7 Black Hat Techniques to Avoid in 2023

Consciously or otherwise, people start finding shortcuts to rank higher on Google.

Back in 2010, they tried to trick the Google algorithm and rank higher on the search results using unethical practices, or what is popularly termed Black hat SEO practices.

For those unaware, Black hat SEO is a practice which violates Google webmaster guidelines but helps you rank higher in SERPs in minimal time.

However, you should refrain from using it today.

Or, as modern-day Shakespeare would quote, “befooling AI is thy mightiest.

With the introduction of the Google Panda update in 2011, if any website associates itself with any black hat practice to fool algorithm, it will be levied a heavy penalty.

Worst case scenario – you could be banned from Google’s SERP. That means your site will no longer be accessible or visible on Google even if you type the exact domain with 3w’s.

So, if you’re an SEO expert willing to go to any extent to improve your page rankings, you might have to rethink your strategies.

But, if you’re getting started, avoid these 7 black hat SEO practices to promote your website without a boggling mind.

7 Black Hat Techniques to Avoid in 2023

#1. Paid and Irrelevant Links

A backlink is crucial to a good SEO strategy, and a ‘relevant’ backlink goes a long way.

It makes Google vouch for your content and sees your website as a trustworthy source in your industry. Result?

You start ranking better in search engine page results.

However, if your content is stuffed with irrelevant links, just for the sake of traffic, you could be penalized by Google.

Always remember Google encourages inbound links which seem relevant to your context.

On another note, buying a link is a strict NO from Google.

Google has AI-driven bots to track links that are likely to have been bought and those that have been earned.

So if you’re caught using paid links, you could be levied penalties resulting in a drastic fall in the website’s ranking, or worse, getting banned from SERPs.

#2. Keyword Stuffing

Keywords are integral to SEO strategies, but using them repeatedly won’t help you rank higher.

In fact, suffocating your content with repeated main keywords can backfire on your rankings. For the most part, you could inflict a penalty on your website for trying such coy.

Think about it: if your target keyword is food. And you cram that keyword everywhere without any context.

It becomes annoying, doesn’t it?

Likewise, the algorithm crawls keywords to know what the content is about. But that’s just one factor.

Search engine crawlers are keen on your content, not unnecessary keyword stuffing. That’s why the quality of content is a primary factor in ranking higher on Google.

#3. Creating Duplicate Content

Ever thought about why Google ranks a webpage higher?

Creating SEO-friendly content is one of the top three factors Google takes into account to rank a page higher than others.

Frankly speaking, creating quality content is easier said than done.

As a result, most people indulge in duplicating content- another black hat SEO trick.

But here’s why you should avoid duplicating content::

  • Duplicate content Hampers your online credibility
  • Lowers rankings on search results
  • Can violate copyright laws
  • Will and forever be penalized by search engines

#4. Doorway Pages

Suppose you’ve got a main page with the name-” Popular Camera Tricks”.

But to gain more traffic, you created 10 more similar web pages like “Popular Camera Tricks in the Winter” or “Popular Camera Tricks in the Night”.

If all the other pages have similar content as the main page, it’s termed a doorway page.

Google would consider that you’re using other pages to redirect traffic to the main page and increase your visitors count.

Although this works fine for a while, as Google search crawlers detect it, it would be a big turn-off for your rankings.

However, if you’re putting out original content on every page you create, you’re in Google’s good grace.

That sums up why you should sideline doorway pages while working on your SEO strategies.

#5. Cloaking

Cloaking is another black hat SEO technique in which a set of keywords is shown to the search engine crawlers and a different set to the users.

In short, it’s a deceptive way to trick the search engine into ranking pages higher by offering a different URL to the crawlers.

But, it violates the search engine guidelines and can catch you with a penalty.

Though, there’s a way to escape that.

Focus more on your users who want original and standard content. Show up and design something worthy of getting attention and response.

Ultimately, it’s simple. Search engines love what people approve of.

#6. Hidden Text

Google thinks of hidden texts as misleading and a spammy technique. Hidden texts are invisible to the users, and only search engines can view them.

Sometimes, website developers try to camouflage long tail keywords by putting them in white text on white backgrounds or black text with black backgrounds.

Earlier search engines couldn’t recognize that, and people would include a long list of hidden keywords to rank higher on the web page.

Moreover, people also used to place keyword texts behind the images thinking to deceive the crawlers.

If you’re planning to do this, stop.

Because now with the advancement of technology, Google has come down with harsh punishments for those pages.

#7. Negative SEO

Negative SEO practices include malicious actions to deliberately damage your competitor’s website ranking. As per Google, it’s considered unethical and one of the black hat SEO tricks.

Here are some negative SEO practices which you should be aware of:

  • Hacking a website
  • Posting false reviews about a website
  • Fake proposal to remove a website’s backlink

Negative SEO practices can be baneful for your website traffic and could cause lower rankings on search results.

Fortunately, Google is getting better at stopping such malicious practices. Despite that, you should also be aware of this and constantly analyze your website.