Black hat link building can get your website in serious trouble. What does it mean, exactly, and what tactics fall under it? We’ll discuss it below in detail, so that you can avoid your site being penalized by search engines.
What Is Black Hat Link Building?
The term “black hat link building” is used to describe illegitimate or unethical link building tactics. It’s when you acquire links by means that go against Google’s guidelines. This means any link building tactic that’s done solely to manipulate search engine rankings is black hat. These are the kinds of things that can get your website blacklisted by Google and other search engines, so it’s important to know what they are.
Common Black Hat Link Building Tactics
There are many black hat link building tactics, but some of the most common include:
- buying links;
- creating link farms or private blog networks (PBNs) to artificially increase your website’s authority;
- spamming blog comments and forums with links;
- guest blogging on spammy, low-quality websites;
- hacking websites to insert links;
- cloaking (showing different content to search engines than what users see);
- participating in link schemes (exchanging links with other websites solely for the purpose of increasing your link popularity).
These are just a few black hat link building tactics. As you can see, most of them are attempts to game the system and cheat your way to the top. This is why search engines can severely penalize websites that engage in black hat link building.
How Google Penalizes Websites That Do It
If you’re caught doing any of the above, your website could be blacklisted from Google and other search engines. This means your website will no longer appear in search results, and you could lose all of your organic traffic overnight. In other words, black hat link building is not worth the risk.
Another way Google penalizes black hat link builders is by devaluing the links they’ve built. So, even if you do manage to rank your website using these kinds of tactics, your links will likely be worthless. This is because Google can easily identify illegitimate links and will discount them accordingly.
What You Should Do Instead
If you want to build links the right way, there are a few white hat tactics you can use. These include:
- writing informative, high-quality blog posts;
- creating helpful resources, like infographics and ebooks;
- reaching out to other websites in your niche to guest blog or collaborate.
Doing any of the above will help you build links naturally, without having to resort to black hat tactics. Not only is this the best way to avoid being penalized by Google, but it will also help you build links that are actually valuable. And that matters, because links are an important ranking factor for SEO.
So, there you have it. Now that you know what black hat link building is and how to avoid it, you can focus on building high-quality links the right way. Your website will thank you for it in the long run!
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