Black Hat, the unethical treatment of Search Engines
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by Terry Detty
August 28, 2007
As search engine optimization has grown more popular, so has the use of unethical SEO techniques. After you’ve read this, you’ll know what techniques are underhanded and which are acceptable.
So what are “Black Hat” techniques?
“Black Hat” techniques are unethical techniques that some web site owners use to get their site listed on search engines. They usually use these techniques to get a high search engine listing. Here is a list of three common “Black Hat” techniques you should avoid if you want to please search engine spiders.
1.Keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is the overuse of keywords in a piece of content. Generally, this is repeating the same keywords over and over just to achieve a higher search engine ranking.
2.Invisible text. Quite a few cheap sites use this tactic, which involves making keywords in a font that is the same color as the background, so that readers can’t see the massive amounts of keywords, but search engine spiders can.
3.Doorway pages. These are pages that regular visitors cannot see, but search engine spiders can. They are used to trick the search engines so that the site gets a higher ranking.
Why are “Black Hat” techniques bad? They’re bad because they go against the rules set forth by search engines. Not only do they go against the rules, but they also hurt the visitor’s experience. Who wants to see a site stuffed with keywords? “Black Hat” techniques are unethical and wrong.
Do “Black Hat” techniques work?
Yes, they do, which is why people use them. But these techniques only work temporarily. Eventually the search engine spiders catch on and your site is permanently banned from being listed. This is why you should never use “Black Hat” techniques. It may pay off for a few short weeks, but it permanently hurts your site and its credibility on the internet.
So if I can’t use “Black Hat” techniques, what techniques can I use to help my site get listed high on search engines?
Fortunately, there are multiple techniques that you can use to get your site legitimately listed high on search engines. We’ll go over two such techniques right now.
Earlier in this article, we talked about keyword stuffing. While keyword stuffing is an awful thing to do, the natural use of keywords is perfectly fine. By natural, we mean keywords that are spread throughout a document in a way that isn’t blatant.
How do you naturally use keywords in your content to benefit your site? Well, before you even write your content, take a few minutes to identify some keywords that are relevant to your site. Then, begin to write the content. Try to incorporate the keywords you have picked out in a natural way throughout the content. Ideally, if your content is 600 words, you’ll want to use the main keyword between 6-18 times, which is a keyword density of 1-3% (keyword density is the number of keywords divided by the total words of a document). Anything less than that won’t be beneficial to your site. More than 3% keyword density might seem like keyword stuffing, so try not to go much past 5% keyword density. One thing to keep in mind is that actual people are reading your site. Thus, you should make sure that the use of keywords does not distract your readers from the whole meaning of the content.
Linking is a very common practice between web sites. How do you do it? Well, you ask a site that is relevant to yours to post a link to your site on their site. In return, you can offer to link to their site on your site. That way, both sites get a benefit from the linking.
How does this help your listing? Well, each time a search engine spider visits a page with a link to your site on it, the spider will then visit your site.
If you keep the above in mind, your site will get listed high on a search engine with no danger of being pulled.
While “Black Hat” techniques temporarily do work, they never pay off in the long run. So if you want a legitimately high search engine listing, don’t use “Black Hat” techniques. Use the natural methods for high search engine rankings!