Subscribing to unethical search engine optimization techniques, otherwise known as “Black Hat” SEO techniques, is the most common reason for decline in your website’s page rankings. As there is no faster way to negatively affect your SEO efforts than to use black hat SEO practices. Major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo!, are constantly exploring new methods to find out and penalize the users and webmasters who use these unethical techniques. The goal of search engine, any search engine, is to provide only the high quality search results to its users, so search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! are continuously looking to uncover and penalize those trying to search engines and users of these search engines.
Here, I will try to lay some of the most commonly used black hat techniques that search engine usually penalize by negatively impacting your SEO efforts.
- Building Links Too Quickly
When you build back links too quickly, the chances that your SEO ranking would shoot up very quickly but once you are caught by search engines, like Google, Yahoo! and Bing, the rank would go down even faster. The reason is those search engines know what a normal rate of building is, so when you build links faster than that you are caught and hence penalized. You will end up with even lower ranking than where it originally was because of building links too quickly.
- Linking to Low Quality Sites or to Be Linked to Them
Linking to low quality sites or, in other words, bad back linking is something you would not notice is going on but you will be penalized by search engines for it. It is certainly an unethical SEO practice and result in penalties by search engine to have sites link to you that are not relevant to your niche or have nothing to do with you. You will only be rewarded for good user experience that happens when you link to and from relevant sites.
To check where your inbound links are coming from, use Google Analytics. And, then use Google Disavow Tool to get rid of the links that are not from quality sites and hurting your SEO rankings. The other way is to simply ask these site owners to take down links but if that fail then Disavow Tool is the best method.
- Very Brief and Poorly Written Content
According to some experts, majority of web pages that ranks in the first page of Google has over 2,000 words of content. The reason is that there is an interesting direct correlation between length of page content and the number of people linking to it, along with the number of people who will share it. So, just posting poorly written and very brief content on web pages is not going to help you with page rank at all. It would rather affect negatively on the SEO and you might be penalized.
Cloaking is certainly a new technique in black hat SEO but it continues to go on and it is one of the worst crimes from the SEO point of view. Cloaking happens when your website notices that a search engine is looking for it and shows content to the search engine that is completely different than what really is present on the site. The sites best known to do cloaking well are pornography sites. They will make use of search terms that have nothing to do with their content and deliver content to a visitor who think he/she is visiting a completely different site. And, this is the reason links coming in from such sites results in penalization and decline of SEO rankings.
Search engines are their for the purpose of delivering highest quality of content and they are constantly improving their algorithms to find out those who try to cheat the system. Be very careful about the kind of sites pointing towards you because if these sites are irrelevant and low quality than your rankings will be affected. And, the most important thing is always to create content that is high quality and valuable to your visitors.