Black Hat tactics are SEO practices that violate the search engine’s terms of service (TOS) so that a website has a better ranking in search engine results (SER). Black hat is a term that came into being from the mid-20th century westerns where the bad guys wore black hats and the good guys wore white ones.
Some of the things that the Google algorithm changes penalized and punished sites for by lowering their SER rankings include;
- Keyword stuffing;
- Link manipulation;
- Automated search requests to Google;
- Creating new pages, or domains, and subdomains with duplicate content;
- Pages that phish, place viruses and malware on visitor’s computers;
- Scraping - automated copying of other sites;
Sites and pages that practice these and other black hat practices are downgraded by Bing and Google. You know how you sometimes see something like “about 653,000 results?” Using black hat techniques and being found out will earn a spot in the bottom 1,000 results. You know no one is going to click through that many pages. Why bother with a site at all?
Of course, great content is a great beginning to a high-ranking search result. And some believe that based on just great content alone, a site’s SER will improve. It could, but a writer who knows what they are doing can help great content be recognized by search engines and their bots. Writer’s activities include researching keywords, and creating good-looking, unique and relevant HTML tags and mark-up.
On a blog, Barry Feldman of The Content Marketing Institute said;
“most online marketing professionals will recognize that both content marketing and SEO are star players in an enterprise-focused marketing strategy. If your team has a void in one area or the other (or both), you need to fill it — end of story. SEO experts need not fear the extinction of their craft. Their roles will remain vital to brand marketing because they know better than anyone that effective and ethical SEO can’t happen without content to be optimized.”
Social media is the third leg of the stool we call improving traffic, the other two are Content and SEO.
Site owners should analyze metrics and share the results with contract for hire writers. When you and your writer see the page views, social media sharing, and time on site or even better on a page, they find out what works well and what should be forgotten for the future.
So, although SEO has changed, it is far from dead. And it is not a zombie form of its old self. It is an evolution that by design of the search engines, is improving Internet user’s experience.
What are your thoughts about the rumor that SEO is dead? Use the comment form below to share your thoughts.
If you have a question about this article, or need some help in getting your website and blog to have better SER. Please contact me, I can help.