Lack of education on SEO best practices lands penalties on even high profile websites. While this is the reason for many businesses, many others get penalized due to errant SEO consultants. Such practices that may get businesses penalized are categorized as Black Hat practices. Even with all the advancements and knowledge today, several companies in the Search Engine Marketing Dubai sector still practice black hat SEO and only some of them are caught by the search engine itself.
Nevertheless, black hat SEO is never a good approach to SEO and can severely harm an online business.
Black Hat SEO
Any SEO practice be it on-page or off-page that falsely manipulates a website’s search position or tricks search engine crawlers are considered as black hat SEO tactics.
Here are a few still-common black hat SEO practices according to experts in search engine optimization Dubai.
- Content auto-generation: Some SEOs may use software to generate content stuffed with keywords automatically and post them on webpages to save time. The result obviously would appear nonsensical and unnatural to viewers. When the search engines find out that the content is auto-generated, there would be a penalty. But even before the penalty, you will notice poor bounce rates. This is a common black hat SEO practice in Dubai even today.
- Hidden text/links: Hiding text or links can manipulate search rankings, but it’s a black SEO tactic that would result in a ban. Text and links can be hidden in a number of ways - white text on a white background, using CSS to position the text so that it won’t appear, setting font size to zero etc.
- Keyword density too high: Overusing keywords in the content is a desperate attempt to get higher rankings for the page in search engine results. Many companies go for this approach when they believe using keywords appropriately isn’t working. Even now, you should ensure that keywords are appropriately used in title tags, meta description, and in the first paragraph. If the same keyword is included in the rest of the content many times, it will be marked as a black hat SEO tactic by the search engine. High keyword density is never good.
- Scraping content: Google considers this a quite serious SEO violation. If you scrape content from articles on some websites and republish them on your own pages without permission, it will result in duplicate content issues followed by Google penalizing you.
- Doorway pages: Doorway pages are meant to spam search engines by creating a number of pages for high-value keywords. The visitors, however, would end up in the same destination. Google algorithms are more powerful now, and doorway pages are rather easily detected today.
- Link trades: Buying and selling links or even trading them are considered a black hat practice by Google. If anyone with a website operating in a different niche proposes to swap links, be wary. It’s also not advisable to use automated software to create links to your website. Sponsored content on your website should have ‘Nofollow’ enabled as there’s a chance that it can be seen as a link trade by search engine algorithms.
Some SEO experts in Dubai still use black hat SEO tactics to show results. But the website owner won’t realize the consequences till it’s too late. There is a wrong notion that Google sometimes misses small things, and that makes it reasonable to use black hat tactics that don’t draw attention. Present day algorithms are powerful enough to identify such things. Besides, the consequences are too risky for a business trying to expand their reach and increase user engagement.
Make sure you approach only a reputed integrated digital marketing solutions expert to handle your business’ online marketing.