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What Are Examples of Black Hat SEO? Don’t Use Them!

Some bloggers, internet marketers, and people running a business online try to find ways how to trick search engines. People always searching for shortcuts and how to trick the system to their advantage.

But does it work?
What Are Examples of Black Hat SEO?

I have decided to take another look at the Back Hat SEO techniques in the summer of 2021. The original article was written in early 2019, so I am curious about what has changed.

If you looking for black hat SEO techniques you will find a few of them in this article. But I don’t refer to them in order to use them.

The reason why I created this post about the Black hat techniques is to let you know what to avoid.

This article is in no way intended to help anybody to rank better by manipulating the search engine.
I am of the opinion that the long-term online business is based on white hat SEO strategies, which improve the user experience of the visitor and thus the ranking.

Let me assure you that the only reason I am going to reveal these techniques here is to avoid them.
It really makes no sense to apply any of these techniques.
Otherwise, you will be banned by Google soon.

In order to have a sustainable business, you really want to obey the white hat techniques only.
That means:

  • Make sure to deliver quality content
  • Use readable content
  • Build a friendly relationship with google.

So once we know what to do, let’s elaborate a bit about what NOT to do.

What Is The Black Hat SEO and What Are The Disadvantages of Using It?

What Are Examples of Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO is a series of techniques and strategies (in other words tricks) focusing on search engine manipulation in order to rank well.
Individuals who use these techniques often hurt the guys and companies which use the ethical way and are in compliance with the white hat SEO techniques.

Google and other search engines constantly work on improving their algorithm so websites that use these black hat SEO techniques won’t rank well and eventually get punished.

In the past, it was quite easy to get to the 1st page of search engines using some manipulation techniques. We will go through them later, so you know what to avoid.

What are the Disadvantages?

Examples of Black Hat SEO

Most importantly, Google will penalize you.
Sometimes in a way that your site will not be able to recover.

Some types of such black methods can be considered against the law. But that is already up to the FTC to decide.

But even if you do everything according to the proper SEO, you might get hit by some other source who tries to drag you down.
Why anybody would do that?
Well, some individuals prefer to put energy into damaging some properties instead of building their own.

If you are serious about creating a business online you should invest your time and effort in education. In other words, you should learn how to drive traffic to your website.

So I am really grateful that at the end of 2017 I stumbled upon an online platform that teaches how to do proper SEO, how to get organic traffic, and most importantly how to build a sustainable business online, regardless of any Google updates.

I know that for somebody it might be tempting to go on this dark path (to trick google rankings), but please keep in mind that it is only temporary.

Think about it.
Google wants to be here for as long as people will use it. And people will use google if they get quality search results.
Many of these “guys” using black hat techniques make these results only worse. So no doubt that google goes after them.

Let’s check some of the black hat SEO techniques.

Some examples of Black Hat SEO – Brief Explanation

1) Keyword Stuffing

What Are Examples of Black Hat SEO?

Keyword stuffing is basically a post with let’s say more than 1,000 words where you keep repeating one keyword or phrase you try to rank for.
That includes close variations of that keyword.

To spot such an article is very easy these days, so it does not work anymore.

Here is an example of keyword stuffing:

We are in the business of selling foam mattresses. Our Foam mattress is the best. Check out the foam mattress section. if you are interested, contact our foam mattress representative. He advises you on the foam mattress’s best offer. Follow us on foam mattress Instagram and foam mattress Facebook page.

You want to do quite the opposite -> to use the keyword or phrase only once in your article.

2) Hidden Text

Hidden text can be considered a breach of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. That includes links as well.

How the text or links can be hidden?
For example, using the same text color as a background. Or setting the text size to “0” (zero).

And please be careful with inserting the link in one small character as to the dot at the end of the sentence.

Also, placing text underneath the image can be seen as a violation of Google rules. If you are interested in how to place the image in your content see the article “Google Image Best Practices“.

3) Cloaking

Examples of Black Hat SEO
Figure: Cloaking – Black Hat – Author: Seobility – License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Cloaking is showing one kind of content to google and a different one to the users.

Let me explain it:
In the real situation, it looks like this.
(this is just a theoretical example)

You type a keyword in the Google search bar, for example, “drama movies in 2020”:

You click on the specific link, but instead of the website abc.com (that in search engine results appears to be about movies), you end up on xyz.com which deals with “weight loss”.

People who run the website xyz.com about weight loss tricked Google.

They want to get more visitors to their page so they showed Google that the website content is drama movies in 2020.

This is a very deceptive technique and when you think about that it does not make sense either (when it comes to the user experience).

In my opinion, what is the point of getting a user interested in drama movies to the website with weighting loss?
This is not relevant at all.

4) Duplicate Content

What Are Examples of Black Hat SEO?

When you are creating a new article you obviously do research.
What you don’t want to do is to copy other posts and paste them into your article and pretend that they are your own.

In other words, this is called Plagiarism.
There are tools that will detect such behavior and find out that you have not come up with your own content.

If you need to use the exact wording from a specific source, make a screenshot of that text and cite the source.
You can also have some sentences from the original text, but my advice is to put the text between quotation marks and cite the source as well.

5) Buying Links

Having backlinks directed to your website is generally beneficial.

But these back linking must be built naturally – that would be part of the white hat SEO techniques.

People are naturally very creative and they found out how to get more backlinks to their websites.
Some of them even made business selling the backlinks.

I strongly advise you not to buy such backlinks. This is considered a manipulative technique and google may punish websites using such backlinks.

6) Social Spamming

This one is very tempting for many newbies.

Having a link to the post pasted on many social media, forums, and comment sections, including a number of related Facebook groups…
Please be careful with that.

This method is only one level above email spamming and for only one reason – it is more successful.
But Search engines can easily detect this spamming and in the best-case scenario, your content will be hidden/not approved.

Here is a screenshot of the back office of one of my other websites (which I have not been using for more than a year).

You see that the comment section is full of spam.
I would simply mark them as spam and delete these spam.

On a Side Note – Google Ads

Google got better also in the ads field. I mean it used to be possible to run ads even without having a website.

It was possible to run the google ad, with an affiliate link in it.
A visitor who clicks on the ad is sent directly to the merchant site and once he purchases something, you get the commission.

Such a structure is no longer possible.
So in order to run a sustainable business, you have to have a website.
And even then you want to be careful with placing your ad.

So if you want to give paid advertising a try, you want to check the following link in order to avoid misleading content.

Otherwise, you jeopardize that your ad will not be approved and you want to avoid such messages:

What Are Examples of Black Hat SEO?

Let’s Stay Away From Black Hat SEO

So I believe by now you understand that using black hat SEO is the wrong way how to get ranked.

There is no point in doing that.
Search engines these days are getting smarter and smarter so in order to keep your site alive in the long run you definitely want to do it the right way and apply only the white hat SEO techniques.

By applying manipulative tactics you won’t get your business to grow.
It is not the way how business works.

You want to bring value to your readers.
You want your readers/visitors to come back to your site and reference you as an authority site. That way you build your audience and business in the long run.

If you have any questions, concerns, or you want to share your thoughts, please use the comment section below – but do not use it for spamming 🙂

Thank you for reading

26 thoughts on “What Are Examples of Black Hat SEO? Don’t Use Them!”

  1. It can be very tempting to try to take short cuts, especially when starting out, and when the consequences may not be clear. I think you’re right, most of these black hat techniques either don’t really work because Google keeps up to date with this sort of thing and will penalize you for it, or they’re just more effort than white hat SEO. As you say, building 5 or 6 legitimate sites just to point to one site is a lot of work and time wasted that could be directed into improving that one site, writing new content and adding value. Some very important lessons in this post, thank you.

  2. Mike,

    Thank you for this very informative topic!  I am a relatively new blogger and the whole SEO world is very new and to be honest very confusing to me!  While I have had my blog for almost 2 years now, I have never focused on its profitability until recently and SEO is a huge part of how to draw in readers/consumers.  This article, and your corresponding article, on white hat SEOs has opened my eyes as to what is out there…and what not to do!  As a motherhood/christian blogger it is important for me to be ethical and to make sure that even while making money I am not doing it at the expense of my morals or by taking shortcuts.  

    Thank you so much for your knowledge!


    • You are very welcome. 

      I am sure once you apply the white hat SEO techniques on your website you should see the difference in traffic pretty soon. 

      Another thing about your blog I would recommend is to post articles on a regular basis – ideal 3 times per week. 
      Ideally, you want to hire someone who creates the content and you can focus on something else (promotions, new strategy, new theme, and so on) 

      Anyways I am glad that you find the article helpful
      Wishin you a lot of success

  3. Hello Mike,

    I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. Unfortunately, there are still those people who would cheat
    Google with a black hat SEO but there is no point doing that as Google is getting smarter and just how many sites are penalized every single day..

    thanks for sharing and have a nice day…

  4. One thing I have learned in life is to always follow success and those who have gone on before you. Doing it the right way will normally take more time but it will be well worth it eventually.

    I always strive for less stress and peace in my life and one of the ways I do that is to follow the rules as much as possible. This helps me sleep better at night.

    I love what Wealthy Affiliate teaches, and that is the right way to do SEO and Google will eventually love you. 

    • absolutely. 
      Black Hat SEO techniques are not worth it. 

      I am glad you have learned how to do the proper SEO, and as you say Wealthy Affiliate teaches that works in the long run. 
      Wishing you lot of success with your business

  5. This was a very good article about “Black Hat Seo”. The page was very easy to read, had surprising few link sights, and the content was very well done. I wasn’t even aware that all these “Black Hat” techniques were out there. Very well reached and very laid down and logical. All in all, this page is great, I would enjoy seeing another article by you sometime soon!

  6. Excellent article on Black Hat SEO,I’ve gained immensely from your post,trying to outsmart google,and latter such website will be caught and penalized,the best techniques are creating quality content,deliver quality,use readable content,and build friendly relationship with google.It is better to go for white hat SEO,for the website not to be penalized,let me ask this question,are external backlinks bad for seo?thank you for this helpful write-up

    • I couldn’t agree more with you.

      Regarding your questions – the backlinks should be created naturally. As I updated my website I have included the paragraph concerning the backlinks. 

      You don’t want to buy them – that is for sure. 
      You may kindly ask other blogger to include a link directing to your website, but only that brings value to the reader.

      Thank you for your comment

  7. Hello Mike, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. Unfortunately, there are still those people who would cheat Google with a black hat SEO but there is no point doing that as Google is getting smarter and just how many sites are penalized every single day. Doing proper SEO without “cheating” is crucial for long-term success.

    • Hi Daniel

      You are absolutely right.
      Thanks a lot for your comment. 

      I am sure more and more people start to realize that there is no point in applying these black hat SEO techniques. 

      Wishing you all the best 

  8. I didnt know anything about black hat SEO until i got penalized by Google. The worst of it is that i was not intentionally trying to play games, i just did what i learnt on the internet. Google does not even have the courtsey to tell you what you did wrong. It should be on us on the online business to know this stuff. Posts like this will help so many unsuspecting victims of the high penalization. You have given a few examples, but I’m sure there are many other on the list, do you have any advice on how to know a black hat SEO strategy. 

    • I am glad the post helps.

      There are people trying to find shortcuts, but it does not work in the long run. 
      Google keeps changing the algorithms and goes after people trying to trick Google. 

      There are many black hat SEO strategies. I agree with you. But it is impossible to have a list of all of them. Everything is evolving including the unethical strategies. 

      There is only one good advice. Create content that helps people, solve their problems and everybody will be happy. 

  9. Hi, Mike.
    Thanks for the suggestions on not to use Black hat SEO techniques.
    I myself avoid keyword stuffing but Hidden Text is little confusing as we have been told to put our links in WA training through text. Maybe I need to revise it and also go through Google Image Best Practises as per your recommendations.
    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Gaur

    • Not problem. 

      Hidden Text is basically anything what is not visible to the visitor (assuming that his/her sight is good). 

      Having links through the text is OK. When you hover over the link you see the link in the left bottom corner where it is linked to. 
      So it is visible and therefore it is NOT black technique. 

      Please let me know if you require any further information,
      cheers, Mike

  10. I have actually known about black heart SEO for quite some time and I have to say that it was probably something that worked a long time ago but not anymore. Google has obviously greeted smart algorithms that are able to tell those that create contents for their users against those that create content with the sole purpose of ranking.

    Measures have been put in place to identify such techniques and penalize anyone making use of them. If you are of the mind to build a sustainable business using google’s search engine as a means of traffic than black heart SEO techniques is definitely not the way to go.

    • Absolutely agree with you Jay.

      And apparently it  takes more effort (technical point of view) to work on the black SEO  than the concentration on white hat SEO (quality content creation)

      Not mentioning the consequences. Where, once one is banned from google due to back hat technique, has to start all over again.

  11. So much information in one article. I’ve heard about black hat SEO prior to this time, but definitely not in this manner. One wouldn’t have known the damage it could cause. Thanks for this enlightenment. I love the simplicity at which you write your articles, and I’m so bookmarking this page.

    • Yes it is always good know what search engines companies (google, bing, yahoo etc) consider as unacceptable.

      Thanks a lot for your comment. I appreciate it.

  12. Is it truth, that black seo requires more work than white seo?
    I read somewhere that currently it does not worth it, to put effort in such black strategy.

    • It depends. But there are aspects of black hat seo, where you need to put huge amount of work to have it done.
      Imagine for example that you want to build that PBN (Private Blog Networks).
      For me building 1 website can be a full time job. And now you would need 5 – 6 additional websites. You see where I am going..

      Other black seo techniques might be less time consuming, but once you get banned by google, you will have to start all over again.

      So I believe, at the end of the day, it really takes more effort than using white hat SEO techniques.


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