Which activities used to be a standard in the SEO industry a few years ago but aren’t acceptable anymore? Today, we’ll discuss 5 black hat SEO tricks that were helpful in the past but now can be dangerous to your website. See what not to do in SEO in 2021.
Black hat SEO is a term used in connection with unfair onsite and offsite activities performed by both SEO freelancers and agencies that seemingly improve positions in the SERPs. “Seemingly” is the keyword here. In fact, thanks to machine learning, Google algorithms have learned how to figure out when someone is trying to fool them.
Google can impose serious filers and penalties on domains that advocate tricks mentioned below (often clients who choose SEO services aren’t aware of activities performed by the agency). This, in turn, hinders the SEO process for many years to come. Why do we know about it? Because on numerous occasions we had to fix problems of our new clients who have been previously cheated by people doing black hat SEO.
What to pay attention to and what NOT to do in SEO in 2021?
What not to do in SEO in 2021?
1. Cloaking & hidden texts
These are the tricks of the most notorious SEO scammers. Cloaking, which means showing different content to users, and Google robots can help to generate extra website traffic. After all, you can fool the algorithm so that it redirects to your website users searching for “the cheapest Nike shoes”, even if you offer only home accessories and decorations. A cunning plan. But will runners look for comfy footwear decide to purchase something else?
Of course, the chances are small and most users will probably leave the page right away. Why? Because you’ve fooled them and believe us, they won’t revisit your website. Moreover, they may write negative reviews. From the SEO perspective, a high bounce rate decreases the average web session length which has a negative impact on the page rank.
The same applies to hidden texts. People used to hide extra, unrelated texts or keywords (written in a small or white font) under graphics or in HTML comments. Maybe it can help you attract some users to your website, but will they become your customers? And even if the traffic generated this way can bring you some temporary benefits, Google will probably quickly penalize your website which will destroy your high positions in the organic search results.
2. Dog-cheap link building
No matter where and no matter how. Doing everything to obtain external links doesn’t work anymore. Just a few years ago, link farms were a great SEO tool. Today, they’re a negatively seen black hat SEO trick inevitably penalized by Google algorithms.
Obtaining external links from unverified sources is highly risky for your website.
How to verify if the link building offered to you is fake? A low price for a link should be a red flag for you. If you want to acquire links in the form of sponsored articles from a highly prestigious website ranked in top Google positions, you need to be aware that such cooperation can cost from several hundred to even several thousand dollars. If you receive an offer that promises to get a dozen of backlinks for a few dollars, you should know that something is wrong.
3. Keyword stuffing
How to improve website positions in Google? Combine effective SEO and SEM activities with Google Ads and PPC campaigns.
This is what every sentence on our blog would look like if we applied keyword stuffing. Although it may convey a certain message, it’s not pleasant to read. For over a decade now, Google has been negatively evaluating keyword stuffing on all possible subpages or landing pages. Yet, we still encounter marketers and copywriters who create product and category descriptions or blog entries this way.
Enough is enough! Forget about unnatural keyword stuffing. Instead, provide your readers and Google robots with quality and unique content that is enjoyable to read.
4. Sloppy content
That’s right. In many companies, content marketing still leaves much to be desired. The last blog entry was published a year ago or maybe a week ago but it’s only 2 paragraphs long. An e-book was created by a graphic designer who hasn’t improved since WordArts in 2005. Product descriptions such as “the best high-quality market solution delivered by industry leaders for the past 20 years”.
It used to work. Website owners published everything they could, whenever they could, they copied sloppy texts from other websites and posted them without formatting. Google robots used to overlook that or even rated such pages higher. However, it’s not acceptable anymore.
5. Unoptimized website
Even if your content is top-notch quality and hired SEO specialists don’t try to mess around with black hat SEO and all the tasks are performed meticulously, it won’t bring you any profits if your website or online store isn’t optimized.
Thus, you should become interested in SXO. It's a combination of SEO, conversion rate optimization, UX and UI that's in line with the new Core Web Vitals algorithm implemented by Google. Website quality matters. Successful SEO for an outdated, non-mobile-friendly site is a never-ending and, very frequently, infeasible job. Especially if your market rivals are real experts in SXO.
Don’t scam in SEO
SEO is similar to real-life - cheating doesn’t pay. There are no shortcuts. Dietary supplements on their own won’t make you lose weight effectively and healthy.
When it comes to SEO, instead of wasting time on tricks, devote it to regular training - take care of content, website optimization, reliable internal and external link building, and enjoy your satisfying positions in the SERPs for years. Good luck!
P.S. If you need specialist support, don’t hesitate and contact us. We’ll be more than happy to help you. The Delante team is at your disposal and it doesn’t wear black hats. Write to us and let’s talk about SEO activities we can do to bring more benefits to your brand!
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