have heard the terms “White Hat SEO” or “Black Hat SEO” before, but the search engines know which hat you belong under by how you handle your website.   White Hat refers to search engine optimization tactics that are approved of by the search engines.   MoreVisibility advises only tactics and best practices that are considered White Hat.   Black Hat refers to darker methods that are designed to try to trick the search engines into giving a website higher search engine rankings.   These Black Hat methods are often excessive and are against the search engine’s published best practices.

The following tactics are frowned upon by the search engines. We are identifying them here because they may be impacting your rankings negatively.    

1. Link Farming

Link farms are groups of websites that link to one another whether they are related or not.   If you have joined any such link farms by mistake or after promises of increased inbound links and thereby increased search engine rankings, you have been misled.

2. Doorway Pages

Doorway pages are pages designed to received search engine traffic and then feed that traffic by way of links to a specific site.   This method is against best practice guidelines.   These pages are also known as portals or gateway pages.  

3. Cloaking

Cloaking is a technique of trickery.   The purpose of cloaking for SEO is to deceive the search engines.   If you are delivering one version of content to search engine spiders and another to your visitors, you may inadvertently be cloaking.

4. Manipulated Page Text

This can include Hidden Text, which is text that is hidden from a visitor to your page but may be seen by search engines.   Text that is the same color as the background of a page or made to be a very small font or placed behind an image through use of code are all Hidden Text techniques. Do not purposefully hide text from your visitors.
Keyword Stuffing is also a technique that manipulates page text with the belief that it will help search engine rankings. Keyword Stuffing includes trying to cram keywords into the meta tags or including a keyword or keyword phrase so many times in the body copy that a person reading the page would think it excessive.   Best practices are to write for visitors first and foremost.
 
5. Buying Links

Money doesn’t buy happiness and it can’t buy higher search rankings either.   You may have heard this phrase or a similar one while growing up.   It holds true in SEO.   Be wary of anyone offering you an easy way to buy your way to the number one spot on a search engine.   There are certain practices in this category that are given a free pass — for example, paying for membership in an industry organization and receiving a link from the organization’s page back to your website — but these are unique and involve a relationship or relevancy.  

Contact us if you are unsure of whether you are currently abiding by the search engine’s best practices or if you are interested in hearing more about our search engine optimization consulting services.

P.S. In case you haven’t read them:

Google’s Guidelines for SEO, Webmasters, and Bloggers

Microsoft Bing’s SEO Guidelines      

 

© 2021 MoreVisibility. All rights reserved.