Quality Content vs. Black Hat SEO

In his article for HubSpot, “Confessions of a Google Spammer,” former black hat SEO writer Jeff Deutsch explained why going the “black hat” SEO route is a very bad idea, and why producing quality content and using an inbound marketing approach is the way to go instead.

What does “black hat SEO” mean? It essentially means using unethical methods to boost your ratings on search engines. Black hat SEO is writing exclusively for the search engines rather than trying to provide good content for your clients or your clients’ customers or potential customers. It is not only frowned upon in the SEO community and annoying to read, it also puts the whole site at risk, because if the search engine discovers that black hat SEO methods are being used, it could be kicked from its spot in the rankings or even banned. This could destroy your business, because if no one can find you online, they may not know you exist. And if they don’t know you exist, how can they hire you?

What are examples of black hat SEO methods?

Keyword stuffing. This is where you pack lots of keywords into your site without any content to accompany them. Yes, of course you need to have keywords in your content; but if keywords are all you have, with no other information, or they don’t make sense in the content, you are playing with fire. The search engine will eventually catch on and classify your site as spam and bump you.
Invisible text. This is using text that is the same color as the background. It tries to trick the search engines into thinking that there is more there, even though a person looking at the site can’t see it.
Doorway pages. These are “fake” pages that are designed so that only search engine crawlers can see them. They then redirect almost immediately to the actual website.

Why do people use these methods? People are tempted to use these underhanded methods because they can provide fast temporary results. In the short term, these methods can put your website at the top of the rankings. That is, until search engines figure out what you are doing and ban you from their sites.

The whole point of a business website is to inform your current and potential clients about who you are and what you do. If your content reflects that you are more worried about your search engine rankings than you are about the actual people who are going to be using your site, it not only puts you at risk for being penalized by the search engines later, it also makes you seem less trustworthy to the people you are trying to bring to your business. So, while it may take a little longer for your site to jump to the top of the list on the search engines, your clients will appreciate the fact that your website speaks to them, not Google.

For information about proper SEO techniques or other information, contact ITVibes today!