Black Hat SEO Definition & Meaning

What Is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO is a practice of search engine optimization that uses tactics to game the ranking algorithms that violate search engine guidelines. Black hat SEO techniques are referred to as spamdexing because they use spam methods to manipulate the algorithms.

Although black hat SEO methods can increase the search engine rankings for a website, the results are typically only temporary, and the integrity of the domain is put at risk of being penalized. A manual or algorithmic penalty that is received from identifying black hat SEO tactics can result in deindexing or ranking suppressions for specific web pages or the entire domain. In the worst-case scenario, the website can be completely banned from the search engine results pages (SERPs) with no hope of getting reindexed.

It is important to remember that search engine algorithm systems are constantly being updated to detect new black hat SEO techniques and these shortcuts in search engine optimization rarely work for long-term rankings and generating organic search traffic.

Examples of black hat SEO include:

  • Invisible text
  • Doorway pages
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Page swapping
  • Cloaking
  • Blog comment spam
  • Content automation
  • Sneaky redirects
  • Link schemes
  • Purposeful duplicate content
  • Article spinning

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Go to the SEO Glossary to find more terms and definitions that relate to the field of search engine optimization.