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What is Black Hat SEO?

A bad idea.

Black hat SEO is a blanket term referring to an assortment of search engine optimization practices that are either frowned upon or outright forbidden by most search engines. These practices are intended to trick search engine algorithms into ranking pages higher on SERPs, not based on quality but technicalities.

This is a big no-no to most search engines since it runs directly against their primary focus: Delivering accurate, useful, and quality results to their users. Search engines actively hunt and penalize sites engaging in these practices, so they are best avoided altogether.

Black hat SEO is most often associated with shady or scammy businesses and services, as it is known to hold no long-term effectiveness.

What are some common black hat SEO practices?

It is useful to be at least aware of the most common practices in black hat SEO so that you can avoid them entirely. Some of these are:
• Content Automation.
• Doorway Pages.
• Hidden texts or links.
• Keyword stuffing.
• Sneaky redirects.
• Link Schemes.
• Link Farms.
And the list goes on…

What are the consequences of Black hat SEO?

While not illegal, black hat SEO does violate the webmaster’s guidelines set out by search engines. This makes BHSEO a losing proposition in the long run.

Even if a site were to experience a boost in traffic for a short time, search engines are getting more and more effective at hunting them down. They actively search and punish websites engaged in these practices, and the penalties can be devastating. Nowadays, if you participate in black hat SEO, getting caught is just a matter of time.

It is not uncommon for a site caught using black hat SEO to plummet in SERPs, or even getting removed entirely from the index.