Google’s Advice: Take Your Black Hats Off

black hat seo


In this digital age, search engine optimization (SEO) has come a long way to help websites achieve higher rankings in the search results. SEO is commonly known to have two types of techniques. These include:

  • White hat SEO
  • Black hat SEO


So, isn’t the main difference between the two clear from the names?


The techniques and strategies involved in white hat SEO are in accordance with the guidelines and rules set by Google and other search engines. Black hat SEO, on the other hand, involves tasks that tread the completely opposite paths.


So, if you’re a practitioner of SEO or ever want to try it, a few things might make you think about taking your black hat off. Wondering what they might be?


Here’s a quick look at some of them:

black hat seo

Keyword Stuffing


This surely is one of the easiest black hat SEO strategies to implement. It has a few simple steps:

The objective: to get higher rankings on SERPs, driven by the use of maximum number of keywords in the content, although it’s done in a repeated and somewhat irrelevant fashion. However, this exposes the site to the danger of being penalized, or even banned, by Google.


Wondering why Google might penalize your site if you go for keyword stuffing?


There’s a simple reason. You content loses its natural flavour and won’t be loved as much by the readers. Hence, keyword stuffing is often viewed as a short-term strategy. With the incessant infusion of keywords even at unnecessary places, it is sure to sound monotonous to the readers.



Moreover, search engine crawlers will also avoid your content if you stuff the meta-descriptions as well as the meta-tags with keywords.

Invisible Text


Yes, on a website, there can be texts, which are invisible.


Not sure what this invisible text is?


It’s the text that can be seen only by the search engine crawlers, and not by the readers.


Wondering why you should use something that the readers might not be able to see?


The invisible texts in websites are used to incorporate several keywords, including irrelevant ones, in the content. This is done primarily to help your website rank on the first pages of search results.


Invisible texts in websites are incorporated by:

  • producing invisible or hidden text in content by typing while the font size is 0.
  • typing while the font color is set to white or the background color, using CSS to make the hidden content to appear off-screen.
  • putting links in single characters, such as periods or commas.


Inclusion of invisible text is considered as a black hat SEO technique. However, this technique is allowed when it is done for the accessibility purposes of mobile users.

Link Exchange


There are many factors based on which Google ranks a website. And a major one among them is by assessing the links across the web that lead directly to your website.


Having various links directing to your website is interpreted as a sign of having relevant content on the site. The more inbound links you have on the web, the more appropriate your content is regarded. One thing that most people forget is that the links should be natural and should have a relation to the content that it leads to.


So, many SEO practitioner used to buy or exchange links to increase their audience. However, if your links are irrelevant to the content of the page that it leads to and Google realizes this, the rankings of your site is sure to be affected immediately – even to the point that your site might be banned.




This strategy almost similar to the practice of using invisible text. You can code your web page to show keyword-rich content to search engine crawlers, while displaying a different content to the audience. Yes, you can make this process reader friendly. However, it still goes against the guidelines and rules that most search engines have put out. This is because Google, as the world’s number one search engine, dictates that content should only be for humans and not for search engine crawlers.

Social Networking Spam


Promoting your website through links that are posted on your social media pages are acceptable. However, not including any relevant information when you post, comment, and message a link to your website is considered a black hat SEO strategy. Basically, if you’re spamming the links of your website in social media pages, you’ll eventually get penalized for it.

Google’s steps against Black Hat SEO


Google has been active to curb the effects of black hat SEO practices. The Penguin update was introduced in 2012 to penalize websites that go against the guidelines and rules set by Google. In other words, Google Penguin update was meant for the black hat SEO practitioners. The first version cracked on keyword stuffing and improper link building practices. This affected 3% of the search queries done in Google.


Do you think that 3% is low?


Imaging the number of search queries that Google experiences every day. Yes, it’s huge. In 2013, Google updated the Penguin algorithm to focus on duplicate content and spam, as well as a few commonly used black hat techniques. After a year, it was updated to the Penguin 3.0 algorithm to promote fair and just SEO.



If you’re dealing with SEO, the best thing you can do is follow the guidelines and rules set by various search engines, especially Google. In short, you should follow the white-hat procedure for SEO to take your website higher up the SERPs. This ensures that even though gaining a higher ranking takes a while, you will be able to avoid penalties and other consequences that are involved while doing black hat SEO.

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Jeric is a freelance writer specializing in content on digital marketing, food, lifestyle, travel, DIY subjects, and nature. He is an adventurer, taking on the world and everything it has to offer. He also has a love for reggae and sharks.

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