Want to kill your website’s rankings in Google?
Black Hat SEO tactics are the best way to do it.
That’s because the shortcuts and spammy tricks used by black hats are like committing search engine suicide…even if it will be a slow, agonizingly painful death for your company.
Black Hat and White Hat are words used to describe different types of search engine optimization. Both have the same goal – Get to the top of organic results. But the Black Hat way and the White Hat way are very different.
Despite Google’s recent crackdowns on practices it calls unacceptable, people are still trying to manipulate and trick the search giant. If fallout from the so-called “Panda” and “Penguin” algorithm updates failed to turn you away from these techniques – perhaps a little perspective will.
3 Reasons Why Black Hat SEO is a Bad Idea
1. It Ain’t the Wild West Anymore
You used to be able to get away with a lot of sneaky stuff on the internet. Now…not so much.
The days of internet outlaws running around in their black 10-gallon hats, shooting spam pistols in the air and terrorizing online communities are over. Sometimes it stinks when the lawman takes control – but in this case it’s probably better for everyone.
Webmasters would participate in two-way and three-way link exchange programs. They stuff keywords on their site and even hide it with invisible text (white text on a white background). They setup software for automated comment spam. They cloaked pages so search engine spiders see one thing and real people see something else. They create doorway pages, set-up redirects and build duplicate sites.
We don’t have time to explain all the different tricks people have tried to pull – and keep trying to pull. You don’t need to learn about those schemes because you shouldn’t be doing it anyway.
More importantly – you’re going to get busted if you do. Over the years, the search engines have gotten better and better at detecting all these methods. And they are constantly making changes to keep chasing the spammers down.
2. You’ll Be Battling the Big Brains
Getting a position inside the Mountain View, California corporate headquarters known as Googleplex is one of the most coveted jobs in the country.
So it’s no surprise that they’ve hired hundreds of people with PhDs to help them fight spammers and anyone who might make Google look stupid. There’s no doubt about it…stopping search engine spam is one of Google’s top priorities.
And the people who work at Google are not stupid. They are super smart.
Now I’m not trying to insult your intelligence. But take it from an employee named Ben Tilly who wrote a blog post about his first month working at Google.
“It is often said that engineers find working at Google a humbling experience. This is absolutely true. It took me less than a day to realize that the guy sitting next to me is clearly much smarter than I am, and he’s nowhere near the top of the range of talent at Google. In fact, as best as I can tell, I’m pretty much average…”
You might be thinking, “So what? This guy is probably some chump hired to be a hamster in the wheel.”
But Tilly puts it into context for us and explains he’s no dummy…
“The closest thing that I have to an estimate for my IQ is scoring 2340 on the GRE exam in 1991. Based on conversions that I’ve seen, that puts me at about the top 0.01% in IQ.”
If the average Google employee is pretty close to a genius – you might as well be waging a one-person war against the CIA.
3. You’ll be Running for the Rest of Your Life
If you’re okay with looking over your shoulder the rest of your life – maybe Black Hat SEO will work out alright for you.
If you’re fine with being chased until you permanently destroy your company’s presence on the search engines – keep it up.
If you don’t mind losing sleep at night because you’re worried that suddenly you’ll lose tons of traffic – just ignore this entire article.
Maybe you’ve watched The Bourne Identity too many times. Maybe you sympathized with the villains in Batman or think V for Vendetta is awesome.
I feel you. But tempted by what the “dark side” offers us we cannot be.
Even the powerful Darth Vader met his end. You will too if you try to rise to the top using Black Hat techniques.
Those tricks are alluring because it seems like so much less work. You may assume you’re not hurting anyone. But when we keep adding junk to the internet it benefits no one. It simply creates a shoddy online experience for everyone.
In the end – you and your business will likely be hurt the most.
What You Should be Doing!
Instead of using SEO for evil – be an SEO Jedi and use the force for good!
That means content marketing, or creating valuable material specifically for the type of people you want to become your customers and clients. It means getting links to your website because people love what you’re doing. It means creating an online experience that makes life easy for people and search engines. It means working with Google to help get people what they really want.
That’s the White Hat way.
Want to understand more about how SEO really works? Check out our article on Small Business SEO Tips for the three most important – yet easy to understand – concepts.