What is Black Hat SEO?

Oct 24, 2013 | SEO

Black hat

You may have heard of the term “black hat SEO” but may not know what it is. You’re probably thinking, “Clearly, it has something to do with the black market—cross them and you end up wearing a pair of cement booties!” You’d be partially right, too. If you start employing black hat SEO in your digital marketing, your website may live the high life for a short period. But before long, it’ll sink into the murky depths of the search results.

Black hat SEO is defined as any digital marketing method outside of the approved guidelines that manipulates search engine results. You may be wondering where you can find a copy of these guidelines. Well, there really isn’t a well-defined list. What separates black hat SEO from white hat SEO is methodology and intent. White hat provides excellent content that viewers find helpful and informative. It establishes credibility and brings visitors back for more. Black hat, on the other hand, attempts to pull a fast one on the search engines by displaying different content to users versus search engines, providing thousands of unrelated back links and a myriad of other underhanded techniques.

Simply put, white hat SEO improves your rank by delivering good content to your audience. But black hat improves your rank by deceiving the search engines.

We’ve all been offered black hat SEO. You were probably tempted to try it, or maybe you even did. Now you’re likely saying, “Wait a minute, I’m an upstanding net-izen! I would never associate with shady people like that.” Well, much like real life, the person offering you “performance enhancers” for you digital marketing isn’t some trench-coat-sporting thug. More often than not, they appear as perfectly legitimate businesses promising to elevate you to the top of the search ranks. So how do you spot the black hats? The only foolproof method is to do your own research. However, here’s a rule of thumb: if it sounds like a big pay-off for little work, you’re probably going to take the fall.

Some of you may be thinking, “That’s great and all, but black hat SEO works!” In the short term, you’re right. Properly performed black hat SEO works wonderfully for a time. However, once the search engine police catch on to your scam (and they will), you risk a permanent ban from their indexes. Those are pretty high stakes for your digital marketing.

Proper brand management is hard work, and there are no shortcuts. By providing your visitors with great content and even better service, you can ensure their return visits.

Fall in with the black hats and your site, “will be sleeping with the fishes, see?”

Jacob Smith
Jacob Smith
Front-End Developer
Learn More about Jacob!

About 212 Media Studios

212 Media Studios is a full service marketing agency, based in Warsaw, IN. Providing services such as SEO, social media management, print marketing, branding, and videography, 212 Media Studios specializes in helping businesses of all sizes catapult their marketing and brand awareness to the next level. To learn more about 212 Media Studios’ services visit our services page or contact us with special requests or for more information.

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