Black Hat SEO tricksters are the ponzi schemers of web marketing. They use other people’s money to create deceit networks so deviously conceived that even the culprit may believe their own lies.
But fake engagement washes away faster than invisible ink on an old bar napkin. And black hat gains are real life losses.
Those who have been fooled by false promises before, fear not. We’re here to tell you about the 3 most common modern day black hat SEO techniques so that you can avoid them like the plague on the industry that they are.
Here are the Top 3 Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid
New School Content Spinning
This is the process of taking something that someone else has written, changing around a couple of words, publishing it yourself as original work, and hoping to ride the wave created by someone else’s push. There is another term for this practice, and it’s plagiarism. During the heydey of web 2.0 black hattery, bad guys would use bots to aggregate articles and change their syntax. Today, the technique is to steal what’s trending and simply re-write it.
But any time that you steal intellectual property, you are no better than a no good thieving thief. And when you attempt to profit from it, you are essentially trafficking in stolen goods. Obviously, the web is built on shared ideas, and their quick and immediate dissemination by individuals who add their own original perspective to them. But that does not mean it’s ok for you to jump on an article by the Associated Press or something you found on Google News and present it as your own.
The key to writing about and publishing something interesting that you read is to inject it with your own original perspective, critique, analysis, and/or opinion. These are the means by which to ethically leverage existing content into your own. One of the more common black hat seo techniques to avoid.
So, you or a client has a blog without an entity around which to build a social following. You want to create a trail of articles that lead back to an editorial base around which to build SEO traction. Quick, you’re a black hat liar and a cheapskate. We had to include this in our list of black hat SEO techniques to avoid because we don’t want you to come off as a liar of a cheapskate.
What do you do? Take a stock photo of a pretty girl with glasses and a bit of cleavage, invent a name for her that is generic enough to exist numerous times on the web, slap together a few social profiles, including Twitter, message board, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+.
Basically, bring your avatar to life like Frankenstein by injecting it with the electric charge of search indexability. Great! Now you have a living, breathing Golem. But beware, this creature is a monster, not a friend. And eventually, your false idol will crush you like a bug on the windshield of the world wide web.
Want to know what’s better than fake authorship? Real authorship. Stick to transparent practices, the policy of honesty, and a core foundation in integrity and you will get further on the web than any fly by night scammer any day. Learn how to remove Fake Authorship from MOZ.
Fake Social Following
Ok, now that you know how to steal other people’s work, and attribute it to someone who doesn’t exist, all you need to do is put up a few bucks to buy fake followers provided by a European hacker. A tactic that Search Engine Land discusses.
This is how you quickly go from zero to hero in the eyes of your client, who is awed by the extreme speed with which their company has gained 15,000 Facebook likes, 27,000 Twitter followers, 100,000 Youtube views, and more Google + signs than you can throw a barrel of stolen credit cards at.
But soon enough, the vapor clears, the budget is tapped out, there are no tangible results from the campaign, inboxes are full of spam from stolen passwords abetted by cheap tricks, the client is left alone, confused, and penniless like a victim of a Spanish Prisoner confidence job, and your black hat maverick rides off into the sunset ready to rip another sucker off for their hard earned bucks.
Can you build your social following over a period of time with great community management and engagement? Of course. You need to use a professional marketing firm like Pacific54 that specializes in Search Engine Optimization Can a company deliver you 1000 “targeted” Facebook likes overnight? Absolutely not.
Unfortunately, there are so many mom and pop businesses who don’t know any better, and a lot of them will even be excited when they see their numbers spike up over night. Sadly, what these business owners don’t know is that their hard earned money just went overseas, or to Fiverr, and cost them weeks or even months of revenue at zero ROI.
Not only has their money been wasted, but in all likelihood, Google algorithms have probably determined that the gains are fake and thusly invoked automatic search engine placement penalties from which recovery is difficult. Basically, real world rules apply on the internet too. And there is one age old aphorism that is especially relevant: “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”