Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Black Hat SEO Techniques and Karma Pt II

This article continues from my last post on 10 Black hat SEO techniques and their results. Excuse the numbering, blogger just won't let me change it. Once again, this is not an encouragement to use Black hat SEO techniques. I believe its good idea to know them, that way, you know about it and the repercussions if caught doing it.
  1. Paid Traffic: I put this under black hat tricks because with paid traffic services, you forcefully direct traffic to a website and you get what you pay for. This type of traffic doesn't do anything good for your site. If you don't know better to check bounce rates and goal conversions, you would actually think your website is doing well, especially if this is used for a SEO client. What's the point?
  2. Directory Submission Automation and Link exchange: Using automated services for directory submissions would be classified as black hat as well because you are spamming directories. This could lead to getting your IP address banned by those websites. Also, when you suddenly get a high number of backlinks to your website either from directory submissions or excessive link exchange, you could get penalised by search engines. There's no hard and fast rule to it, Search engines frown at link exchange and directory submissions so be careful when doing it, so you don't end up over doing it. 
  3. Tweet Spamming: When you have try to get as many followers as possible and then tweet and retweet links to them would fall under black hat SEO for me as well. Especially when the links you're tweeting is of little or no interest to your followers. You could also be retweeting the same thing over and over, that would get pretty annoying. Loss of trust, followers and blacklisting could follow from doing this.
  4. Forum Spamming: Some people register for forums to spam the place with their links and spammy signatures. A lot of forums now don't allow link posting or use of signatures until you have posted a certain number of comments in the community and this helps to curb the spamming of forum, some. If you still abuse this, you could get kicked out of the community and your IP address blacklisted.
  5. Cloaking: This technique is based on showing different pages to different users based on their IP address or User Agent (for search engines usually). Cloaking could be used to provide crawlers with pages well optimised for a particular keyword but a different page for actual users. There are some legitimate reasons for doing this, I mentioned this in my post on Geolocation and Geo-targeting, however you really should have a good reason to do so. Once again, if discovered by search engines it could lead to high bounce rates and penalities.
That's my final list of black hat seo techniques. Some aren't as rampant as they used to be, but are still in use. Generally, using black hat tricks will help your ranking and maybe even help you achieve some goal conversion, for a time. However, if and when caught and penalised, the question usually asked is: was it worth it? Especially if your business is an online business only. If you're looking to build a long term online business the best answer would be to say no black hat seo. On the other hand, if you're only in it for short term gains then people tend to go for some black hat tricks. 

What camp are you one? White Hat or Black Hat? Or do you sit on the fence with the Grey Hats? As usual, would love to hear your take on using some of these techniques, and any other I might have missed out, or don't even know about.


Just in case you're already struggling with a penalty or not sure if you have one, here's a SEOMoz post on how to check for google penalty and recover from one. It's a bit old but the solution still pretty much stays true.
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