Black Hat Link Building Tactics to Avoid

The core of Google’s SEO algorithm are links. Having decent keywords, optimizing your website, and providing sitemaps are advisable and useful. But, Google built its whole SEO algorithm on links. Pages with quality links that are often referred, go to the top. Meanwhile, subpar pages go to the bottom. This is how Google started working and it how they become the giant that they are today. Therefore, it should come as little surprise that some people revert to using certain frowned-upon tactics in order to boost their ratings. Well, let’s explore what those tactics are, and which black hat link building tactics to avoid.

What is black hat link building

To put it simply, a black hat link building is a dishonest way to make your webpage have a higher link rating with Google. Some of these are clever manipulations of Google’s engine. While others are flat out fraudulent tactics that try to make a dead website seem interesting. While these tactics may promise thousands of links and a fast way to boost your rating, they are, at best, a sure way to get in trouble with Google.

Google home page opened in a web browser.
Keeping Google happy is the best way to boost your online presence.

Whatever clever tactic you may revert to, Google will have a way to deal with them. And, if you manage to stay ahead of the current Google crawlers, you will have to worry whether they will be able to catch up to you down the line. Know that once you resort to black hat link building, it can be quite hard to go back to legit tactics. This is why you should avoid these tactics and use some tried and true link building strategies. With this in mind, here are the most common black hat link building tactics to avoid.

Which black hat link building tactics to avoid

Some of the tactics that we will outline may fall into the category of gray hat link building. These are tactics that are not as bad as the black hat ones but are still something that you need to avoid. The more you can keep your linking building clean and use white hat link building, the better off you will be especially in the long run. So, without further ado, here the common link building tactics to keep away from.

Buying links

Buying links was once the most common way in which people got links. People even made dedicated sites where you could purchase links in order to boost your ratings. Today, buying links is one of the easiest ways to devalue your website with Google. This is because Google has developed sophisticated strategies to find and penalize such websites. Therefore, if someone offers to sell you links, stay clear. If you do opt for buying advertising for other efforts, ensure that you only purchase links that have a “no follow” meta-tag. Doing so will ensure that Google knows you are not using black hat linking.

Automated comments

Having comments on your website can be quite useful for your SEO. Especially if in those comments you have links. But, the trouble comes when people use other people’s comment sections to automatically promote their links. This as you might guess, is a no-no, and it is one of the black hat link building tactics to avoid. Luckily, to combat this on your website you don’t have to manually shive through your comment section. You can simply get one of the numerous plugins that will tackle comment spam automatically.

WordPress new post page.
WordPress has some quite useful plugins, especially when it comes to spam management.

Fake profiles

Getting fake profiles is another easy way to get devalued by Google. Companies often resort to this when they start off as it can be quite hard to get a decent following. Unfortunately, these fake profiles are usually easy to find as they come from countries will low hourly rates. All in all, having 20,000 subscribers on your social media, where almost all of them are from China is suspicious even to a rookie.

Working with link farms

Companies that deal with link farming usually create large databases which they later connect to the websites of their clients. This is easy to notice, unnatural way of building links. Especially when done haphazardly. When Google crawlers check links on a website they always check the link history. And if 90% of active links on the website have been added in the past couple of weeks, and they have nothing to do with the website, something smells fishy. Some companies may talk about “full proof” ways of integrating your website with their database. But, trust us when we tell you that these things simply stick out and that Google crawlers are going to notice.

Online database, representing one of the black hat link building tactics to avoid.
Connecting your website with link farms is one of the more important black hat link building tactics to avoid.

Building a network of sites with similar content

Why build a single website when you can build multiple and then interconnect them? An easy way to build natural links, right? Well, not quite. Google might not consider these strategies as black hat. But, they can still cause you issues, even if your links really matter in SEO. Therefore, it is usually a good idea to steer away from them. If you wish to post unique content, do so on a single website. If you want to expand your website, make sure that the new content is different enough to garner a fresh website.

Link triangulation

One of the ways in which people used to build their online presence was through exchanging links. Why run multiple websites when you can make a deal with another person to link each other. This was frowned upon, and Google quickly caught on. Then, to cover their trail, people used link triangulation. This simply means that they added a third website to the mix in order to build links. Well, Google caught on to this as well, which is why you should stay clear of it.

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