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What Is Black Hat SEO? (Full Guide)

what is black hat seo

Many businesses or individuals are trying their best to beat their competitors to get to the top of search engine result pages; and some are not so nice to each other while doing it. Black hat SEO also called negative search Engine Optimization; is simply using various search engine optimization techniques that are against search engine guidelines. They are completely unethical and functions to manipulate search engine algorithms with black hat tactics.


While black hat search engine optimization tactics are plentiful, search engines recognize most of them and penalized heavily. We listed some of those tactics below: 

  • Keyword Stuffing: Keyword stuffing is about filling the content with seemingly absurd keywords with no value for the user experience, to manipulate the page ranks. Keyword stuffing is one of the oldest black hat practices, and search engines can easily tell the difference.
  • Bad Quality/Duplicate Content: Scraping, copying, or duplicating quality content from other websites is considered a black hat search engine optimization tactic; and search engines are strictly against it.
  • Invisible Text or Links: Making the text or links the same with the background color to increase traffic is a prohibited black hat search engine optimization tactic and can greatly damage your website’s authority.   
black hat seo

Black Hat SEO vs. White Hat SEO

Black hat search engine optimization is about using search engine optimization techniques against search engine guidelines and aims to manipulate them to increase rankings. White hat SEO techniques are aimed to achieve the same thing but with ethical yet better methods.

There are many different techniques regarding both of them, but the underlying distinction between two is the user experience. Black hat search engine optimization techniques disregard user experience in favor of short term benefits while white hat search engine optimization techniques present the best user experience possible.

See also  Top 10 SEO Mistakes

In Conclusion of Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO, as a general strategy, uses unethical or dysfunctional techniques to gain short term benefits on SERPs. They are penalized heavily since they are against guidelines and overall user experience. Additionally, if you want to learn more about the app, we cover up many other popular topics in our articles.

What is international SEO and how is it done? For detailed information, you can also read our International SEO article.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Negative SEO

Is black hat SEO illegal?

Black hat search engine optimization is not illegal unless you are deliberately trying to discredit a person or company with false information. However, it is against search engine guidelines and considered unethical.

Does black hat SEO still work?

Most of black hat search engine optimization techniques were useful before search engine algorithms got wiser. Those techniques might still provide short term gains; even then, it is not a sensible gamble considering the cost.

How do I report black hat search engine optimization?

You can file a complaint via Google or other search engines spam reports or use disavow tools to eliminate non-wanted backlinks.

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