Black Hat Techniques | WebReference

Black Hat Techniques

Black Hat Techniques

By Terry Detty

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As search engine optimization has become 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.

"Black Hat" Techniques

"Black Hat" techniques are unethical methods that some Web site owners use to get their site listed on search engines (and to obtain a high search engine listing). Here's a list of three common "Black Hat" techniques you should avoid since they could get your site banned.

  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 to be the same color as the background, so 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. 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?

Do "Black Hat" techniques work?

They do, but only temporarily. Eventually the search engine spiders catch on and your site can be permanently banned from the listings. It may pay off for a few short weeks, but it permanently hurts your site and its credibility on the Internet.

Fortunately, there are many techniques you can use to get your site ranked in a top spot with the search engines. We'll go over two such techniques right now.

Keywords

Earlier in this article, we talked about keyword stuffing, which can get your site banned. In contrast, 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? The first step is to identify some keywords that are relevant to your site, then begin to write the content. Essentially, you want to incorporate the keywords you've 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. More than a keyword density of 3% might seem like keyword stuffing, so try not to past a keyword density of 5%. Also be aware that you're not incorporating keywords for the search engines only, you're going to have people reading your content, so it's important that your keywords doesn't interfere with your message.

Linking

Linking is a common practice between Web sites. In many cases, the simplest method is a link exchange, where you and another webmaster agree to post links to each other's site.

From there, each time a search engine spider visits a page with a link to your site on it, the spider will then visit your site.This is one quick way of improving your position in the search engines. Here's a link to more articles about search engine marketing on WebReference.

Conclusion

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 natural methods for high search engine rankings!

About the Author

Terry Detty, 42, enjoys all aspects of Internet marketing and occasionally getting out for a breath of fresh air. He has several sites, covering Internet marketing, time and attendance and credit repair.

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Created: March 27, 2003
Revised: March 21, 2008

URL: http://webreference.com/promotion/blackhat/1