3 Black Hat SEO Techniques You Should Replace

At this point, we should all know how important SEO is to your website’s traffic. A smartly executed SEO strategy can drive a steady stream of relevant visitors to your website, nurture the your relationship with your clients, and increase sales.

Unfortunately, even at the end of the decade, we still run into far too many otherwise savvy marketing professionals chasing the hazy promise of “results” that black hat SEO techniques seem to offer.

Black hat SEO techniques are not only unwise, but they’re ultimately counterproductive, and they put your website and readership at risk.

In 2020, it’s time you hang up your black hat for good.

Don’t worry, we came with specifics. We’re going to discuss black hat SEO, then call out 5 black hat SEO techniques you should replace—and with what you can replace them.

What Is Black Hat SEO?

A good, effective SEO strategy takes time—and a lot of hard work. Unfortunately, like anywhere else, people want results fast. And they’ll employ just about any method possible if they think it will get their results faster.

Enter black hat SEO.

There are many strategies you can use when optimizing your website, and black hat SEO is the risky, below board way of doing so. Black hat SEO is a numbers game that typically involves overusing specific words and getting specific links to game search engines into displaying your website higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Oh, and it’s strictly frowned upon by Google. It can land your website with penalties or get it banned entirely, and that’s the last thing your brand wants.

3 Black Hat SEO Techniques to Replace Today

Search engine optimization is tricky, but it’s never worth trading white hat SEO for black hat SEO. Here are five black hat SEO techniques you need to replace, and a few suggestions for their replacements.

1. Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is one of the most common black hat SEO techniques, and it involves stuffing a page with a keyword or keyword. While there’s a kernel of truth behind the practice—Google and Bing want to see keywords used often—overdoing it is a red flag. Keyword stuffing is spammy, and it certainly won’t make your content enjoyable for readers.

Employ Synonyms and Related Keywords

Increasingly, algorithms reward rich content about a specific topic. So when writing content, balance your SEO goals with readability—because that’s exactly what search engines will do. Instead of stuffing a blog post with a keyword, try synonyms or related keyword phrases. Not only will this give you natural opportunities to link to other posts related to your keyword, but it will be a lot more useful to your readers. That’s exactly what the algorithms will reward.

2. Link Farms & Link Exchanges

Backlinks are important to SEO, because they demonstrate to search engines that your website or pages are useful or popular. Unfortunately, link farms and link exchanges are not the way to do this. This tactic, by which you get dozens or hundreds of links from groups of other sites, while typically linking back to those sites from your own, is used to trick search engines into thinking your site is popular. However, the link quality is low and it can land you in hot water with Google.

Employ Targeted Backlink Outreach

Not every link is created equal, and your time is better spent going after the good ones. Instead, try deploying an outreach plan for broken back links or guest blog posts on higher authority sites. You won’t get as many links as the black hat methods, but even one or two high quality links will make a difference.

3. Doorway Pages

Doorway pages are definitely among the spammiest black hat SEO tactics, because they represent an active attempt to mislead both search engines and your website visitors. A doorway page is a very low quality page that is optimized specifically to rank for a certain keyword, then once a user clicks on it, they’re redirected to a totally different, often unrelated page. Doorway pages are unethical and bad for business, and if you’re still using them in 2020, don’t be surprised if your web page is delisted.

Employ Content Anchors

You’re optimizing a webpage anyway, so why deceive your website visitors? Rather than gaming search results, try providing a truly useful, comprehensive content resource on a specific topic. Go long with it, like a few thousand words, and ensure that it is truly useful to whomever may find it. This kind of content is more likely to rank higher on SERPs, and it’ll help you get backlinks, too.

Make Your Black Hat SEO Disappear in 2020

Black hat SEO is outdated, unethical, and it’s likely to earn you a penalty (or worse) from Google. Knowing all that, why would you choose to use it? 2020 is the year you upgrade your SEO strategies—before it’s too late.

Nobody said white hat SEO was easy. But it’s definitely worth it.

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