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, to 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.
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.
However, you should keep in mind that Google changes its algorithms and how it views certain practices river time. The crawlers are developing and getting better. So, in time certain white-hat or grey-hat actions can become black-hat and unacceptable. The key is to follow up on these trends and know what is going on. Understanding the difference between black and grey hats is important so make sure you research and understand them. With this in mind, here are the most common black hat link building tactics to avoid and some that are becoming noticeable in 2022.
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 are the common link building tactics to keep away from.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the ways in which people used to build their online presence was by 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. In addition, if you link to websites that already have no value for Google your reputation may be harmed.
Some advice for 2022
With Google making constant changes to its algorithms it is important to keep track of these changes. This is because Google regularly updates how it views and analyses websites and SEO. With this in mind, some practices may fall out of favor and can become a black hat and thus prone to sanction. So, to avoid this you should know about the 2022 trends and the black hat link-building tactics to avoid in 2022. Here is what to know and avoid:
- Low-quality content
- Keyword Stuffing
- Article spinning
- Doorway Pages
- Blog comment spam
- Invisible text links
Google made changes to its algorithms that today take content quality into account. Previously only keywords and links were in focus but with its attempt to make a great user experience, Google is now focusing on content. Poor quality can hurt your ranking and get you penalized by being less visible in SERP. So it’s important to avoid such content and to analyze your web pages so you can mend this issue. You can use some newly developed tools to crawl your website and identify such content. You can use this new knowledge to eliminate low-quality content or to make it better if possible. This is the case with short content that can be fixed to be better.
Writing content full of keywords was once a common practice. Today however it causes poor-quality content and is considered a bad practice. It can get you penalized and out of the SERP. Making your content more organic is a priority here. It is best to write the content and then use primary and secondary keywords throughout it. In this way, you can get t w more natural keyword distribution. In addition, you can use some great SEO tools like WordPress SEO by Yoast plugging that can optimize your content and help you with keyword use. You should also consider using longtail keywords that can do the job without triggering Google.
Creating articles for marketing is a good way of building backlinks which will increase your rankings. However today many people tend to use software that can create articles and spin them. Today this is considered as black hat SEO and can get you penalized. This practice is not good as major search engines can identify the content that is written by software. This content s low quality and uses phrases that repeat. The content that you create in this way will hurt your credibility. So, it’s advisable to work on your content manually as this will build your authority and the quality of your content.
These pages are optimized for a certain keyword and are used to direct the user to a certain webpage. These do not provide any value to the reader or any useful information. As such they are not getting ranked by Google and you should avoid them altogether. The key here is to remove them or rewrite them so it makes sense to have them on your website. As Google is looking to enhance the user experience in 2022 these sorts of pages are what is considered a part of black hat link-building tactics to avoid
Blog comment spam
Using blogs and link building using blogs and block commentating is a common practice. It is important to build such relationships to establish good cooperation with bloggers and blog portals. Commenting is a sure way of establishing and strengthening such relationships. However, leaving blog comments that do not add to the value of the content and do not benefit the blogger are spammy comments that can hurt their reputation and ranking. In addition, they can backfire and hurt your reputation. So, even though these are valuable for link building they can cause you harm. So, stop accepting spammy comments for your content and blog. If comments like this link to pages that are completely irrelevant to your content it can kill your ranking.
Invisible text links
Invisible text links are links that are hidden from users’ view but not from google crawlers. These links are created to increase the ranking of a page that really has no content but some graphics or animation. In these cases, the page creators create a number of links in hidden content that can get a certain rank from Google. However, today Google recognizes these types of links and can penalize a website that hosts these types of pages. Google now considers these sorts of pages with invisible links as keyword-stuffed pages that can be and are penalized.
Black Hat practices have always existed and are frowned upon. Avoiding them is the key to long-term success. However, following the trends and google algorithms is crucial to steer clear of such practices. So, knowing which black hat link building tactics to avoid is important as is the need to follow up on the changes. With professional help or by yourself you can keep track and stay current with Google and black hat definitions to stay on the right track and avoid getting penalized.