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What is 'black hat' SEO?

30 Sep 2016
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What is 'black hat' SEO?

A quick search for 'SEO' and you'll find forums filled with people discussing both 'white hat' and 'black hat' SEO techniques.

For the uninitiated, these terms will be bemusing at best. What on earth are these hats and why does everybody in the world of search engine optimisation get to hot under the collar about them?

In short, SEO agencies that utilise black hat methods do so in order to get quick results - unfortunately, these quick results are short lived as ultimately Google is able to work out that the agencies are 'cheating' their algorithms. White hat agencies run longer campaigns that ultimately lead to longer lasting and better results.

To clear things up (and help you understand why white hat agencies are the ones you need to work with), we've put together a quick guide to the techniques that you can expect from black hat SEO agencies.

Keyword stuffing

Keywords are the words that people are likely to search in order to get to your website. If you're a tanning salon in Shrewsbury, then you might want your keywords to include 'tanning', 'Shrewsbury', 'beauty Shrewsbury'. These words should appear on your website and occasionally in blog posts or other online content. Black hat agencies will use these phrases to excess in order to get noticed by Google - it might work to begin with, but Google is clever and will soon notice the trick. This can lead to your site being taken out of Google's rankings.

Gateway pages

Gateway pages are essentially 'hidden' pages - they're not meant to be seen, they're simply there to be stuffed with keyword rich content. Much like with keyword stuffing, search engines can find these pages even if your website users can't.

Plagiarism

It might seem obvious, but if you steal content then you're going to get caught! Google values unique and regularly updated content (blogs, for example) and will soon catch on if you're using somebody else's words.

Black hat SEO agencies will promise great results within what seems like no time at all - our advice is if it sounds like it's too good to be true, it probably is. If you're looking for SEO experts who utilise white hat techniques (and still deliver great results) or you want to revamp your web design, then get in touch with Pint Sized Giants to find out what we can do for you.

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