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Black Hat SEO: Definition, Technique, and How To Avoid It

Last updated: Aug 25, 2023

What is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO is a practice carried out to increase rankings and organic traffic in a way that deviates from Google's guidelines. Website owners who use black hat SEO techniques usually have low-quality content and only focus on manipulating search engines.

This practice does not actually address the user's information needs. In the end, some websites that implement this practice get a penalty from search engines. Check out the techniques used and the reasons why you should avoid these techniques in the following passage.


Black Hat SEO Techniques

Cheating web owners always have a way to get higher rankings and traffic on search engines. One of them is by applying this kind of SEO which is to improve website performance in a faster way. Some black hat SEO techniques are as follows:

Low-Quality Content

Web owners who don't want to bother creating their own content will usually create content using copy-paste techniques. Content produced with this technique tends to be of low quality because it only copies information from other websites without providing other useful information for users.

Keyword Stuffing

Another example of black hat SEO is keyword stuffing, which is inserting keywords repeatedly with the aim of increasing website rankings. This practice is actually not the right thing to do because it can degrade the quality of the content and make Google consider your content as spam.


The next technique is cloaking, which is a tactic to trick search engines into increasing the ranking of content related to certain searches that are not related to the content of the page.

Cloaking is done by serving different URL links or content to users and search engines. This tactic is commonly used by affiliate marketers by hiding the destination link (affiliate link).

Link Farming

Link farming is a number of websites that are specifically formed with the aim of building backlinks. Each website in link farming will provide a backlink to the main website. These websites usually have low-quality content and a lot of outbound links.

Private Blog Network (PBN)

One technique that is almost similar is link farming and PBN. A Private Blog Network is a network of websites created to build backlinks on targeted websites to manipulate rankings to get higher in organic search.

PBNs come from high-quality domains that are no longer used by their owners, so they are reused with the aim of building backlinks on the destination website. However, this practice actually also violates Google's guidelines.

Comment Spam

Comment spam is also considered a bad SEO practice. Usually, web owners will attach a link to their website in the comments column available on other websites. This practice is done so that the website gets a lot of backlinks from comment spam.

However, since the launch of the Google Penguin algorithm, Google is now more stringent in evaluating quality backlinks. Therefore, backlinks obtained from comment spam practices are no longer weighted ratings from Google.

Buying and Selling Unqualified Backlinks

As we know, backlinks are one of the factors that affect domain authority. Not surprisingly, many web owners justify any means to get backlinks. Some of them even buy backlinks in order to gain high authority.

Search engines like Google strongly oppose the practice of buying and selling backlinks, especially backlinks that are not guaranteed quality. Google even states that any backlinks used to manipulate rankings are categorized as violations and the website can be penalized.

Why do You need to Avoid Black Hat SEO?

This kind of SEO  is a practice that violates Google's guidelines. In other words, if you use this technique, then you must be willing if one day Google finds a violation that you have committed and penalizes your website.

Penalties given by Google can make your website's performance decrease drastically, ranging from a decrease in ranking, and the number of organic visits that also decrease, to the possibility that your website is removed from search results.

Therefore, you should avoid this practice. Although this technique offers many short-term benefits, using white hat SEO will certainly provide more benefits for the long-term performance of the website.

The tips for avoiding black hat SEO are as follows:

  • Avoid optimization practices aimed at deceiving search engines.
  • Production of high-quality content that addresses the information needs of users.
  • Follow the webmaster guidelines that have been created by Google and follow the latest updates.
  • Avoid doing link farming or making PBNs to generate backlinks.
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