What Is Black Hat Search Engine Optimization And How To Avoid It
During the early stages of search engines, online marketers would use various methods to increase the amount of web traffic that was sent to the websites of their clients. This would include techniques that could lead to serious complications for search engine users since they would be directed to sites that were also nefarious in nature. The problem became so significant that search engines would actively ban sites from appearing on their search results.
The most noteworthy of black hat techniques will be remembered by early users of the Internet. Pop-ups, as they were called, would plague users with an unlimited number of advertisements that would have to be closed manually. Some pop-ups were so aggressive in spawning new pages that they would overload the processor of a computer and cause a system to freeze or crash. The design of this advertisement was used to artificially increase the amount of web traffic that was seen by a client to fulfill contractual agreements.
Another technique that is seen less in current times is the cloaking of webpages from search results. The coding of a webpage would allow a particularly interesting title to be posted on search engine rankings, but would automatically redirect the user to another page. This technique was also used by cyber criminals to install viruses on computers before browsers defended against this method with protocol that requires a user to manually accept transferring from one website to another.
Link farms were common in the earlier stages of websites that allowed users to trade links to their websites for increased relevance. When search engines instituted ranking policies, these programs often crumbled since a single bad link could ruin the ranking of hundreds of different websites. The current position trend for web hosts is to get a link from acceptable websites that have high, stable rankings.
Online marketers would often need hundreds of pages worth of content to optimize a single site. Computer software was developed by firms to take a few related articles that were essentially copies of an original and turn it into hundreds or thousands of plagiarized pages. Article spinning is still used by certain SEO marketing firms, but is more common in non-US markets. The sheer amount of information on the Internet is assumed to be largely redundant due to the proliferation of this type of content.
The view of search engines on SEO marketing is, in large, negative since it significantly diminishes the amount of original information that is present for users. Google has launched the most active campaign to deter this activity with frequent updates to their search engine algorithm that is used to detect low quality sites. Black hat techniques have dropped significantly since the original release of this algorithm, but continue to be used by unethical marketing firms.
Avoidance of these firms is pivotal for successful optimization campaigns. Evaluating the reputation is the easiest way to learn if a particular firm has been operating with black hat methods. When there are reviews from previous clients that are dissatisfied with an online marketing firm, it is likely that the firm used techniques that caused the site to drop in rankings or be altogether suspended. Common problems with black hat SEO firms also include firms optimizing pointless keywords, like the name of the business rather than the services provided.